Zac Efron Once Had to Apologize After His Joke About Leonardo DiCaprio’s Advice on Drug Use

Zac Efron has been an admirer of Leonardo DiCaprio ever since his younger years. But he was once worried that a joke he made regarding DiCaprio and drugs would rub the Oscar-winner the wrong way.

Leonardo DiCaprio has never done drugs because of his upbringing

Leonardo DiCaprio and Zac Efron at a Laker's game.
Zac Efron and Leonardo DiCaprio | Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

DiCaprio may have been known for his partying earlier in his career. But even during this period in his life, DiCaprio asserted that he didn’t take any drugs.

His upbringing played a significant part in his decision. The Wolf of Wall Street star asserted he’d been exposed enough times to drugs as a child that he didn’t want to experience them in his adult years.

“That’s because I saw this stuff literally every day when I was 3 or 4 years old. So Hollywood was a walk in the park for me,” DiCaprio once said in an interview with the LA Times.

The actor shared that the entertainment industry presented a few opportunities for him to slip up. But DiCaprio stood by his beliefs.

“I’d go to parties and it was there and, yeah, there’s that temptation. Hollywood is a very volatile place where artists come in and they essentially say they want to belong. It’s incredibly vulnerable to be an actor and also get criticism at a young age when you’re formulating who you are. We’ve seen a lot of people fall victim to that, and it’s very unfortunate,” he added.

Zac Efron apologized to Leonardo DiCaprio after a joke was taken the wrong way

Efron once panicked a bit when he discovered a joke he’d said about DiCaprio was taken out of context. Speaking to a journalist, Efron shared that DiCaprio imparted some words of wisdom to the High School Musical star.

“He said, ‘There’s one way that you can really f*** all up. Just do heroin. If you steer clear of that — the other obstacles you’ll be able to navigate,” Efron once recalled according to Vulture.

The quote from Efron eventually gained traction, with many outlets taking his words seriously.

Efron was eager to let both DiCarpio and the media know that his words weren’t meant to be taken literally.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe I just did that to him,” Efron once told The Times (via Access).” It was a joke, it was meant completely in sarcasm, but it came across so differently in print. I was devastated. I tried to call Leo and say, ‘Dude, I’m so sorry, that’s not at all what I meant to say.’ It was the worst feeling in the world.”

Clearing up the misunderstanding was important for Efron given how much he looked up to DiCpario.

“He is the best barometer for me. It’s amazing to see actors who have been able to sustain this for so long and keep positive, still focused on the work, still trying to make their best film,” he said.

Leonardo DiCaprio once helped Zac Efron with his anxiety over his fame

Efron became the focus of the paparazzi during the High School Musical era. The actor, who was still somewhat adjusting to his newfound stardom, shared that the constant attention was stressful. DiCaprio, who knew a lot about being a young heartthrob himself, offered Efron support by inviting him to breakfast. The Titanic star picked up on Efron’s popularity when several cars followed Efron over to DiCaprio’s place.

“[Leonardo Dicaprio] was like, ‘Yeah, there’s never this many cars here… That’s insane dude,'” Efron recalled in an interview with Hot Ones. “And I saw in his eyes a little bit of the feeling that I consistently was having all the time, which was just stress and anxiety.”

DiCaprio assured Efron that he was “good” despite all the pressure. The advice and company DiCaprio offered that day left a lasting impression on the young star.

“I really appreciate that he took that time. He made me feel good about it, helped me a little bit,” Efron said. “That’s the biggest hand you can extend if you’re in Hollywood, looking out for somebody younger.”

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