From Twink to Twunk: A Look Back at Zac Efron’s Swoon-Worthy Evolution
What makes Zac Efron so damn swoon-worthy? The actor has been around for over a decade now. Many young adults (both millennials and Gen Zers) have grown up ogling him and thirsting over sexy Zac Efron films and photo shoots.
But interestingly, his looks have evolved over the years to match our growing tastes, from a twinky teen heartthrob to a musclebound jock to a more mature daddy-esque figure.
Here are four Zac Efron films that highlight the different stages of his career and physical appeal:
High School Musical (2006)
While Zac Efron’s career as an actor started in 2002, when he was still a young man, his career exploded four years later when he starred in a small Disney Channel Original Movie musical called High School Musical. The thing is, the reaction to the film wasn’t so small. The movie eventually became the Disney Channel’s most successful program, and the eventual three-part series earned Disney over $100 million.
For sexy Zac Efron, then a twinky 19-year-old, the project was the start of a blossoming career. At the time, Efron became a teen sensation and earned the hearts of girls and their gay peers. But due to his age and the age of the High School Musical audience, his swooning fandom only reached so far. Until….
17 Again (2009)
Three years after the first High School Musical hit, Zac Efron got his first big break outside of the Disney franchise (besides his work on Hairspray, which was largely more of the same). In this film, a middle-aged man (played by Friends star Matthew Perry) is living on the brink of burnout. His estranged wife hates him almost as much as his kids. But thanks to the help of a time vortex, he gets to relieve his late-teens (and look like sexy Zac Efron).
While it didn’t see the success of other Zac Efron films, 17 Again was big enough to earn him lots of Hollywood buzz. In addition, the film pushed the image of a truly sexy Zac Efron. Here the actor was depicted as a muscular young guy worthy of “pool boy” status. The teens loved him, the young adults loved him, and 17 Again allowed moms and older gays to swoon over him, too.
But when did sexy Zac Efron officially become a Hollywood stud?
This film saw Efron star opposite of comedian Seth Rogen. Rogen played a man at the start of his “settling down” phase. He was married to Rose Byrne, had a young kid and had bought a home, only to find out that home was next door to an unruly fraternity house, of which Zac Efron was its leader.
Of all the Zac Efron films, this one established him as not only a heartthrob but a hunk. With muscles bigger than ever before and that “frat bro” aesthetic, Efron had officially accepted the role pushed onto him by society. He was a swoon-worthy Hollywood hunk, and Efron knew it.
Down to Earth (2020)
It’s amazing what facial hair can do! While sexy Zac Efron has certainly stayed busy over the years, including appearing in surprise hit The Greatest Showman, his next big evolution was thanks to a travel series. As host of Netflix’s Down to Earth, Efron got to travel the world and see how people in other countries live healthy and sustainable lives. And while the documentary mini-series trended last year, let’s just say it wasn’t because of the nature shots.
As Efron has gotten older, his style and look have matured and changed. Gone are the days of the Disney Channel twink. On this Netflix show, Efron — with a respectable amount of facial hair — more closely resembles a rugged daddy. While all the muscles are still there, it’s the way his face has matured that got everyone hot and heavy online.
Throughout the years, we’ve seen a sexy Zac Efron evolve and grow as a media personality and as an actor. We just can’t wait to see what’s next.