Just like kindergarten! High School Musical’s love story between Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez sparked an offscreen romance for the actors who played them.
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, who portrayed Troy and Gabriella in the 2008 DCOM, notably started dating shortly after filming the first movie. They called it quits two years later.
“We got lucky because we started off together, so I think people like us because they fell in love with the characters,” the Spring Breakers actress told Glamour during a June 2010 interview of her then-boyfriend. “Right off the bat, we had a connection. I think everybody could see it. When we had our audition, they paired us together. And he was adorable. I mean, he wasn’t the guy that he is today. Like, he had a gap in his teeth.”
She added: “I think that we inspire each other. [I love] having someone to grow with. … Every relationship’s all about trust.”
The That Awkward Moment star and Hudgens eventually went their separate ways in December 2010. The Beastly actress went on to date Austin Butler and Cole Tucker, while Efron has been linked to Lily Collins, Sami Miró, Sarah Bro, Halston Sage and Vanessa Valladares.
Ashley Tisdale, for her part, found love with Christopher French, whom she wed in 2018. As the former Masked Dancer judge and the composer settled into married life, they avoided reliving her turn as Sharpay Evans in HSM, High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
“I don’t watch that stuff myself and my husband really hasn’t seen that stuff either. If [our daughter is] watching with her friends one day, I might come across it. But I don’t think I would expose her to that stuff. I don’t know,” Tisdale exclusively told Us Weekly in March 2021, referring to the pair’s first child, Jupiter, who was born later that month. “Maybe when the time comes, it will be different. I want her to be really grounded and hopefully live somewhat of a normal life.”
The Frenshe founder previously forced her spouse to watch the summer-inspired sequel for the first time in December 2019.
“Does anybody know what this is? Because I’m subjecting my husband to watch it,” she captioned Instagram footage of the pair at the time. “He’s never seen any of them.”
When Tisdale asked the musician whether he’d date her famed character back in high school, he admitted, “Probably not.”
“Not your cup of tea? You were doing some other crazy stuff in high school,” the Suite Life of Zack and Cody alum responded. “Lame. He wasn’t cool enough.”
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Scroll below for more on the High School Musical cast’s dating history through the years: