He’s making a name for himself! Joshua Bassett has totally taken over Hollywood. Besides his acting career, the California native has also kicked off a successful stint in the music industry.

“People don’t realize that this is all very new to me,” the actor told GQ during a June 2021 interview. “I haven’t been in the public eye for long.”

In 2017, he made his first-ever TV appearance in an episode of Lethal Weapon. From there, he nabbed a few other guest-starring roles before appearing on Disney Channel’s Stuck in the Middle as Aidan Peters in multiple episodes throughout 2018. Nearly a year later, he would be on track to become a household name.

When news that Disney+ was turning the iconic High School Musical movies into a TV show — High School Musical: The Musical: The Series — fans wondered who would star as the Troy Bolton type. Then, they were introduced to Joshua as the character Ricky Bowen.

“Ricky is so similar to me in so many ways, so it’s always fun to live vicariously through Ricky and his story line,” he told Entertainment Weekly in May 2021. “Ricky is learning and forced to grow up this season. He could get away with running away with all of his problems in season 1, but he can’t really escape a lot of that in season 2.”

He added, “There’s so much that’s changing in his life that he’s forced to deal with, and he is just trying to stay balanced. But obviously, these challenges become growth for him.”

Similar to his HSMTMTS character, Joshua experienced a major life change throughout 2021. In January of that year, it seemed like everyone suddenly knew his name after his costar Olivia Rodrigo released the song “Drivers License,” which has been widely speculated to be about a past relationship between her and Joshua. While neither of them have ever confirmed that anything between them was romantic, the “Lie Lie Lie” crooner has spoken out about the song.

Joshua told GQ that “people don’t know anything they’re talking about” when it came to the ongoing speculation. Then, nearly a year later, he appeared to tell his side of the story by releasing three tracks: “Crisis,” “Secret” and “Set Me Free.”

“I have a right to stand up for myself,” Joshua noted in a separate GQ interview, released alongside the songs in December 2021. “I finally found the courage to speak up for myself.”

Scroll through our gallery to see Joshua’s transformation over the years. 

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