It’s Here! Wildcat Graduation

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High School Musical 3: Senior Year is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Check out some interviews from Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron below as well as a behind the scenes clip. Be sure to pick up your copy today!

ASHLEY TISDALE Q+A

The High School Musical 3 cutie on shopping, singing and Sharpay…

You dance, sing and act in High School Musical 3 – but which of the three do you prefer?

I’m definitely not a dancer. I can move well, but it’s more about the acting and the singing for me. Acting and singing are completely different, so I can’t say which one I love better because I love them both. I love acting because I get to play different characters. But I also love my music because I get to portray me. My fans can get to know me better through my music, which is something I really like.

What music do you listen to at home?

Personally, I love eighties music. If I’m at a party and someone’s got an eighties compilation CD, I am the happiest person alive! Apart from that, my favourite artists to listen to include Michael Buble, Billy Joel, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. I love all types of music.

Do you like to party?

Oh, sure! Who doesn’t like a party? Mind you, I’m not the biggest party animal in the cast of High School Musical. That honour goes to Corbin. He really knows how to start a party! He’s so outgoing and he loves to dance – he’s always the first person on the dancefloor.

What’s the best thing about working in showbusiness?

I love my job! I really enjoy singing and acting, so a role in the High School Musical movies has been a dream come true.

Are there any downsides to being a successful actress?

The fame side of the business is a downside when it intrudes into your life. We’re passionate about what we do and we love what we do, so I don’t regret anything – but I can’t stand the paparazzi.

Are the paparazzi a pain?

The paparazzi are completely annoying! They camp outside my house, which is really upsetting. Even if I just pop out for a coffee, they will follow me. I love this industry and I love what I do, so I guess this is just one thing you have to learn to put up with.

How tough is it in the spotlight?

You know what? I look at people like Britney Spears and I don’t know how she coped with fame at such a young age. She was 16 when she got her success, but I can’t imagine being 16 and in the spotlight like she was. I’m so glad that this all came later on in my life because it’s tough. I’m 23 now, so I’m older than she was – but I’ve no regrets because I’ve worked hard to get where I am. Fame is just one of the downsides to this business.

Is it difficult to see your false gossip written about you in the press?

It’s got to the point where I don’t really think about things like that anymore. You just have to block out the negative and think of the positive. People are always going to say stuff about you and there are always going to be crazy rumours out there, but as long as you know the truth, you’re fine.

What advice would you give to people who want to follow in your footsteps and become famous?

I would say stay true to yourself because there is a lot of fakeness in this industry. Work hard and follow your dreams, but never forget where you came from.

Were you excited to work on High School Musical 3?

Shooting this movie was amazing. The choreography was harder and the musical numbers were a lot bigger, but it was a lot of fun. We had a really great time filming it.

Do you like Sharpay?

Well, I love playing her! She’s a drama queen who rules the school and that was a lot of fun to portray on screen. Sharpay was dramatic and off the wall in High School Musical 2, but in High School Musical 3, she’s even bigger. I’ve always had a lot of fun with her.

Are you anything like Sharpay in real life?

I’m nothing like Sharpay! I was never the popular girl at school, although can probably relate to her because of her passion for performing. I love to perform, so that’s probably the one and only thing we have in common.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m definitely a dreamer. I dreamed of being on TV shows and movies ever since I was a little girl. In fact, I’ve been in this business since I was three. I’m driven and I’m always honest, although sometimes I can be very blunt. I guess I’m one of those girls who can be too honest about things for my own good, but I expect it back. I expect people to be honest and blunt with me, too.

How would your friends describe you?

They’d say I’m very headstrong and I know what I want from life. I listen to peoples’ opinions, but a lot of the time I’ll trust my own instincts. I’m also really clumsy, so I’m always getting hurt.

You’re a dancer, a singer and an actress… Is there anything you’re not good at?

Ha ha! I’ll let you into a secret… I’m someone who can’t lie at all. I’m the worst liar in the world!

Do you still enjoy meeting fans?

Meeting fans is so cool! It’s great to be able to touch peoples’ lives. We actually had a boy come over to us and explain how he got the courage to audition for a school musical after watching our movie. He was a basketball jock who ended up getting the lead in Peter Pan!

Are fans the same around the world?

Well, the High School Musical fans are very passionate wherever you go – and they have exactly the same screams. They have so much love and so much support, so we’re very grateful. I got to visit Paris and Madrid promoting the third movie, as well as Munich and London, so I saw quite a number of fans. It was really exciting to travel the world but we only got to spend two days in each place, so there wasn’t enough time to really explore.

