Kenny Ortega Recalls Working W...

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Kenny Ortega Recalls Working With Zac Efron As High School Musical Turns 15


01:09 21 Jan 2021

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High School Musical

Yesterday, January 20th 2021, marked 15 years since the release of the first High School Musical movie.

That's 15 years since Zac Efron made his debut as the captain of the Wildcats, Troy Bolton.

In a new interview, director Kenny Ortega reflects on his time working with Zac and the rest of the cast.


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The first movie dropped on Disney Channel January 20th, 2006.

Following its release, the cast including Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens shot to fame.

The musical had become a massive success, and little did they know it would still be a hit in years to come.

Working with the cast

Kenny told E! News how proud he was to work with such an amazing cast and crew.

'I think what moved me the most was just watching these kids and the effort that they put into this, how they just really rallied behind it.'

He recalled something Zac told him on day one of rehearsals.

'He said, 'We made the choice to make a musical. Don't apologize for working us.''

''Let's make this - let's turn this into something great. Let's make it worth our while being here.''

Kenny added, 'And he gave me permission.'

'He gave me permission to be ambitious, he asked for it and to push our limits.'

The director also spoke about the moment he knew the movie was going to be a massive hit.

'Get ready for your life to change...'

He said it hit him after they finished filming the dance scene for We're All In This Together.

'We got in a circle right after I said, 'Cut.' I pulled them over and I said, 'Get ready for your life to change, you guys.''

'I said it, 'Something's happening here.''


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It sounds like the cast weren't as convinced as he was.

Kenny recalled, 'They were just all looking at me and wondering what the heck I was talking about.'

The director is still close with the majority of the cast, however, he doesn't speak to Zac much at all.

'I think I talked to Kaycee Stroh who played Martha last week.'

'Vanessa and I have worked together, I went to Corbin's wedding, Lucas and I talk every once in a while.'

'I know Ashley and I send messages. Monique and I have gotten together for meals.'

'I don't see or hear from Zac very often...'

After the third movie wrapped up filming, Zac shot to fame and became a massive hit in Hollywood.

In doing so, it appears he and his co-stars grew apart.

Especially after his split from Vanessa, who he dated for several years.

Kenny said, 'I don't see or hear from Zac very often...'

'I know that we've always had a strong connection.'

'I love him and I'm so proud of him,' the director added.

High School Musical is available to stream on Disney+.

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