Zac Efron Reveals His First Kiss

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Ashley Tisdale “Never” Thought Zac Efron Was Hot

You could say that Zac Efron was soaring, flying when he had his first kiss.

After all, the High School Musical alum had a bird’s eye view to the ground below during the romantic milestone. As he recalled, the smooch happened while he was in a tree house.

“We played spin the bottle,” Zac shared in a W interview published on Jan. 3. “It was her birthday, and a bunch of us climbed up to the tree house. There were candles—it was pretty cool.”

Although the 36-year-old—who previously dated High School Musical castmate Vanessa Hudgens and model Sami Miro—was tight-lipped on the identity of the girl in question, he did not shy away from naming his celebrity crush.

Tia Carrere from Wayne’s World,” he told the publication. “I loved her. She just seemed like a rock star.”

Another one of Zac’s guilty pleasures growing up? Wrestling. While he and his brother Dylan Efron were banned from watching it on TV at home, he admitted that the pair “snuck it” in. 

And in a full circle moment, Zac ended up playing wrestling legend Kevin Von Erich in 2023’s The Iron Claw, allowing him to live out his boyhood dreams. For the physically demanding role, the actor had slip into some pretty skimpy wrestling suits, which he confessed “doesn’t leave much to the imagination.”

“I got pretty beat up, but you feel like a warrior,” Zac noted. “It’s kind of fun.”

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Zac added that there was plenty of joking around on the set of the biopic, including when costar Stanley Simons—who played his onscreen brother Mike Von Erich—started trolling him with High School Musical songs.

“People like to do that to mess with me. It’s pretty funny,” he recalled. “I had to stay in character while that was going on, and everybody else was just losing it. The camera was on me, and I was just trying to stay in character.”

Pointing out that the prank did “put me in Kevin’s shoes a little bit,” Zac quipped, “I felt very uncomfortable.”

To see what Zac and the rest of the High School Musical cast has been up to in recent years, keep reading.

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Zac Efron (Troy Bolton)

Professional Life: The High School Musical films made Efron an official Hollywood superstar and he landed roles in movies such as 17 AgainCharlie St. CloudThat Awkward MomentNeighbors and its sequel, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and the big screen adaptation of Baywatch, where he got to showcase his now-notoriously hot physique alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

In 2017, he returned to his musical roots (he also sang in the 2007 film Hairspray) with a role in The Greatest Showman. After playing the infamous Ted Bundy in the 2019 Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, he signed on for an adventure docus-series entitled Killing Zac Efron, that, ironically, actually almost killed him. Now, you can catch him in Iron Claw or check out his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal Life: Efron dated Vanessa Hudgens, who played his onscreen love interest Gabriella Montez, for about four years before they split in 2010. He later dated model Sam Miro between 2014 and 2016. In 2020, he began dating model Vanessa Valladares while living in Australia. They split after less than a year.

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Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez)

Professional Life: After appearing in all three High School Musical films, Hudgens went on to star in films such as Bandslam, Beastly, Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers, Machete Kills, Second Act and Bad Boys for Life.

High School Musical was a fantastic journey, but it completely derailed me from where I originally saw my career going,” Hudgens 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.”

In 2015, Hudgens made her Broadway debut in a revival of the musical Gigi. The following year, she returned to her musical roots and played Rizzo in Fox’s Grease Live! Then, in 2019, she joined Fox’s live staging of Rent. Plus, she starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s movie adaptation of Rent creator Jonathan Larson‘s autobiographical musical tick, tick…BOOM!

Personal Life: In 2011, a year after Hudgens and Zac Efron split, she began dating actor Austin Butler. The couple split in early 2020. In October 2023, she married MLB star Cole Tucker. Monique Coleman and Lucas Grabeel were in attendance.

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Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans)

Professional Life: After the High School Musical era, Tisdale continued a pop music career for a few years and enjoyed moderate success. Her album, Symptoms, was released in May 2019. She also appeared in her own straight-to-video High School Musical spinoff film Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. In 2010, she starred in the short-lived but popular cheerleader series Hellcats.

