After making guest appearances on shows like “ER” and “CSI: Miami” in the early 2000s, Zac Efron broke out with a recurring role as Cameron in the sitcom “Summerland” and hasn’t looked back since.
Although Efron had already had some acting success by this point, his big break hadn’t quite come yet.
The part of Troy Bolton in “High School Musical,” released on the Disney Channel the year after “Summerland” ended production, rocketed Efron to popularity and permanently altered the trajectory of his career.
In addition to Efron, the film’s cast included other young actors like Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman, all of whom played students at East High School.
Insider claims that the actors who played 16- and 17-year-olds in the film were actually as old as 25, including Coleman, who played Taylor McKessie. The original “High School Musical” film had Efron play a character named Troy Bolton, who was meant to be around 16 or 17, but was actually older.
When Asked About His Role as Troy Bolton, Zac Efron Claims He was “Just a Kid.”
When Zac Efron played Troy Bolton, a high school basketball star and musical performer, in Disney’s “High School Musical,” he was only a year or two older than the character he portrayed.
Insider reports that Efron was 18 years old when he portrayed the character of Troy Bolton in the first film in the “High School Musical” franchise.
When asked about his “HSM” dance moves and his plans to go film school when he was cast, Efron joked about both in a 2019 interview with BBC Radio 1.
“The ‘High School Musical’ films left me feeling awkward because I couldn’t follow the dance routines. The truth is that I was simply a random kid off the street “Says Efron.
There I was, a struggling actor living in a studio apartment and dreaming of a career in movies when the role came in. Rather than really going to school, Efron and his co-stars would become famous around the world after starring in this Disney film series.
The High School Musical Series has Generated Over $1 Billion Worldwide.
According to Vox, the Disney Channel’s “High School Musical” aired in 2006 to an audience of about 8 million people, making it the channel’s most successful film to that point. Variety stated that within five years of the initial film’s release, the “HSM” franchise had garnered a total of $4 billion internationally thanks to the success of the film, its soundtrack, and retail sales.
According to Insider, Zac Efron was only 18 years old when he starred in the first “HSM” film, and by the time the third film in the trilogy was finished in 2009, he was ready to launch a career outside of Disney.
As a result of his subsequent success in films like “17 Again,” “Baywatch,” and “The Greatest Showman,” Efron is now widely recognised as a gifted and financially secure actor. According to an article published by HuffPost on February 9, he will next appear in “Firestarter,” an adaptation of a novel by Stephen King.
Since leaving the role of Troy Bolton, Efron has gone from a promising teen actor to one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men.