Over the years, there has been much speculation about Zac Efron's jawline, particularly sparked by his appearance in an April 2021 Facebook Watch video with Bill Nye. However, it wasn't until 2022 that the "High School Musical" star addressed these changes. Recently, as he promoted his movie "Iron Claw," where he portrayed pro-wrestler Kevin Von Erich, fans have once again been curious about his appearance. The film was made available for streaming on Max in May 2024.

Efron, now 36, underwent significant physical changes for "Iron Claw," notably gaining 15 pounds of muscle. In an interview with Variety, he discussed his recent transformations, including comments about his jawline.

Zac Efron's 'Iron Claw' transformation

Apart from adopting an '80s style, including a bowl cut and short shorts for wrestling scenes, Zac Efron also underwent a significant physical transformation for his role in "Iron Claw."

He discussed his rigorous preparation in an interview with Variety, revealing, “That necessity to be perfect — it became an obsession. It was a singular focus for months. And your life goes out the window during prep.” His training regimen involved hours of volume training, old-school bodybuilding techniques, and Olympic lifting to achieve the specific muscular look of professional wrestlers.

Zac Efron and the cast of "Iron Claw."Eric Chakeen / A24

Zac Efron opened up about the challenges he faced while bulking up for "Iron Claw." He admitted that carrying all the extra weight made him feel out of sorts, and the muscle soreness was intense. During his preparation, he found himself withdrawing from social interactions due to the physical demands.

Despite these challenges, Efron made sure to prioritize his overall health and well-being. Reflecting on his past experiences, particularly during "Baywatch," he emphasized the importance of not sacrificing real health for a desired appearance on camera. He mentioned learning from those experiences and asking the right questions to ensure a balanced approach to his physical transformation for "Iron Claw."

The transformation Zac Efron underwent for "Iron Claw" left him looking like a completely different person, as he mentioned during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the movie's Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 11.

He described the process of putting together the look piece by piece, combining elements like the wig, clothes, and sets to capture the essence of the Von Erichs. Efron noted that individually, these components might seem ridiculous, but together, they created the desired effect under the lights in the wrestling ring, achieving their goal and adding depth to the film.

Efron's physical transformation was so impressive that his co-star Jeremy Allen White, playing Von Erich's brother Kerry, joked about feeling hopeless about his own physique in comparison, expressing this sentiment to Variety at the premiere.

Reflecting on the intense physical preparation for the role, Efron mentioned in a Dec. 20 interview on YEPPOST that it required a lot of work, but the payoff was worth it, emphasizing the impact of the changes to his appearance on the overall portrayal in the film.

Why does Zac Efron look different?

Zac Efron's appearance while promoting his film "The Iron Claw" has sparked speculation due to both his physical transformation for the role and an incident from several years ago that affected his face.

In preparation for "The Iron Claw," Efron significantly bulked up his muscles. However, social media users have also noted changes in his jawline, which they claim appears squarer compared to before.

On platforms like TikTok, users have shared before-and-after comparisons of Efron's jawline, leading to questions and speculations about whether he underwent jaw surgery due to cosmetic reasons or as a result of a severe car accident.

The speculation around Efron's jawline began in April 2021 when fans noticed the difference in his appearance during a Facebook Watch video with Bill Nye.

Efron clarified the situation in a 2022 interview with Men’s Health, where he revealed that he had injured his face several years ago. The injury required extensive medical treatment and physical therapy, ultimately leading to the changes in his jawline that fans have noticed.

Did Zac Efron get plastic surgery?

Zac Efron has directly addressed fan speculation regarding his jawline, clarifying that it wasn't due to cosmetic surgery but rather a result of a serious injury.

In his 2022 interview with Men's Health, Efron shared that a severe injury had caused his chin to hang off his face, necessitating extensive physical therapy. However, while filming his Netflix series “Down to Earth with Zac Efron” in Australia, he had to pause his therapy, leading to certain muscles in his face, particularly the masseter muscles, becoming enlarged as they compensated for the others still in recovery.

"The masseters just grew," he explained to Men’s Health. "They just got really, really big."

The masseter muscles play a role in chewing and eating, running from the temporal bone to the lower jaw. This enlargement was a natural response to the injury and subsequent therapy, rather than a result of cosmetic procedures.

How did Zac Efron shatter his jaw?

Zac Efron's jaw injury occurred several years ago in a rather unexpected manner. According to Men's Health, the actor slipped while running through his house with socks on and collided with the corner of a granite fountain. The impact was severe enough to render him unconscious, and upon regaining consciousness, he found that his chin bone was dislodged from his face.

In a September 2022 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Efron humorously mentioned that the accident was nearly fatal, stating, “It was funny. It sucks. I almost died, but we’re good.”

Back in 2013, E! News reported that Efron had fractured his jaw after slipping on a puddle of water near the entrance of his home. The injury not only led to a broken jaw but also required his mouth to be wired shut. Additionally, he sustained a gash that needed stitches as a result of the fall.