'Neighbors' Zac Efron is no longer close with ex Vanessa Hudgens

zac-efron-the-hollywood-reporter.jpegZac Efron had a difficult 2013, but 2014 is already starting off on a better foot. Not only is he sober, but his new movie "Neighbors" is shaping up to be one of the bigger comedies of the year.

The "High School Musical" alum is using his newly centered self to reflect on hardships in his life.  The Hollywood Reporter delves into the creation of an adult Efron, and how his work ethic differs from his partying peers. It also looks back on his "High School Musical" life and pairing with Vanessa Hudgens, who Efron is no longer in close contact with. "She was a really interesting, sweet person," Efron says.

During the interview, Efron discusses a recent fight he had with a homeless man in Skid Row.

"We were having trouble finding somewhere -- a lot of places were closed -- and the car ran out of gas off the 110. It was ridiculous. We had to pull over, and I called Uber," Efron says. "A homeless guy, or vagrant, tapped on the driver's-side window. Before I knew it, he [the friend] was out of the car, and they started fighting. I saw that [the homeless man] was carrying some sort of a knife, or shank, and I got out of the car to disarm him. At some point, he dropped the knife, and I got hit pretty hard in the face -- and almost instantly the police were there to break up the fight."

Efron also opens up about his decision to join Alcoholics Anonymous.

"I was drinking a lot, way too much. It was never one specific thing. I mean, you're in your 20s, single, going through life in Hollywood, you know? Everything is thrown at you. I wouldn't take anything back; I needed to learn everything I did. But it was an interesting journey, to say the least," he says. "I just started going [to AA]. And I think it's changed my life. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. Things are so much easier now. It's a never-ending struggle."

"I'm constantly searching for characters that are about betterment of self and betterment of others," Efron notes. "And I'm searching for those parts because those are the ones that make me happy. They're the ones that fulfill me personally."

"Neighbors" hits theaters on May 9.
Photo/Video credit: The Hollywood Reporter