The young ladies of High School Musical 3: Senior Year – Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Olesya Rulin, and Monique Coleman - sat down for a press conference in Los Angeles to promote the film which will most likely be the last one of the series to feature the principal cast. The stars of the movie had been traveling all over the world making appearances in support of High School Musical 3 in the weeks prior to the film's release, but their enthusiasm for talking about the movie hadn't waned by the time they finally made it to Los Angeles to discuss the film. The High School Musical series has played a big role in each of their lives, and graduating from the movie franchise made each of the actresses a little sad – an emotion sure to be shared by fans of the series who have embraced these singing and dancing Wildcats.
High School Musical 3 Press Conference
Your characters have to make a decision about what to do with your lives after high school. Growing up, did you always know what you wanted to be when you were an adult?
Monique Coleman: "Yes, but I'm not sure that our characters do have a clear vision of exactly what they want to do. I think that what High School Musical does is break us out of that box. Now we're living in a time where kids need to know what they want to do by the time they're seven. That's ridiculous. What this movie says is you don't need to know by the time you're 18. You don't even need to know ever. Actually, you have a whole world of possibilities that lay before you and ultimately, the only thing that is important is that you do make a choice and the choice is yours. That it's not your parents' or your teachers' or your friends' decision about your future, but that it is your decision."
"My character is a little different and did know exactly what she wanted to do and I, also, when I was very young, did know what I wanted to do. But, I do seek inspirations from this movie and it has broadened my horizons and made me feel like, you know, I'm interested in writing and speaking and doing a bunch of other things. I don't feel like any of us is necessarily bound to the specific types of roles we've been playing in these movies. And we'll, hopefully, have a very colorful career ahead of all of us."
Ashley Tisdale: "Actually, it's really funny because at a young age, I've really always known what I wanted to do. I've been in the business since I was three. I kind of fell into it. My parents didn't want me in the business so they never pushed me to do anything. All they pushed me to do was to have an education and go to regular school and just be normal just like everybody else even though I was doing commercials at a young age and touring the world in Les Miserables at age eight. But, that's because I want to do it."
"I get inspired when I see things. I went to New York and saw Les Miserables I had to do it. I wanted to do it. I'm just very lucky and blessed that I actually got to. I usually put my mind towards things and I end up doing it, which not everybody can say they can do that. I am like my character Sharpay in a way where she always knows what she wants and she goes out there and gets it. However, we go about it in a different way."
What would you say to teens out there who are going through what your characters in this film are - senior year, prom, graduation, going to college and all that?
Olesya Rulin: "I would say, 'Don't worry because failing at something can be so beautiful. Take a lot of time, especially right now, in middle school and high school, you have to get straight 'A's, you can't make any mistakes. You have to have 600 credit hours of community service or you're not getting into NYU. There's so much pressure. You know what? Be crazy. Try something different. Yeah, you might fail. You might be horrible at playing the violin, but at least you tried and there's beauty in that.' Hey, I tried it and I was really bad but I did it for three years. That's saying something. That's how you develop and grow into the person you are. You grow your own personal character by making mistakes, by going out there by experimenting as much as you can. That's life and there's no way you should stop yourself from experiencing it."
Ashley, this kind of sets you up for The Sharpay Evans Musical in number 4. Is that going to happen and also, can the cast talk about shooting the final scene?
Ashley Tisdale: "I don't know anything about that. It is flattering to have an open door, obviously, for my character, but I am doing other projects as well and moving on. But this project is something I'll always hold close to my heart. We have so much fun and we've created such an amazing family. I had the best time on and off screen with this cast. And the last day? It was totally emotional. Momo [to Monique], I just said 'Momo', Monique, actually, she cries first."
Monique Coleman: "Actually no, okay I do normally, but this time I did not, You started crying first."
Ashley Tisdale: "Okay maybe I did, and we all started crying and then huddling and it was emotional."
Monique Coleman: "I was a dirty mess. I ruined my costume. I had to go back to the trailer and clean my face up, but I didn't start it this time."
Ashley Tisdale: "And the last day really wasn't the last scene in the movie. It was actually a totally different scene. Kenny [Ortega] had said this amazing speech and that's what got us all going. Hair and make-up [people] even started crying. They couldn't get hair and make-up back on us. It was an emotional fest. But even Lucas Grabeel, who is such an amazing person and is usually stand-off-ish in feelings, he doesn't show his feelings and he even teared up. That's something that's really big because for the last three years, he's the man. He doesn't do that. But he showed some tears and it was definitely emotional."