Over the years, she went on to have small roles on shows such as Sons of Anarchy and The Crazy Ones and also appeared in Scary Movie 5. Plus, she voiced Candace Flynn on the animated show Phineas and Ferb for more than a decade. And, of course, she starred as Maddie on Disney’s Suite Life. Tisdale has also added producer to her resume, executive producing the Bravo series Miss Advised and the ABC Family-turned-Freeform sitcom Young & Hungry, which ran for five seasons.

Personal Life: The actress wed Christopher French in 2014.  In September 2020, Tisdale announced she is pregnant with her first child. The duo welcomed daughter Jupiter Iris French in March 2021.

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Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans)

Professional Life: Post HSM, Grabeel played Toby Kennish on ABC Family-turned-Freeform’s Switched at Birth. He has also voiced characters on animated shows such as Family Guy, Elena of Avalor, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, Spirit Riding Free and Pinky Malinky. In 2019, he appeared as himself in Disney+’s meta-series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Personal Life: The actor has been in a relationship with actress Emily Morris for several years.

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Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth)

Professional Life: Bleu went on to star in Ashton Kutcher‘s short-lived drama series, The Beautiful Life: TBL, and played Jeffrey King on One Life to Life. He also had roles on The Good Wife, Blue BloodsCastleDrop Dead DivaThe FostersThe Middle, Chicago Med and Supergirl. In 2013, he competed on Dancing With the Stars and placed second with partner Karina Smirnoff.

Bleu made his Broadway debut in 2010 with a role in In the Heights. The following year, he appeared in a revival of Godspell and in 2016, he starred in the original musical Holiday Inn. He returned to the stage in 2019 in a revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

In December 2021, he and fellow HSM alum Monique Coleman co-starred in the Lifetime movie A Christmas Dance Reunion.

Personal Life: In 2016, he married Sasha Clements, star of the Disney Channel movie How to Build a Better Boy.

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Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie)

Professional Life: The actress went on to star on the sitcom Here We Go Again and the comedy movie We Are Family. In 2018, her online talk show Gimme Mo transitioned to TV for a brief run on Discovery Life. In December 2021, she and fellow HSM alum Corbin Bleu reunited for the Lifetime movie A Christmas Dance Reunion. She also made an appearance on the final season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

Personal Life: Though she married Walter Jordan in 2012, they ultimately divorced in 2022.

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Bart Johnson (Coach Jack Bolton)

Professional Life: The actor appeared on shows such as The Client List and NCIS: Los Angeles and the Amazon series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. He also appeared in a 2018 film adaptation of Little Women. For a while, he operated the Johnson Mill Bed & Breakfast in near Park City, Utah. 

Personal Life: The actor has been married to Robyn LivelyBlake Lively‘s sister, since 1999. They share three children.

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Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke Baylor)

Professional Life: He starred on shows such as Good Luck Charlie, The Hard Times of RJ Berger and The Fosters. In 2019, he starred in ABC’s short-lived drama Grand Hotel.

Personal Life: In 2019, he married British TV host and actress Layla Kayleigh.

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Alyson Reed (Ms. Darbus)

Professional Life: Already an established actress when HSM debuted, she later went on to star on shows like Desperate Housewives, Bones, Modern Family, Silicon Valley and the Hulu series Chance.

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Olesya Rulin (Kelsi Nielsen)

Professional Life: The Russian-American actress went on to star on shows such as Greek and the PlayStation Network’s Powers. Plus, she was featured on NCIS: Los Angeles, SEAL Team and more.

Person Life: She married entrepreneur Joseph Noel Pauline in 2021. The following year, they annoucned they had welcomed a baby girl together.

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KayCee Stroh (Martha Cox)

Professional Life: Post-HSM, she starred in The League, Shapetown, USA and Andi Mack. She also made an appearance on a 2019 episode of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series as well as 2020’s The Disney Family Singalong.

Personal Life: In 2009, she married Ben Higginson. The couple have since welcomed two daughters, Zetta Lee and Lettie Louise.

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