The TV movie series High School Musical became an unprecedented hit with sold-out concert tours, ice shows and a show at the Disney theme parks, with the franchise amassing over $ 4billion in retail sales worldwide.
The 2007 sequel set a new cable television record with 17.2million viewers tuning in, with the third and final installation High School Musical 3: Senior Year earning a staggering $ 215million at the global box office.
The popular made-for-TV movie is also responsible for launching the careers of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale to name a few.
In honor of the franchises’ big anniversary, Daily Star is taking a look at how our favorite East High School alumni have changed since they first taught us that « We’re All in This Together ».
Zac Efron (Troy Bolton)
The High School Musical films made Efron an official Hollywood superstar.
The California native, 33, who dated co-star Hudgens on-and-off following the movies, continued his career as a movie heartthrob starring in hits such as 17 Again, Charlie St Cloud, That Awkward Moment, Neighbors and the big screen adaptation of Baywatch, where he stared alongside jacked Dwayne « The Rock » Johnson.
Most recently, the hotshot actor portrayed serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile in 2019, and also served as an executive producer on the movie.
Though he has a few film projects on the way – a remake of Stephen King’s Firestarter and the survival thriller Gold – Efron has put a larger focus on his passion for the environment and sustainability, which he showcased in his 2020 Netflix travel docuseries, Down to Earth With Zac Efron.
In 2019, Zac contracted a potentially life-threatening form of typhoid or a similar bacterial infection while filming the aptly named Killing Zac Efron, but luckily recovered.
Earlier this year, Zac sparked plastic surgery rumors when he appeared on Facebook Watch.
His face appeared to be much more square and puffy – but a pal came out and said Zac hadn’t had any work done.
Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez)
Following the end of the Disney Channel franchise – which saw Hudgens star as Gabriella Montez – Hudgens took a break from her singing career to focus more on acting, starring alongside big names such as Mary-Kate Olsen in Beastly and Dwayne Johnson in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
« High School Musical was a fantastic journey, but it completely derailed me from where I originally saw my career going, » Hudgens, 32, told The Guardian in an August 2018 interview.
« I always wanted to be the indie girl; I always wanted to be in the movies where I’m playing a drug addict or a stripper or a prostitute. That was my goal since I was like, 11. »
Hudgens ultimately decided to pursue both a career in music and acting and signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records, Disney Music Group’s label, and released her gold-certified debut album, V.
She is also set to star in the film adaptation of Tick, Tick. . . Boom! later this year.
Hudgens remains good friends with High School Musical co-star Ashley Tisdale.
After splitting with co-star Zac Efron, she began dating actor Austin Butler. The couple split in early 2020 and she is now dating MLB’s Cole Tucker.
Back in 2007, a number of private images of Vanessa in lingerie and nude were stolen and shared online.
She actually apologized for the situation, while Disney had some harsh words too.
They said: « Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson. »
Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans)
Ashley Tisdale played mean girl Sharpay Evans – an attention seeking starlet who set out to ruin her talented rivals.
Her role as Sharpay earned her a spin-off movie: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.
Before High School Musical, Tisdale had already been acting in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, establishing her role as a Disney Channel favorite.
In 2008 she went on to voice the character of Candace on Phineas and Ferb and dropped two albums (in 2007 and 2009) and also released her third studio album, titled Symptoms, in May 2020.
The 36-year-old has voiced many characters on animated shows like Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch, American Dad, Ginger Snaps and more.
She tied the knot with musician Christopher French in 2014 and they welcomed their first child together in March 2021.
The actress also branched into beauty with the creation of Illuminate Cosmetics in 2016.
More recently, Tisdale starred as Jenny Kenney on the CBS sitcom Carol’s Second Act and Kayla on Netflix’s Merry Happy Whatever.
Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans)
Lucas Grabeel played the brother of Ashley Tisdale’s character Sharpay Evans.
Since the film’s release, Grabeel has voiced animated characters on shows like Family Guy, Pinky Malinky and Elena of Avalor.
The actor, who was born in Missouri, also went on to star in Freeform’s Switched at Birth.
The now 36-year-old is part of a folk-rock band called Midnight Holler and is one of the few original cast members who made an appearance in the Disney + show, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series and has been in a relationship with actress Emily Morris for several years.
Recently, Lucas admitted he wouldn’t play Ryan if the movie had been made today.
While Ryan’s sexuality wasn’t particularly touched upon, fans came to the conclusion that he was gay.
Lucas told TMZ last year: « There’s so many amazingly talented gay actors that could do it as well, so if High School Musical was made today, I don’t know if I would play Ryan.
« I would love to, but the last thing I want to do is take an opportunity away from other people.
« As a straight white man, I know that even without trying, I have taken opportunities away from other people. »
Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth)
Corbin Bleu went on to star in a number of Broadway productions following his role as Chad Danforth.
He starred in In the Heights, Godspell, Holiday Inn, and most recently in the 2019 revival of Kiss Me Kate.
He has also guest-starred on episodes of Castle, The Good Wife, The Fosters, Chicago Med and Supergirl.
Bleu also showed off his dance moves on Dancing with the Stars in 2013, where he made it to the finale.
In 2016, the actor married Sasha Clements, star of the Disney Channel movie How to Build a Better Boy.
They got engaged at Walt Disney World after meeting in a Toronto grocery store in 2011.
Aside from acting, Corbin tried his hand at music releasing two albums – Another Side in 2007, and Speed of Light in 2009.
He also released a handful of singles, but none managed to make it into the Top 10 in the US charts.
Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie)
Monique played brainiac with a heart Taylor in High School Musical, who was always there for Gabriella.
Like her co-star Bleu, Coleman also laced up her dancing shoes to compete on Dancing with the Stars in 2006, though she came in fourth place in the competition.
Coleman has made a few guest appearances on shows such as Bones and Stitchers.
She also created an online platform called Gimme Mo ‘to inspire and motivate today’s youth, and she has since become the first-ever UN Youth Champion for her efforts.
In 2010, she was named the UN’s first ever Youth Champion.
In 2012, she married her husband, Walter Jordan, in Thailand on Valentine’s Day.
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