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High School Musical 3: Senior Year - Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens interview

High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ZAC Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens talk about the appeal of High School Musical and their favourite memories of the past three movies.

They also spill the beans on finally getting to kiss for the first time and how they’re coping with the massive fame and fortune that their success in the franchise has brought!

Q. Senior prom figures highly in the movie, so do you have any memories of your own senior proms?
Zac Efron: I had this brilliant idea. I had great plans to wear a vintage suit or tuxedo, and I was determined to find one. So, I went to Goodwill, and tried to find a vintage tuxedo, and it never really worked out – it looked really bad. So, it wasn’t quite as glamorous as the High School Musical prom, but it was definitely fun.

Vanessa Anne Hudgens: I was actually home-schooled, so I never had the opportunity of going to prom. No-one invited me, I didn’t have a good friend like Ashley at the time, that’s why High School Musical’s been so much fun for me because I got to experience my prom through it. There were amazing friends and I got to wear really cool dresses. It was a fantasy.

Q. What was your expectation when you embarked on the first film, and when did you realise you had a phenomenon on your hands?
Zac Efron: I think the first time any of us even slightly realised what High School Musical had become was the first international press tour. We went all through Europe and we were meeting so many fans, so many kids who were very excited to tell us how much High School Musical had influenced their lives, and how much they were connecting with it. That was something that none of us expected.

Vanessa Anne Hudgens: I came to the project just to have fun. I heard about it, I heard it was a musical, and I was really excited because I love doing musicals. So, I got together with these guys and I had the most amazing time. I never expected it to become what it is. One moment for me that was really special was when we were promoting the first movie, and we were in the middle of Times Square, and we were saying: “We’re all in this together…” And it was one of my first few times in New York, and just looking around knowing we were singing this song in the middle of Times Square was really crazy.

Q. How are you dealing with the fame and fortune it has brought you?
Vanessa Anne Hudgens: I so feel like the same girl. I’m lucky enough to have more opportunities… I get to travel, which I’ve always wanted to do. At the end of the day, I’m so lucky that I get to act, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to do that.

Q. And Zac? You’re a young man from rural America, now finding himself seemingly adored wherever you go – is that an awesome responsibility?
Zac Efron: I’m having a good time and this has been a great opportunity.

Q. What were the differences between making a TV movie and a movie for the big screen?
Zac Efron: A lot of it was the same, and that’s what we enjoyed about all the movies. Especially about 3, nothing was that different. We were all wondering if something would change, but it was very much the same. We’ve always approached making High School Musical as if we were filming it for the big screen. That’s the only way we know how to do it, so all we do every time is put forward our very best effort – and that’s what we did, we left everything we have on the dance floor.

Q. How many times did you practice the kissing scenes?
Zac Efron: I remember during the actual kiss in High School Musical 3 we were losing the light. All this time, we were building up to it – we didn’t practice – and we didn’t have much time. I think we had two takes. But it was kind of a cool moment. I have to say the kiss was well deserved this time around. I always admired Kenny [Ortega]’s restraint when it came to the kissing in High School Musical 1 and 2. It felt like we were old enough this time.

Vanessa Anne Hudgens: It was really sweet. It was just great to see the characters grow in their relationship. I think it’s a really sweet part of the movie.

Read our review of High School Musical 3