pregnancy

A pregnancy and an Aussie girlfriend: What the cast of High School Musical are up to now.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years since High School Musical first graced our screens in 2016 and we all collectively fell in love with a boy named Troy Bolton.

Back then the walls of our bedroom were plastered with posters of Zac Efron, who we hardcore shipped with Vanessa Hudgens before shipping was even a thing.

The hit Disney Channel movie followed the story of two high school students, Gabrielle and Troy, who came from two completely different worlds but decide to go against the status quo and audition for their school’s musical. At the time, it was a pretty scandalous thing to do. And our young minds loved every minute of it.

The film quickly became a phenomenon and inspired two additional movies, a live musical and, most recently, a TV series on Disney Plus.

Now, 14 years on from the franchise that launched the cast into fame, we look at where they are now. 

Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez)

Vanessa Hudgens
Image: Disney/Instagram: @vanessahudgens

She may have broken up with long-time boyfriend Austin Butler earlier this year, but Vanessa Hudgens' career has never missed a beat since High School Musical. 

After playing Gabriella Montez in all three HSM films, Hudgens decided on a change of pace and began starring in films like Sucker Punch, Spring Breakers and Machete Kills.

"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 2018.

"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 eventually channelled her inner Gabriella and made her Broadway debut in the musical Gigi.

ADVERTISEMENT

The following year in 2016, Hudgens landed the role of Rizzo in Grease Live! but hours before the live production, Hudgens shared that her father, Greg, had passed away at age 65 from stage 4 cancer. "Tonight, I do the show in his honour," she tweeted at the time.

These days, the 31-year-old has been busy playing the roles of Stacy and Margaret in Netflix's Christmas special The Princess Switch and Brooke in The Knight Before Christmas. 

Zac Efron (Troy Bolton)

Zac Efron
Image: Disney/Getty

Ever since his High School Musical days, Zac Efron seems to be everywhere we look (and we're not complaining).

Now that the 32-year-old is living down under in NSW coastal town, Byron Bay, us Aussies have been getting a good dose of everything Efron. And, it doesn't look like that will end anytime soon.

Last month, he cancelled his return ticket to the US and extended his Australian visa from three to 12 months. 

And, we have a sneaking suspicion as to why that could be...

In July, Efron met 25-year-old local, Vanessa Valladares, who worked as a waitress at the Byron Bay General Store, one of the town's most iconic cafes. Since then, the pair have reportedly been seeing each other. 

Yes, that's right. An Aussie local may have bagged international movie star Zac Efron, and we are absolutely jealous.

Aside from his love life, Efron has continued his stellar acting career, starring in lead roles for 17 Again and Hairspray.

Throughout the years, the actor worked his way up from romantic dramas like Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One to comedies like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Baywatch. 

ADVERTISEMENT

More recently, Efron showed off his Troy Bolton singing skills in The Greatest Showman. Oh, and he played infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. 

Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans)

Ashley Tisdale
Image: Disney/Instagram: @ashleytisdale

Just like her character Sharpay, Ashley Tisdale's life has been anything but dull.

After High School Musical, Tisdale went on to voice Candace Flynn on the animated show Phineas and Ferb for more than a decade. She's also made on-screen appearances in Sons of Anarchy, The Crazy Ones and Scary Movie 5.  More recently, Tisdale starred in the CBS sitcom Carol's Second Act and Netflix's Merry Happy Whatever.

Outside of acting, she is the CEO of her own makeup company, Illuminate Cosmetics, which she launched in 2016.

Despite her bustling beauty career, Tisdale is still making music and released her third album Symptoms last year. Before releasing her album, Tisdale teamed up with her on-screen rival Gabriella (aka Vanessa Hudgens) to perform a song on her YouTube channel. 

On Thursday, Tisdale, now 35, announced she was expecting her first child with husband, Christopher French, 38. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The pair shared the news days after celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary.

Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans)

Lucas Grabeel
Image: Disney/Getty

After bopping his way to the top in High School Musical, Lucas Grabeel has continued to use his voice to make a living... but it's not how you think.

The 35-year-old has become a voice actor, playing a number of characters on Family Guy and a cartoon hotdog on the Nickelodeon show, Pinky Malinky.

14 years on, Grabeel's High School Musical days aren't over yet. He's returned to play himself for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and has also reunited with his on-screen sister Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) for a special performance of 'What I've Been Looking For'.

Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie)

Monique Coleman
Image: Disney/Instagram: @_moniquecoleman
ADVERTISEMENT

After playing Gabriella's best friend and president of the scholastic decathlon team in High School Musical, Monique Coleman has gone on to become a youth activist.

The 39-year-old was named the United Nations' first-ever Youth Champion for her work in improving the lives of young people. Coleman also launched a talk show, Gimme Mo, where she discusses issues affecting young people like homelessness, low self-esteem and bullying.

Outside of activism, Coleman has stared in the sitcom Here We Go Again and even competed on Dancing With The Stars, where she finished in fourth place. In 2020, she married former basketball player Walter Jordan.

Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth)

corbin bleu
Image: Disney/Getty
ADVERTISEMENT

Everyone's favourite wildcat has kept himself pretty busy after his High School Musical days. Bleu starred in Ashton Kutcher's drama series The Beautiful Life: TBL as well as One Life to Life, In the Heights and Godspell.

He's also made appearances in TV shows like The Good Wife, Castle and The Fosters - just to name a few. And just last year, Bleu returned to Broadway in a revival of Kiss Me, Kate!

The 30-year-old actor also competed in season 17 of Dancing With the Stars, finishing in second place.

In 2016, Bleu married fellow Disney actress Sasha Clements, who starred in the movie How to Build a Better Boy.

Olesya Rulin (Kelsi Nielsen)

Olesya Rulin
Image: Disney/Instagram: @olesyarulin

Like her character Kelsi, Olesya Rulin has mostly stayed out of the spotlight.

Rulin starred in the movie Devious Nanny and has also made appearances in TV shows like NCIS, The Mentalist and Family Guy. 

The 33-year-old also runs a lifestyle blog where she writes about wellness, beauty and fashion.

Feature Image: Disney Channel. 

Who was your favourite character from High School Musical? Let us know in the comments below.

This post was originally published on January 25, 2020, and updated on 18 September, 2020.


Sign up for our weekly "TV and Movies" newsletter. Every week, our Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik gives you a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews.


00:00 / ???