Where would you most like to visit on your next trip abroad?

I like to visit tropical places on vacation because I love the beach. I love the water and doing loads of water sports, so anywhere next to the ocean will suit me. I also love shopping, but I can find something to buy wherever I go! London is great for shopping, as is Los Angeles and New York – but I can find a good shop in the middle of nowhere!

CORBIN BLEU Q+A

High School Musical 3’s Corbin Bleu on dates, dreams and dancing all day…

Hi Corbin! Did you have fun filming High School Musical 3?

Shooting High School Musical 3 was a blast! It was amazing to get the gang back together for another movie. It was just like old times filming in Utah again. It feels like it was yesterday.

What makes this third film stand out?

For me, it was really cool to be able to explore the relationship between Chad and Troy. Chad is really happy to see his friend move on and do what he wants to do – but at the same time he’s really sad to lose his pal. It was great to explore that in detail.

The dance scene between Chad and Troy looked a lot of fun to film…

We had an amazing time shooting that sequence in the junkyard. A guy called Chucky Klapow choreographed the dance and I think he did a great job because it really stands out in the movie. It was High School Musical like you’ve never seen before!

Why do the mini Troy and Chad pop up in that scene?

When Troy and Chad were young boys, they used to hang out in the junkyard and pretend that they were superheroes, ninjas and spies. School is very stressful for them in their senior year, so they relive some of their childhood moments again, which is where the mini Chad and Troy come in. They were very cool!

How would you describe Chad?

Chad is a typical jock. He lives, eats and breathes basketball. He is outgoing and loves hanging out with his friends, but basketball is his life.

Are you similar to him?

Well, I’m very driven and dedicated – just like Chad. He’s a little bit better than me at basketball, though. If I’m being honest, I’m kind of sports-challenged. I’m very athletic, but when it comes to basketball skills, I had to learn a lot!

Does the number eight on the back of Chad’s basketball shirt mean anything to you?

It does actually. The number eight has always been my favourite number, although I never quite understood why. Before the first High School Musical, I was asked what number I wanted, so I went with my favourite. After I chose it, I went off and looked up other basketball players with the number eight. It turns out [NBA star] Kobe Bryant was one of them!

Are you close to the rest of the cast?

Sure. We’re closer now than ever before. It’s weird to think that we didn’t know each other a few years ago. We met during the first film, where we all clicked straight away. We’ve experienced so much together all over the world that we couldn’t do anything but bond closer and closer over the years.

Are you going to miss them now that the third movie is finished?

Definitely. We’ve shared so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences together that nobody else will understand, so it’s a unique relationship. You know how you relate to somebody if you go through something special together? It’s exactly like that. You just connect. We’ve got chemistry both on screen and off screen – and I’m definitely going to stay in touch with them.

What was the atmosphere like on set for the third movie?

To a certain extent it felt like high school because you’re surrounded by your friends – but it’s also a lot of hard work, too. We worked 12, 13 or 14 hour days, which can be very strenuous. You’re dancing all day long, so you get really worn out, but it was all worth it. The end product is awesome!

Why do you think High School Musical is so popular around the world?

It’s strange because there are a lot of American traditions in this movie. There’s a prom and the whole graduation ceremony with a cap and gown, which aren’t practiced everywhere around the world – but the movie continues to be popular everywhere. I think it’s down to these characters being so relatable and the spirit and energy of the movie that connects with everyone.

What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream? Anything with Godzilla in it! No, in all honesty, I just hope to be able to accomplish a lot in my life – in all different forms. This project has been incredible and it’s a massive entity, but there’s still so much more to achieve.

Like what? What’s next for you?

I’m not sure at the moment, but I’m going to continue acting. I would love to go to college at some point, too. I was already accepted into college to study Psychology, so at some point I will go – but at the moment I’m enjoying the work I’m doing. I’m learning so much that it wouldn’t feel right to go back to school.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

That’s a long time away! I have no idea where I will be then. Maybe I’ll be a director? Maybe I’ll be on Broadway? For now, I’m going to chill out for a while and see what happens.

Do you get much time to date?

Ha ha! Are you trying to find out if I have a girlfriend or something? The answer is no. I’m very single.

What kind of girls do you go for?

I’m not too fussy. I like girls with a good sense of humour. Girls who are a lot of fun to be around.

Come on… tell us more!

Well, I’m a very outgoing person so I like girls who are not afraid to be themselves. I’m not a shy person and when I hang out with a girl, I want to be able to talk to her. At the same time I like a girl I can have a conversation with – as opposed to me sitting there talking away because she won’t open her mouth. I like conversations and I’m a really big sucker for personality. That’s all!

