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"High School Musical" came out in 2006 and the stars have since starred in movies and shows.
Zac Efron is a bona fide film star now and played Ted Bundy in a 2019 Netflix movie.
Vanessa Hudgens starred in the 2020 Netflix rom-com "The Princess Switch: Switched Again."
On January 20, 2006, Disney Channel premiered "High School Musical." The movie centered on a jock (played by then-unknown Zac Efron) falling in love with a shy, book-smart girl named Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and shaking up the norms amid auditions for the school's musical.
Catchy tracks and perfectly synchronized choreography resulted in the film being viewed by millions of people nationwide, and the soundtrack became the top-selling album of 2006. The success also led to two sequels and a new Disney Plus series called "High School Musical: The Musical" with a new generation of actors.
Keep reading to see what the cast has been up to in the 15 years since "HSM" was released.
Zac Efron starred as Troy Bolton.
He was the most popular guy at East High, equally talented at singing and playing basketball. Troy fell in love with Gabriella after meeting her at a ski resort and reluctantly being paired up for karaoke.
Efron stars on a travel series for Netflix titled "Down to Earth With Zac Efron."
Since "HSM," Efron showed off his smooth moves as Link Larkin in the 2007 movie "Hairspray." He also led R-rated films like "That Awkward Moment," "Neighbors," "Dirty Grandpa," "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," and "Baywatch."
In December 2017, the actor starred in "The Greatest Showman" alongside Zendaya and Hugh Jackman. The actor also voiced the character Gary on the animated Facebook Watch series "Human Discoveries."
He played real-life serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix's 2019 movie "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile."
Gabriella Montez was portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens.
Gabriella was one of the smartest students in her class. She was shy, but showcased her fun side whenever she took the stage for a performance.
Hudgens has made a name for herself as both an actress and singer.
She hit Broadway with the titular role in the musical "Gigi," which ran for a few months in 2015. The actress also sang and danced as Rizzo in "Grease Live!," starred on the short-lived NBC sitcom "Powerless," and was a judge on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."
These days, Hudgens is keeping busy on-screen and off-screen. She appeared on the big screen in two films released in 2018, "Dog Days" with Nina Dobrev and "Second Act" with Jennifer Lopez, and starred in the Netflix thriller "Polar."
She also played Maureen Johnson in Fox's "Rent: Live."
Hudgens played two roles in the Netflix Christmas movie "The Princess Switch." In the 2020 sequel titled "The Princess Switch: Switched Again," the actress portrayed three different characters. She starred in another holiday movie for the streaming service called "The Knight Before Christmas."
Ashley Tisdale played mean girl Sharpay Evans.
Sharpay loved attention, and didn't appreciate people who were also gifted performers.
Ashley Tisdale is now an actress, singer, beauty founder, and executive producer.
Prior to "HSM," Tisdale was already Disney Channel royalty for her role as Maddie on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." She continued playing the Tipton hotel's candy counter girl until the show ended in 2008 and voiced the character Candace on "Phineas and Ferb."
The singer dropped two albums (in 2007 and 2009), and also released her third studio album, titled "Symptoms," in May 2020.
The actress also branched into beauty with the creation of Illuminate Cosmetics in 2016.
More recently, Tisdale starred as Jenny Kenney on the CBS sitcom "Carol's Second Act" and Kayla on Netflix's "Merry Happy Whatever."
Lucas Grabeel played Sharpay's brother, Ryan Evans.
He was constantly forced to participate in schemes with his fraternal sister. But Chad gained a newfound sense of respect for Ryan after they danced to a baseball-themed routine in the sequel.
After "HSM," Grabeel went on to voice characters on popular TV shows.
You might have recognized the actor's voice on shows like "Elena of Avalor" and "Family Guy." He also voiced a hot dog on the Nickelodeon and Netflix show "Pinky Malinky."
Additionally, he starred as Toby Kennish on the drama series "Switched at Birth" and competed on the Food Network's "Chopped" in 2014.
Acting aside, Grabeel is part of a folk-rock band called Midnight Holler.
When Grabeel teamed up with Tisdale in 2017 to sing "What I've Been Looking For" (popularized by the first "HSM" film) the former costars revealed a surprising detail about their relationship.
"We were not close," Tisdale recalled. "We were not good friends, let's be honest."
Grabeel added that they "didn't get off on the best foot," but nowadays they love each other.
Troy's wingman, Chad Danforth, was played by Corbin Bleu.
"I kept the one that said, 'I worship waffles,'" he added.
Bleu went on to become a Broadway star.
He starred in productions of "In the Heights," "Godspell," and "Holiday Inn." Bleu returned to Broadway in a 2019 revival of "Kiss Me, Kate!"
The actor was also the runner-up on season 17 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and released two albums.
He guest-starred on episodes of "Castle," "The Good Wife," "The Fosters," "Chicago Med," and "Supergirl."
In 2016, Bleu married actress Sasha Clements.
Monique Coleman starred as Taylor McKessie.
Taylor was the leader of East High's scholastic decathlon team and selected as the activities coordinator at Lava Springs.
Coleman now uses her platform to empower others.
Aside from her Instagram being filled with inspirational messages, Coleman was named the United Nations' first-ever "Youth Champion" for her efforts to improve the lives of young people.
She is also a "Champion" for Girl Up, an organization that strives to help young women become leaders.
Like Bleu, the actress competed on "DWTS." She participated in 2006 and finished in fourth place. Coleman still remains good friends with Bleu and sat down to interview him for an episode of her talk show, "Gimme Mo." The actress also scored a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2019 for hosting "Gimme Mo."
Speaking to Insider for the 15th anniversary of "HSM," Coleman said that she "went years without working" afterward and "really struggled to kind of find my voice as an artist."
She found fulfillment and purpose through philanthropy and Gimme Mo Youth, which began as a non-profit but now extends to all facets of empowering young people.
Coleman said that her faith and turning to philanthropy helped to "ground" her and make her feel like she did "something that mattered" outside of her job as an entertainer.
In her personal life, she got married to Walter Jordan in 2012, lived in New York, and "recognized that I still want to make sure to achieve the dreams that I have as an artist."
Coleman will continue to empower youths through a children's book that she has in the works. She also wants to play a superhero (like DC Comics' Vixen or Bumblebee) "more than anything."
"Ever since 'Black Panther,' I've finally been able to really see a place for myself and not necessarily in that franchise, but just in general, that there's so much room for more faces," Coleman said. "And I deeply want to be one of them and tell some really cool story."
Songwriter and pianist Kelsi Nielsen was played by Olesya Rulin.
She wrote the song "You Are the Music in Me" for Troy and Gabriella.
Rulin runs a blog where she answers questions from fans, shares wellness and beauty tips, and writes about fashion.
Most recently, the actress starred in the TV movie "Devious Nanny." She also appeared on shows like "SEAL Team," "The Night Shift," "NCIS," and "The Mentalist."
She's quite close with Coleman and thanked her for "cheering me on and making me see my own potential. All while helping young people around the world achieve their dreams."
Read the original article on Insider