It seems like only yesterday that the cast of teen starlets was dancing on the basketball courts on the Disney channel and singing along to songs that would become hits. However, the first High School Musical film officially premiered on the Disney channel over ten years ago — that's right, over a decade ago. Since all the cast members are still fairly young today, it's tough to believe that's how much time has passed. However, if you ever revisit the movie, you can tell that many of them look very, very different than they do today — those awkward tween and teen years aren't kind to anyone, not even movie stars.
Now, many of the main cast members had tons of fans who thought they were dreamy then, but that's nothing compared to the legions of fans obsessed with some of the former High School Musical stars today. Zac Efron is probably the biggest star to come out of that franchise — and we dare anyone to see Baywatch and not develop at least a tiny bit of a crush on his sculpted physique — but many of the other stars have gone on to have somewhat successful careers.
Here are what some of your favorite High School Musical stars look like today, and what they've been up to.
15 Zac Efron (Troy Bolton), Who Certainly Got Fitter
Okay, unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, chances are you've seen Zac Efron in at least one project over the years. Besides the Baywatch reboot, where he gave Dwayne Johnson a run for his money with his sculpted abs, he's appeared in everything from comedies to romance flicks, including 17 Again and The Lucky One. He dated his former co-star Vanessa Hudgens for a while, although it didn't work out in the long run, and is basically just living his best Hollywood life. He most recently starred alongside Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman, proving he truly does have some pretty insane range as an actor. We're not sure what his plan is in the long run, but we can't wait to see what he does next.
14 Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez), Who Waffles Between Acting And Singing To This Day
Vanessa Hudgens is perhaps the only cast member who can compete in the 'who's the bigger movie star now' game with Zac Efron — she's certainly had a busy decade since the Disney movie wrapped. Hudgens wasn't about to get typecast as a sweet as pie starlet, so she took on roles in edgier flicks, such as Spring Breakers. She also wasn't about to hang up her microphone and has been working on her music career, releasing singles as well as collaborating with other artists on their songs. Oh, and she's definitely one of the unofficial queens of Coachella — who would have thought the young girl in pastel clothes and ballet flats would end up being one of Hollywood's bohemian style queens? We can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for next festival season.
13 Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans), Who Is Well On Her Way To Becoming A Lifestyle Queen
Tisdale played everyone's favorite spoiled princess Sharpay for quite some time — in addition to appearing in all three of the movies, she starred in a spin-off, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure. Then, she stuck in her Disney comfort zone for a while, appearing on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody as well as doing voiceover work for Phineas and Ferb. Since then, she's been mixing it up a little, appearing in a project every now and then but predominantly focusing on building a lifestyle empire. She hasn't quite reached superstardom on that front, but who knows — perhaps she'll eventually figure out the winning formula and be the next big figure in blogging. The problem is, she has to earn more fans than her former High School Musical fangirls to make it a big success.
12 Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans), Who Is Looking A Lot Suaver These Days
We can't imagine it was easy to play the brother of a character as out there as Sharpay, but Lucas Grabeel did so in style. Since his time with Disney channel ended, Grabeel has been working consistently — although he's not quite an A-Lister yet. He played the role of Toby Kennish on the drama Switched at Birth, and also apparently founded a production company where he's hard at work writing, directing and producing short films. Grabeel is still quite young, so who knows — perhaps he'll end up becoming a huge A-list star yet, and all his former Disney fans can remember back when he was just a teen in a series of over the top hats (seriously, his character wore a lot of hats — was that really such a trend back in the mid '00s?)
11 Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth), Who Turned Into A Major Heartthrob
Okay, first thing's first — we just have to admit, Corbin Bleu definitely experienced a major glow up. He was a cutie back in his younger years, but now he's a straight up heartthrob who we could easily see starring as the romantic lead in any major movie. Since the show wrapped, he's been busy — he competed on Dancing with the Stars, he's gotten roles in several movies, appeared in the online revival of a soap opera, and has even spent some time on Broadway. Oh, and he's also been trying to make his music career happen. There's no question that he's a majorly talented guy, and the sky's the limit — it's just a matter of him selecting which career path he wants to pursue, or whether he wants to try to conquer the entire entertainment industry!
10 Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie), Who Is Still Totally Fierce
Okay, sit down and prepare yourself, because Monique Coleman's journey over the past decade has definitely been inspiring. Like many of her former Disney cast mates, once the High School Musical franchise wrapped, she appeared in a few other Disney projects, as well as on a few other shows, including Bones. However, she decided to press pause on her acting career for a while and focus her efforts on philanthropy — and she ended up creating a platform designed to inspire youths called Gimme Mo'. And it wasn't just a vanity project — Gimme Mo' was so popular that Coleman was actually given the title of U.N. Youth Champion — the first person to ever receive that title! She's been getting her feet wet in the acting world again lately, but we wouldn't mind if she completely used her powers for philanthropy. How inspiring!
9 Bart Johnson (Coach Jack Bolton), Who Definitely Has The Smouldering Thing Mastered
Unlike most of the stars of the series, Bart Johnson was an adult when the Disney franchise started — and he's in his '40s now, if you can believe it! Besides playing Coach Bolton on the Disney channel, Johnson is best known for an entirely more risque project — a recurring role on The Client List. He's actually married to Blake Lively's half-sister, an actress named Robyn Lively, and when he's not dabbling in the entertainment industry, he's the owner of a bed and breakfast. We're totally serious — the man owns a small luxury B&B called the Johnson Mill Bed & Breakfast in Midway, Utah. Sounds like a pretty idyllic life — and if he ever decides that the hustle and bustle of Hollywood gets to be too much, that's a pretty solid back up plan.