MONIQUE COLEMAN Q+A

The oldest – and most sentimental – East High honey reveals her thoughts on the future and memories from her HSM past…

What is the best thing you take with you from working on the High School Musical trilogy?

I feel so blessed about everything this movie has allowed me to do. I’ve been able to visit some amazing places because of High School Musical and I’ve met some amazing people all around the world. I would never have imagined coming so far with all three movies. I’m very proud.

Which one moment of your entire HSM experience stands out the most?

One specific instance I will never forget was getting to perform in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for two nights. The fans were outrageous! I never felt famous or like a celebrity until I went there. It was crazy. The fans gave so much love and so much passion. It really blew me away.

Why was it so special?

Well, we heard so many stories about kids being so poor that lots of them would put their money together so that just one of them could go to the concert. Stories like that can’t fail to impress you. When you think about it, the impact this movie has had around the world is amazing.

Was it tough moving from TV to the big screen in High School Musical 3?

For me, it was a relief because I’ve always wanted to be in feature films. It was a perfect transition because it would be scary to do it from scratch – but this time I could do it with a character I knew through and through. I was also with a cast I knew really well, which was another positive.

So it was easier knowing all your cast mates were in the same boat?

Definitely! We’re such an awesome ensemble and we get along with each other so well that it was a great way to face an immense fear. It was awesome to be able to tackle this with the people you love and in a project you believe in. We knew the movie was going to make an impact, but it was exciting and scary all at the same time.

What is the message of the third movie?

I really hope that children around the world can be inspired by the idea of breaking outside the box. There’s no need for people to feel as though there is only one career or path you need to follow in life or that there is a certain age at which you need to know what that is.

What do you mean by that?

Well, I think this movie is about following your own personal passions. I hope that High School Musical inspires people to not feel as though they need to do what their parents or teachers or friends would necessarily want them to do, but to look inside and see you can do it all.

Is that what happens in High School Musical 3?

Sure, that’s what happens at the end of the film. They’re all happy and still make the people who matter to them proud. I really understand the idea of pride and honour. I have that in my family, so I understand it completely. At the end of the day, this movie has helped me grow and I hope it inspires kids to think for themselves.

What are you like in real life?

I’m very sentimental and ambitious. I like to be relaxed and I like to live a peaceful existence, but that’s very difficult considering I’m very neurotic. On the inside, I’m very chilled – but on the outside I’m a big mess of worry! I’m an adventurer. I believe in being bold and brave – and taking risks. Even if I’m afraid of something, I’ll still have a go at it.

You’re the only person in High School Musical who changed her looks for the third film…

There’s a reason for that! The haircut reflects my character’s personality. In the first two movies, I was figuring out who Taylor McKessie was. Acting is a journey and I don’t think I had it down completely. But coming into the third movie where it was senior year, I thought back to characters like Taylor who I grew up with and they all cut their hair before they left school.

So you cut your hair?

Exactly! I don’t know why, but there’s something about getting your college cut at that age. Taylor is ready to move on and she is ready to interview for schools with anyone who wants to hear her. Personally, I felt the shorter hair was a better look, too!

Are you going to sign up for High School Musical 4?

Is there going to be a High School Musical 4? There are all these rumours, but I’ve not heard anything. To be honest, I don’t know if there’s a way to have Taylor in another High School Musical because she graduated from high school at the end of the third film. But who knows? Some of us might think that it sucks out there in the real world and want to come back to East High. We’ll just have to see what happens.

So what is next for you?

Don’t ask me this question! I’m scared because it’s been so incredible to be blessed by the work on the High School Musical movies. But I don’t know what I’m going to do next – and I don’t know what I want to do next. Part of me wants to stay in the same place and play Taylor forever – but another part of me wants to break out and go in a completely different direction. The deepest part of me feels confident in every single one of our futures. Everyone is going to become exactly what they’re supposed to become – but it’s a tough job finding out what that is. Wish me luck!

VANESSA HUDGENS Q+A

What’s it really like to be Vanessa Hudgens? The High School Musical cutie reveals all as she chats about missing her prom, traveling the world and the weird lies written about her in the press…

Is it true you missed out on your high school prom, Vanessa?

It is true! I was home schooled, so I didn’t have a prom – but I had one with High School Musical 3. I really enjoyed filming the prom scene and I think it looks amazing on screen.

Are you sad you missed out on a prom?

Not really. The after-parties at the premieres around the world were also a lot like proms because we’d all be dressed up so smartly. I’ve had quite a few proms now and they’ve all been really good fun!

