What I’ve Been Looking For
Updated: Jan 20
Where the Original Cast of HSM Ended Up After Senior Year
Believe it or not, the original High School Musical (HSM) movie turned 15 years old in January and even has a spin-off series. You may be wondering what the original cast is up to now? Take a trip down the halls of East High to see where our favorite wildcats are now.
Zac Efron | Troy Bolton
Zac Efron has “bopped to the top” of the Hollywood social scene. He has over 50 entries on his IMDb since starring in the Disney Channel Original movie. These roles include Link Larkin in Hairspray (2007), young Mike O’Donnell in 17 Again (2009), the voice of Ted in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012), Philip Carlyle in The Greatest Showman (2017), and Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019).
He has several projects in the queue including a remake of Three Men and a Baby for Disney+.
In other news, Zac established a popular lifestyle YouTube Channel, is sadly still ~not~ dating Vanessa Hudgens, and may or may not have a new face.
Vanessa Hudgens | Gabriella Montez
After channeling her musical talents in HSM, Vanessa Hudgens released two albums: “V” in 2006 and “Identified” in 2008 before switching gears to acting in notable films like Beastly (2011), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), and Spring Breakers (2012). She also starred in both Grease Live! on NBC and Rent: Live on Fox in 2016 and 2019 respectively.
Currently, Hudgens just wrapped the third movie in the Princess Switch (2018) hallmark-esque saga. Due to the popularity of these films, and others like The Knight Before (2019), we can totally see Hudgens “sticking to the status quo” and making more cheesy rom coms.
On the personal front, she’s not with Efron or longtime boyfriend Austin Butler anymore, but Hudgens is dating Cole Tucker, a shortstop on the Pittsburgh Pirates, after she slid into his DMs during quarantine.
Corbin Bleu | Chad Danforth
Unlike his character, Corbin Bleu chose theater and not basketball after his days at East High.
He was in Broadway shows such as "In the Heights" (2010), "Godspell" (2012), "Holiday Inn” (2017) and a revival of "Kiss Me, Kate!" (2019). He also appeared in episodes of “Castle,” “The Good Wife,” “The Fosters,” “The Middle” and “Chicago Med.”
Unfortunately, he was only runner-up on season 17 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (DWTS), which still haunts me to this day.
Bleu also proposed to his sweetheart, Sasha Clemens, on a trip to Walt Disney World in 2014, and the couple were married two years later. It was truly “the start of something new.”
Monique Coleman | Taylor McKessie
Just like her character, Monique Coleman wanted to become a political leader and philanthropist, “right here, right now.”
Coleman was named the United Nations' first-ever Youth Champion and has also dedicated her time to Girl Up, an organization that provides young women with leadership training. She also competed on DWTS, only placing fourth, but she did earn a Daytime Emmy nomination for her talk show "Gimme Mo” in 2019.
She married longtime boyfriend Walter Jordan on Valentine’s Day in 2012. She’s also in the process of writing a children’s book and starring in a movie with Corbin Bleu!
Ashley Tisdale | Sharpay Evans
She carried on the role in a guest appearance on the “Suite Life on Deck” and lent her voice to Candace Flynn on "Phineas and Ferb." She’s also released three “fabulous” albums: “Headstrong” (2007), “Guilty Pleasure” (2009), and “Symptoms” (2019). Most recently, she took a role on Netflix’s “Merry Happy Whatever” miniseries with former Disney Channel star Bridget Mendler.
Tisdale married musician Christopher French in 2014. They just welcomed their first child, a daughter, named Jupiter Iris French in March of this year. Hudgens just got to meet her due to the pandemic, as Hudgens and Tisdale remain very close.
Lucas Grabeel | Ryan Evans
Similar to his co-stars, Lucas Grabeel didn’t “walk away” from acting after the HSM trilogy. He voiced characters in “Elena of Avalor,” "Family Guy," and “Pinky Malinky." He also played Toby Kennish on the popular ABC Family series "Switched at Birth" and competed on the Food Network's "Chopped" in 2014.
Singing is still a part of his life too; Grabeel is part of a folk-rock band called Midnight Holler and he even reprised his role as Ryan Evans in season one, episode two of HSMTMTS.
He also recently commented that if HSM was made today, he wouldn’t have accepted the role in order to give a gay actor the opportunity to play the role authentically.