‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’ was released 12 years ago today in 2008. Let’s take a look back at how the superstar cast has changed over the years since becoming Disney legends.
High School Musical premiered on Disney Channel in 2006 and became an immediate fan favorite. But nobody knew how quickly it was going to take over the world. Three movies, a live tour, and a Disney+ series later, and the High School Musical franchise launched the careers of its amazing cast. In the 12 years since High School Musical 3: Senior Year was released, the stars of the trilogy have changed and grown as actors so much.
Zac Efron, now 33, danced on that basketball court 14 years ago as Troy Bolton and became an instant heartthrob. The end of his Disney Channel days saw Zac grow from shaggy-haired teenager Troy Bolton into a bonafide sex symbol. While Zac starred in the short-lived series Summerland before High School Musical, it was the DCOM that made him a household name. He’s starred in a wide genre of films, from blockbusters like Baywatch, comedies like Neighbors, epics like The Greatest Showman, and even had a turn as a serial killer in the drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. He recently starred in the Netflix documentary series Down to Earth with Zac Efron.
Over the years, he dated a bevy of beauties, including his co-star Vanessa Hudgens, 31,! The couple broke up in 2010, much to fans’ dismay. Zac is now dating Australian model Vanessa Valladares, 33. They met at a cafe that Vanessa was working at while Zac was in Australia and were spotted together in Sept. 2020.
Vanessa Hudgens, who played Gabriella Montez, skyrocketed to fame after High School Musical as well. She enjoyed a short-lived career as a pop star (“Sneakernight”, anyone?) and won acclaim for her role as a party girl turned criminal in Spring Breakers. More recently, she showed off her impressive singing chops in two televised musicals: Grease Live! and Rent: Live. Vanessa has become the go-to girl for holiday films. She has starred in the Netflix holiday films The Princess Switch and The Knight Before Christmas. Vanessa dated actor Austin Butler, 29, from 2011 to 2019.
The original cast of High School Musical reunited via Zoom in April 2020 to perform “We’re All In This Together.” Vanessa, Ashley Tisdale, 35, Corbin Bleu, 31, Lucas Grabeel, 35, Monique Coleman, 39, and HSM director Kenny Ortega, 70, came together to provide some joy on Disney’s Family Singalong. They were joined by the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Zac, but he did not sing the HSM hit. Click through the gallery above to check out how far the stars of High School Musical, including Zac and Vanessa, have come since their High School Musical days!