What happened at the premiere after-parties?

A lot of the events had music blasting and great food – and we’d all dance away. I guess it wasn’t exactly like a prom, but all of my best friends were there and that’s all that matters.

Sound like the HSM3 premieres were very hard work…

Ha ha! I really enjoyed the premieres because I love traveling. I’ve always wanted to travel, so visiting these different places with High School Musical has been an amazing experience.

Did you get any free time off at the premieres?

We didn’t really have time to tour the places we visited, but I would always try the specialty foods in every place. I loved it. Swedish meatballs were my favourite. They were delicious!

Do you have a favourite vacation destination?

Well, that depends on what I want to do during the vacation. London is great for shopping, but I love the beach. It’s so relaxing to sit on the sand listening to the waves. I love the sunshine and hot places, so I think I’d prefer to go somewhere exotic today. That might change tomorrow, though!

How would you describe yourself?

I’m outgoing, but at the same time I’m quite personal. I guess it depends on the day because I feel more outgoing some days over others. I’m a go-getter. I’m a very passionate person who is very loyal and thoughtful, too.

Is it weird to see your face in newspapers and magazines?

It’s crazy to know that most of the things you read about yourself in the press are false. It’s so weird that people take the time to make up these stories. It takes so much more effort than telling the truth, so I don’t understand it at all. It’s such a weird aspect of being famous.

What’s the weirdest lie you’ve seen written in the press?

I once read a rumour that I was arrested at a Hollywood party. It was a huge, elaborate story but I was actually in a completely different country when they said it happened. It was crazy!

There was a story that someone tried to attack you and Zac in London…

That was completely false, too! We did not get attacked. We were walking out of a theatre and into a car when some guy stumbled along and got caught in the middle of it all. He got carried along with us, but someone was there taking photos and it looked like he was having a go.

That sounds scary…

It was a crazy night. The guy was trapped in the car doorway and he was screaming, “I’m normal! I’m normal!” Our bodyguard had to help him get to the side of the road, but I got hit in the face in all the commotion. It was an accident, though.

So how proud are you of High School Musical 3?

I’m really proud of this movie. It was so much fun and so exciting filming High School Musical 3. It’s like our thank you to the fans for watching the first and second movie – and it gave us the opportunity to step it up once more to create something even bigger and better. It was a blast.

How did your relationship with Zac affect your on-screen performance?

Well, this is our third movie together and we’ve grown up so much together as actors. I think you see that on screen. It makes it all the better because we aren’t afraid to try new things in front of the camera. We are much more creative because we’re very comfortable together.

Have you grown closer to the rest of the HSM cast, too?

Sure. All of the cast have grown close and we all know each other so well that we’re all not afraid to try new things. We’re extremely comfortable together and it’s been amazing to be able to grow up on camera with each other.

You sing, dance and act – but which do you prefer?

Dancing was a big part of my life, but I would never consider myself a dancer. I adore singing, and music has always been a huge part of my life, but I also enjoy acting.

What do you like about music?

I love being in the studio and singing on stage and performing. It’s so much fun. I love every second of it – and I love the way you get to show who you are. I love the way fans are really passionate around the world, so I adore performing and hearing people sing along in different countries. It’s an amazing feeling when that happens. It’s like you’re part of one big family.

When it comes to your music, what inspires you?

I relate to all of my songs and I’m inspired by everything going on around me. Music comes from all different aspects of my life. Gone With The Wind is one of my songs that means a real lot to me because it basically says how I’ve grown up. I still have a head on my shoulders, but I’m not that little girl anymore. I like that.

You’re not going to give up acting, are you?

No way! Movies and acting are also so much fun. I love playing different characters and doing different genres. It’s all still very interesting to me. In fact, I don’t think I could choose between music and acting, which is why something like High School Musical has been amazing. I get to do both. I couldn’t be happier – or luckier!

ZAC EFRON Q+A

Want the inside scoop on the hunky High School Musical hottie? You got it! Zac waxes lyrical about college, shaving his head and the secret scenes filmed exclusively for the HSM3 DVD… Phwoar!

You’ve got the world at your feet, Zac! Have you got any advice for people who want to follow in your footsteps?

The one thing I would say to anyone who is considering acting is do it because you love doing it. Don’t do anything just to be famous. It would really suck if you had the fame without the love for what you do.

Do you still enjoy acting?

Are you kidding me? Of course I do! I wouldn’t change anything for the world, although the fame part of this industry is tough to handle at times. I can tell you that fame is probably the most unadorable thing about acting. High School Musical is what got me here today and I’m very grateful – but the fame part isn’t so fun.

