Zac Efron attends the UK Film Premiere: High School Musical 3 at the Empire Leicester Square on October 07, in London, England.
"Oh my God, I can't believe I just did that to him," Zac said of how he felt after he saw the comments in print. "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."
Zac said he has nothing but admiration for the 35-year-old actor and uses Leo's career as a road map or sorts for his own.
"I'm rewatching Leo's transition, from my perspective," Zac told the newspaper. "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."
While he can control his career – including stepping back from the "Footloose" remake he was once attached to – Zac admits he can't do anything about the paparazzi that regularly follow him.
"I have no control over the 15 dudes outside," he said. "They can do anything they want. It's the law. Maybe you could call me paranoid, but I have become a very private person. I imagine there are people who can thrive in this scenario, who can be the center of attention, but I just get overwhelmed."