Ryan Lochte may be trying to rehab his recently-tarnished image by joining the "Dancing With the Stars" ranks, but it's going to take a lot more than some fancy footwork for many people to forget his boneheaded antics down in Brazil. Perhaps loosely inspiring a comedic character can do the trick?
That just may be the case for the Olympic athlete once the big screen version of "Baywatch" hits theaters next year, with TheWrap reporting some details about Zac Efron's character that sound eerily similar to a certain silver-turned-blue-haired swimmer. Here's some intel that a source told the trade about the fictional lifeguard:
Zac Efron's character, Matt Brody, is a former U.S. Olympic swimmer, two-time gold medalist and world record holder who becomes embroiled in controversy after committing a crime.
To rehab his public image and satisfy the community service portion of his sentence, he joins the lifeguard squad — where his presence rankles the head lifeguard played by Dwayne Johnson.
Lochte and three other members of the U.S. swim team made international headlines earlier this month when they claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by men posing as police officers. Brazilian authorities investigating the allegations discovered that that never happened, and have accused Lochte and his pals of making up the story to hide the fact that they vandalized a gas station, where they were questioned by armed security guards. Authorities are considering taking legal action against the swimmers for filing a false police report.
Lochte has since lost several lucrative endorsement deals, and earned the scorn of plenty of people the world over. His "DWTS" gig appears to be a stab at regaining some public goodwill, not unlike Efron's character's attempts. Of course, all of this happened long after "Baywatch" wrapped production in June, so it would seem that the Lochte similarities are simply an oddly-timed coincidence.
"Baywatch" swims into theaters on May 19, 2017.