Is it difficult to relax when you’re photographed wherever you go?

To be honest, I can’t handle the paparazzi. They’re everywhere. One of them was in a dumpster trying to take my photo the other day. It was crazy! Another time, one was hanging off the back of a pick-up truck driving down a road. They think they’re being clever, but they’re not.

Would you like to get away from all the paparazzi then?

Sure, I’d love to take a year off and travel the world under the radar. I would love to do it really low key. I wouldn’t need to stay in fancy hotels or anything; I just want to explore – but I don’t know how I’d do it. Would I shave my head to try and go incognito? Ha ha! I’m not telling.

Is college in your plans for the future?

I was accepted into film school at USC, which is something I would love to do, although I believe it’s something that will always be there for me. Right now, I’m part of something that could be gone tomorrow, so I’m going to see what happens with this career for now. I’m enjoying where I’m at in my life and I feel like I’m learning a lot on a daily basis. I’m learning without having to be behind a desk, so it’s a pretty cool place to be.

Do you learn a lot on film sets?

Sure. I recently filmed an independent movie with the director, Richard Linklater, where I learned loads. It was very exciting and a great change of pace to High School Musical. I had a lot of scenes, but I never had to break into a song and dance, which was very different! It was a very educational experience because I’ve always admired Richard Linklater’s movies. He was very inspirational.

What did you learn on the set of High School Musical 3?

I learned loads! I couldn’t believe how much they stepped up the choreography and the music and everything. It’s been an amazing experience.

Do you ever see the choreography and think, ‘There’s no way I can do that!’?

Sure, but you just have to get on with it. You have to meet everyone’s expectations because you don’t want to be the one to crack. You just have to put your heart into it and go for it.

What was the atmosphere like on set for the third movie?

I think we found the delicate balance between work and play on the set of High School Musical 3. We kept it interesting and had fun, but we also worked very hard and that’s something that’s very difficult to achieve. Usually, you either work too hard or have too much fun on a movie set – but we did both. I think we perfected that.

Are you going to miss the East High basketball court?

Ha ha! I’ll never forget filming Now Or Never for the third movie. It was completely surreal because we were playing against a real team. Every time you missed a shot, people would boo. It was crazy!

How does it feel to know that you’ve finished all three films?

It’s very strange. You know when the kids leave the wardrobe in Narnia and they’re the only ones who really know what happened inside? Finishing High School Musical is kinda like that. It’s very much like a fairytale because we’ve been in this crazy, crazy world together.

Does this mean you have a special bond with your cast mates?

Sure. It’s really cool that we’ve got each other to relate to. I go home and it’s fun to laugh about my adventures with my high school friends, but none of them can really understand all of the exciting and amazing stuff that’s happened to me. But they also don’t understand some of the things that aren’t so great, too, like the fame.

Spill the beans, Zac… Do you sing or lip synch in front of the cameras when you’re shooting the musical scenes?

We do actually sing when you see us singing in the movie because it makes the performance much more real. If you lip synch, it doesn’t feel right and it doesn’t look genuine, so it’s much better to sing along to the music. We’ll all sing along with the playback wherever we are shooting.

Are there any scenes that didn’t make it into the big-screen version of the movie?

There are – and they were recorded especially for the DVD. There’s a reprise of the song Right Here, Right Now, which is a really cool scene you’ll see for the first time on the DVD.

Amazing! What happens in it?

Well, Troy and Gabriella are really feeling the tension of the situation and the uncertainty of their future – and they’re singing about it in two very different locations. They don’t realise it, but they’re actually singing together and almost to each other. It’s very, very sweet.

Why do you think HSM is so popular around the world?

You know what? I think high school is just a backdrop for a lot more important things that’s going on in High School Musical. All over the world, kids are kids and growing up can be tough. That’s really what we’re singing about and that’s what the kids are connecting to. I mean, I didn’t necessarily like high school, so this is the fairytale within high school that we show.

With HSM behind you, are you scared or excited about the future?

I’m all of the above! It’s scary and exciting, but that’s exactly how you feel when you finish high school. You feel ready and you feel prepared, but you don’t necessarily know what’s going to happen. You’re eager to find out!

So what is next for you?

I’ve signed up for a movie called Footloose with [HSM director] Kenny Ortega. We’re just trying to figure out how to do it at the moment – but it will be great to work on a musical movie again.

Will there ever be another High School Musical?

Everyone always asks this question! I will always support these movies. We’ve found something that kids are relating to around the world and that’s very special. We didn’t have anything like this before – and I think it would be great to continue the tradition for as long as kids continue to respond to it. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.