It’s 2006. You have on your Ugg boots and butterfly clips. You flip to Disney Channel. And suddenly…it’s “The Start of Something New.” Do you know where you are yet? High School Musical! Duh. But why did Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens breakup? The on-screen couple (Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez forever!) had incredible chemistry and killer voices. They delighted preteen fans when they started dating, but it ended in 2010 after four years.
Hudgens reflected on her relationship with Efron while on the “Awards Chatter” podcast. The 30-year-old actress explained that, overall, she is “grateful” to have dated Efron. And that it was especially beneficial to her as she learned to navigate her newfound fame. “It started off really organically,” Hudgens explained, detailing the beginning of their love. “I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time.”
The pressure from the intense popularity of High School Musical was a lot to handle, and the co-stars were able to lean on one another. “It was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me. And it’s just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well.”
Although it started strong, real-life relationships are far more complicated than Disney makes them out to be. (Sorry, Zac, but “dancing it out” didn’t really help you here).
Hudgens explained that dating her co-star and shooting three more sequels to HSM was a challenge. “I remember one time we did have a fight and it was while we were at rehearsals, and I remember Kenny Ortega coming around the corner with the most concerned look on his face like, ‘Oh no, is our movie going to fall apart?'” But luckily that was not the case. She added, “I pride myself on being a professional, so I was like that aside we are going to move forward and do what we need to do…and we sorted it all out. I think because I was so young, I think that relationship stabilized me.”
And as far as why they broke up? Well, it was a mutual decision. A source at the time of their split told E! News, “It [was] nothing dramatic. There [was] no third party involved.”