Ever since the first High School Musical movie premiered in 2006, fans have been obsessed with the Disney Channel film series. Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Gabriel, Monique Coleman and more, the musical movie — which followed the love story between a popular basketball player named Troy Bolton and a nerdy girl named Gabriella Montez — went on to spawn two sequels and, years later, a TV show.
After the final flick hit theaters in 2008, the entire cast went their separate ways and have since accomplished a lot over the years — like starring in new movies, getting married and starting families of their own. Despite their super busy lives, the HSM cast has all managed to stay pretty close! They’ve actually hung out a lot over the years, and every time they do it brings on a major wave of nostalgia.
In fact, Ashley opened up about her experience with the films during an episode of Dear Media’s “Looking Up” podcast with Dr. Deepika Chopra.
“It’s almost actually looking back on your high school years in a weird way, like high school experience twice. And just one was like super successful,” the actress explained. “It was such an innocent moment in time to where people were accepting of that type of movie. I don’t know, like I always say, I don’t know if it would work right now, you know? Cause it’s just like different time, but it’s just that cast and everything was, it’s very hard to find a project where there was a lot of innocence and a lot of people excited and passionate about what we were going to do.”Good Morning America
While appearing on Good Morning America in August 2021, Ashley even explained the difference between her character, Sharpay, and Vanessa’s character, Gabriella.
“The entire time, she was just business-driven. She just wanted to work and do the musicals,” she said. “Gabriella was off with Troy just wanting to chase a relationship.”
Monique also reflected on her time on the film’s set while chatting with Insider in January 2021. “I’m really grateful to have been someone who was able to bring representation at a time where there wasn’t very much,” she said about playing the character of Taylor, but noting that her character’s signature headband look was because “they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front.”
“We’ve grown a lot in this industry and we’ve grown a lot in representation and we’ve grown a lot in terms of understanding the needs of an African American actress,” Monique added.
To celebrate the iconic film series J-14 decided to do some investigating and find out what the High School Musical stars have been up to 15 years after the movie first premiered. Scroll through our gallery to find out!
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