Taking a dip into the Disney dating pool. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas and plenty of other iconic ‘00s couples first found love with a little help from the Mouse.
“I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time,” Hudgens revealed of her romance with her High School Musical costar Efron on the “Always Chatter” podcast in 2019. “It was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me. And it’s just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well.”
The HSM stars — who portrayed love interests Troy and Gabriella throughout all three films — dated from 2006 to 2010 after initially meeting during auditions for the first movie in the franchise.
“He was adorable. I mean, he wasn’t the guy that he is today. Like, he had a gap in his teeth,” the Princess Switch star recalled of her first audition with the 17 Again actor in a June 2010 interview with Glamour. “[He’s] just grown-up [now]. He doesn’t have his gap anymore. I look at him, and I see a man. I think that we inspire each other. [I love] having someone to grow with.”
Several years before Zanessa (and the Jonas Brothers) took over the Disney fandom with their respective romances, there was Disney Channel icon Hilary Duff — and her relationship with Aaron Carter.
The “Aaron’s Party” rapper, who portrayed himself in a holiday episode of the first season of Lizzie McGuire, began dating the “So Yesterday” singer in 2000. The two dated on and off for three years before ultimately calling it quits in 2003. (During one of his and Duff’s splits, Carter told CNBC in 2005, he dated Lindsay Lohan.)
“I started dating Hilary [Duff] on my 13th birthday,” the “Florida” native told the outlet at the time. “I was dating her for like a year-and-a-half and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay, dating Lindsay.”
After Carter’s death in November 2022, Duff paid tribute to her ex and the time they spent together.
“For Aaron — I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world,” the How I Met Your Father star wrote via Instagram several days after the “That’s How I Beat Shaq” artist’s passing. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent … boy did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy ♥️.”
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