8 Alyson Reed (Ms. Darbus), Teacher Extraordinaire
Many actors and actresses who have to dance on screen are just actors and actresses who learned some choreography — Alyson Reed is in an entirely different ballpark. She got her start on Broadway, dancing up a storm in a variety of productions. And, that's not all — in addition to her Broadway career, she's appeared on television shows including Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Mad Men, Modern Family, Desperate Housewives, Frasier and more. Talk about an inspiration! We can't wait to see what roles she decides to tackle next — she can sing, she can dance, she can act, she's definitely a triple threat! At 60, you might assume she'd be looking to hang up her hat and slow down a bit, but it seems that her career is thriving even more than ever.
7 Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke Baylor), Who Also Turned Into A Total Babe
Okay, we have to admit — Chris Warren Jr. Is one of those actors who makes us wonder — exactly how is he supporting himself? Despite his young age, he actually had a fair bit of success before appearing on the Disney Channel, with a four-episode soap opera arc and a few small film roles to his name. Since the Disney franchise wrapped, he's appeared in a few small projects here and there, including an episode of The Inbetweeners, two episodes of Good Luck Charlie, and an eight-episode arc on The Fosters. He's still not even 30, so he has plenty of time to find the perfect project — there are many actors who don't even make it until their 30s or even 40s, so we're excited to see what he's up to next.
6 Olesya Rulin (Kelsi Nielsen), Queen Of The Glow Up
Okay, Olesya Rulin was definitely cute when she was on the Disney channel, but who knew she would have such an insane glow up? She is officially a total bombshell today, and at 31, is a bit older than many of her former castmates. She's definitely not a household name yet, but she's had several roles in both film and television over the years. In addition to acting, Rulin can play the piano and speak fluent Russian — she may not have gotten many meaty roles yet, but she would literally be the perfect person to play some incredible, powerful Russian action star. If Alicia Vikander can become Lara Croft, who's to say that Olesya Rulin can't play another powerful female figure in a major action franchise? Hollywood, make it happen!
5 Ryne Sanborn (Jason Cross), Who Went From The Basketball Court To The Hockey Rink
If you've been wondering why on earth you haven't seen Ryne Sanborn in any film projects, it's not because you just missed them — it's because he left the entertainment industry after his Disney days. The third High School Musical flick was his last film credit ever, and he went on to get a degree in architecture and now lives in his home state of Utah. He loves to play hockey, and the few pictures that have surfaced of him in his older years usually involve hockey gear of some sort, and from what the world knows, he's working as an architect. Who would have guessed? It's always fun to see which child stars decide to leave the entertainment industry altogether and go on to live regular lives.
4 KayCee Stroh (Martha Cox), Who Looks Way More Glam Nowadays
Stroh was one of the few cast members on the show who was a trained dancer before ever taking part in the Disney franchise — in fact, her two older sisters were dancers as well! Shortly after the movie left, Stroh ended up marrying her hubby Ben Higginson, and almost all her former castmates were in attendance at the ceremony. She's now a mom of two adorable baby girls and has been busy with her growing family. Stroh is also passionate about charity work and has been involved with several organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. We're not sure what her long-term aspirations are, if she's planning to return to Hollywood once her daughters are a bit older or if she's looking to step behind the camera, but we can't wait to see.
3 Jemma McKenzie-Brown (Tiara Gold), Who Continued In The Music Industry
Okay, if you only ever saw the first film, you'll have no clue who this is, but most true High School Musical fans will recognize Jemma McKenzie-Brown, who played the character of Tiara Gold. The British star is still only 23 years old, if you can believe it, and seems to be figuring out exactly what she wants to do. She's stepped away from the world of acting and is instead opting to pursue a music career — she's actually entered herself in the New Blood Competition at the Isle of Wight Festival in the UK, so we've got our fingers crossed for her! We hope she manages to reach her musical dreams and start putting out hit after hit that charts around the world — she's got a great voice, so why not?
2 Jessica Tuck (Mrs. Evans), Who Got Way Chicer
Unlike many of her former co-stars on the Disney channel, who didn't break into the acting world until the '00s, Jessica Tuck has been in the industry since the '80s. She's got quite a few successful roles under her belt, including Megan Gordon Harrison on the soap opera One Life to Live, Gillian Gray on the television drama Judging Amy, and Nan Flanagan on the spicy HBO hit True Blood. A new generation of fans got to meet her as Sharpay and Ryan's mom, Mrs. Evans. Tuck's career shows no signs of slowing down, and given how fantastic she looks for her age (would you ever guess she's in her mid-50s?) we have a feeling she'll be around for quite some time. Although we're not sure she'll ever return to the Disney channel.
1 Matt Prokop (Jimmie Zara), Who Recently Split From Longtime Girlfriend Sarah Hyland
While he did appear in the High School Musical films, and in another made for television movie, Geek Charming, Matt Prokop is likely best known as the guy Modern Family superstar Sarah Hyland dated for so many years. The two actually met on the set of Geek Charming and seemed like an adorable couple — that is, until Hyland ended up getting a domestic violence temporary restraining order against Prokop and sharing that her time with Prokop certainly wasn't idyllic. Prokop hasn't gotten any new roles since 2013, so to be perfectly honest, we're not really sure what he's up to. We're just happy that Hyland seems to be in a healthy relationship now. Perhaps Prokop has decided that the world of Hollywood just isn't for him and that he's going to pursue other career options.