It's a tale as old as time. Bro meets bro in a sweat-drenched gym. After sizing up each other's biceps, lats, and traps like an amorous battle royale, they fall in love. The very mention of "whey" makes their knees go weak, their hearts flutter. The anticipation of "leg day" makes them swoon, as they watch each other flex in the mirror. It's a bromance built out of the desire to achieve peak physical fitness -- and it's currently the story of Zac Efron's life.
When Efron signed up for Baywatch, the big-screen adaptation, he was a mere mortal -- a handsome mortal but a mortal all the same. He could lift, to be sure, but it was nothing your average physically fit twentysomething couldn't do. However, being in the presence of a demigod like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has transformed Zefron into something more than human, something god-like. His muscles have now grown newer, stronger muscles; his abs now appear to be chiseled out of the finest spray-tanned marble.
Efron and Johnson’s bromance started on the set of Baywatch, and we've been reaping the benefits of their bro time ever since. For every minute they spend together, engaged in some sort of primal, machismo test of strength, Efron gets even more ripped -- and our thirst grows ever stronger. But where did it all begin? Our exploration of The Rock and Zefron's beautiful bromance begins here:
February 22, 2016: The Rock and Zefron lock eyes at the Baywatch cast table read. Afterwards, Efron, wearing a "BAE-WATCH" pullover, immediately hits the gym to work on his traps. "Must have bigger traps," he says with every barbell shrug.
Like a proud papa silverback, just look at this talented cool/hot #Baywatch cast.. @ilfenator, @alexannadaddario, @zacefron, @priyankachopra, @kellyrohrbach, @thejonbass and some tatted up, bald brown man with a large head. This squad has been working extremely hard for months for these roles - the time has come - we start shooting TOMORROW. Let's roll and bring the world some beach fun. #BAYWATCH #LifeguardsOnDuty #AndZacHasNiceTits😂 💯👊🏾
February 23, 2016: Efron poses alongside The Rock on their first day of filming. While their characters talk about "Alpha balls," Efron and Johnson size each other up. It's decided that intensive training will commence in the morning. The Rock will introduce Zefron to his 5,100-calorie-per-day diet. Efron will learn to like cod -- or else.
EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: #BAYWATCH Day 1. My character "Mitch Buchannon" just gave @zacefron's character "Matt Brody" the all important beach speech about what it means to have manly "Alpha balls". Zac's ad-libbed responses were brilliant! Talented and great dude. World get ready to have some fun, 'cause the beach will never be the same again. #OnSet #BAYWATCH #Day1 #AlphaBalls #NowWhoNeedsMouthToMouth?😂
Roughly one week later: Just two best bros hanging out on a boat talking Optimum Nutrition's Platinum Hydrowhey together. Nothing to see here. Move along.
March 9, 2016: The Rock and Efron, who has given himself the nickname "The Boy Wonder," decide to take their bromance to the next level with a feat of manly strength: tire flips. The Boy Wonder shows off his shiny new muscles, but he's no match for The Rock.
March 10, 2016: Zefron shows The Rock that he is worthy of his time by schooling the "sumbitch" at an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course. The Boy Wonder crushes The Rock's time. Johnson finally feels the pang of defeat -- and he decides then and there that he will never let that happen again. They best bromances always have a healthy dose of rivalry.
March 11, 2016: Next up: a good, old fashioned pull-up contest. We're talking strict pull-ups here -- no kipping, no butterfly, no using your momentum (whatever that means). It's just man and muscle. Only one thing separates The Boy Wonder from victory: himself. If these last few weeks with Johnson have taught Efron anything, it's that you don't get anywhere in life, or on a sandy beach, unless you work for it.
Unfortunately for The Boy Wonder, he tastes defeat yet again. His 99 wide-grip pull-ups fall short of Johnson's 100. This Rock, and his giant lats, can defy physics.
#BAYWATCH lifeguards are the fireman of the beach. I did 100 (over hand & wide grip) pull ups and @zacefron did 99. Valiant effort from the kid, but the OG pulled thru. For now, until he dusts me in the speed round. Us #BAYWATCH lifeguards take our jobs extremely serious and we're the best of the best. We're also slightly f*cked up and dysfunctional. #IGot99Problems #ButPullUpsAintOne #OnSet #BaywatchGauntlet #BAYWATCH MAY 2017.
March 16, 2016: Just when it looks like their bromance has ebbed, Zefron picks himself up and gets his tight ass to the gym. With every 400-pound squat he reminds himself of his potential, his strength. He proves himself by carrying a yoke, bearing two giant freezers, over a sandy beach, World's Strongest Man-style. To the side, The Rock cries a single tear, like a proud father watching his boy fly.
April 10, 2016: The Rock and The Boy Wonder take the stage at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards and engage in yet another feat of manly strength -- shirtless, obviously. OK, so maybe this hasn't happened yet, but The Rock is co-hosting this year's Movie Awards, and his bro Efron has quite the reputation to maintain...
C'mon, guys. It's a win-win for humanity!