Once upon a time, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, known together as Zanessa, were the golden couple. Everyone's OTP. They played Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez, the star-crossed pair who were always meant to be perfect harmony together in the High School Musical movies and knowing your fave on-screen lovebirds were together in real life was simply magic. Seriously, no one can deny just how much of an adorable love story Z & V had, and we're here to break down all the burning questions you've ever had about their relationship.
How did Zac and Vanessa meet?
As you most likely guessed, we have the lovely people of Disney Channel for bringing these two together. Zac explained to The Hollywood Reporter how his HSM audition went and that it was the moment he was paired with Vanessa that changed everything.
"My mom dropped me off out of a minivan somewhere in North Hollywood. I had no idea what to expect. There were about 40 guys. And we walked in, and [director] Kenny Ortega was there with a piano, and they put everybody in a room together, and we ran through different phases of what we would need to do -- first dancing, then singing -- and a few of us got tapped on the shoulder [to leave], and I didn't. And next came the scene-reading sections, and I got paired with Vanessa Hudgens," he explained.
And that's where the sparks flew. When some of the cast got together to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the first HSM movie, they all looked back on their scene-reading scenes and you can already see the Zanessa connection brewing. It starts at 1:03. You're welcome.
PRECIOUS LITTLE BEANS THEY WERE.
How long did Zac and Vanessa date for?
The exact timeline as to when Zac and Vanessa became official has remained a bit of a mystery, but we all know it was during the filming of the HSM movies, with the first being shot in 2005 when they started their romance. They split in 2010 after a few years of dating.
Why did Zac and Vanessa break up?
With any breakup, there really isn't a clear-cut reason as to why exactly a relationship goes down in flames. But speaking to The New York Times in 2015, the actress admitted during their romance, she let the green-eyed monster called jealousy take over a bit and she wasn't happy dealing with so many of the Baywatch hottie's adoring fans.
"I went through a phase when I was really mean because I was so fed up. Girls were running after him, and I was giving them death stares. Then I realized that’s not what that’s about. 'Spread the love, be a good person, they support you, be nice,'" she explained.
While she didn't say this was the straw that broke the camel's back exactly, it's easy to say this might've played a part in their demise.
Did Zac know things weren't going to last with Vanessa?
When Z and V first started dating, they were super young and not all teenage romances last into adulthood and well forever, although there are some that do too. While we all hoped Zanessa was endgame, Zac in 2010 (the same year they split!) said he was happy, although he didn't know what was in store for the couple.
"We've got a great thing going and it's serving me right now and we're having a lot of fun. So it's not over yet! I'm not going to speak too far down the road because I don't know what's going to happen but right now, I'm very happy," he said during an interview with Nightline.
Did Zac and Vanessa ever get engaged?
There was a rumor that circulated in 2009 that Zac had actually popped the question to V while they apparently were on a trip to Japan together, but that was never proven to be true. This said rumor came courtesy of The National Enquirer, so do with that what you will. But no, they were never engaged.
Does Vanessa have a crush on Zac?
Well, not clearly anymore but she 100% did and it's something she recently brought up! The HuffPost asked the starlet who her celebrity crush was when she was a teenager and she had no problem bringing up her ex-bae.
"Probably my boyfriend at the time. So Zac Efron!" she said.
Are Zac and Vanessa still friends?
While we want to believe all is well for Zanessa since they both are still friendly with all their former HSM co-stars — especially Vanessa and Ashley Tisdale — these two have confirmed since they've split, they 100% do not talk anymore. In 2014 when Zac spoke to THR, he said they're not in touch but he did say something short and just nice about his ex.
"She was a really interesting, sweet person," he said.
And as for Vanessa? Well, she was awkwardly asked during an Access Hollywood Live interview if she still talks to Zac and sings karaoke with him like their characters did in the first movie on that fateful New Year's Eve party.
"Oh yeah no, that's not a thing that happens. No, I completely lost contact with him," she said.
Here's the clip of the convo too, just to see it for yourselves:
@VanessaHudgens mentions how she lost contact with Zac Efron. pic.twitter.com/D512f158R7
— Team Hudgens NYC (@TeamHudgensNYC) March 22, 2017
But in 2015 when Vanessa was starring on Broadway in the show Gigi, she was asked during an interview what she remembers about her first love and while she didn't drop any names about who the guy she was talking about was, it's safe to assume she was reflecting on her romance with Zac. They had a serious relationship and were together for so long and you know, they were young actors when they got together in the first place.
"First love is so exciting, you kind of fall head over heels and it's one of those things that it becomes the most important thing in the world, that's all you think about. It's a beautiful thing. Love is wonderful," she said. So yeah, we're over here hoping she was reflecting on those Zanessa days when she answered this question!
Will Zac and Vanessa ever get back together?
Short answer: no. Like ever. They're not even friends anymore since most exes just move on and that's it, especially those in Hollywood with such high-profile love stories. Plus, Vanessa has been dating her current bae Austin Butler since 2011 and they look as happy as ever together. Proof:
Plus, she couldn't help but gush about her man at her Dog Days movie premiere and how solid their romance still is, all these years later.
"I am so stoked for him right now, and the fact that he just did Broadway for the first time [The Iceman Cometh], just did a film with Jim Jarmusch," the star told ET. "We'll always have each other's backs so it's nice." Precious.
And while Zac is currently single to our knowledge, he was in a long-term relationship with model Sami Miro before their split in 2016. And he has been linked to his Baywatch co-star Alexandra Daddario although that seemed to all just be rumors and fans' wishful thinking. The closest we'll ever get to seeing Zanessa even hanging out together again is when someone decides to work a little Photoshop magic. And hey, it caught Ashley's eye, since she took to Instagram to share a manip of her and Zanessa "reunited."
IF ONLY. But there is a little comfort knowing that Vanessa has said she has zero regrets about her time as a Wildcat, and that includes her romance with her co-star.
"[HSM] is like home videos almost for the entire world to watch, except not, because it's way more coordinated and put together more than a home video would ever be, but I'm like a baby [in it]. Everything that I've done career-wise, personal-life-wise, has gotten me to be the person that I am today and I love the person that I am today so I wouldn't change a thing. The hard things, the happy things, the fun things, everything has really molded me and I'm really grateful for all it," Vanessa explained on The Zach Sang Show.
At least we have three High School Musical movies worth of memories to look back on to relive the Zanessa days, right?