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Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu and Kenny Ortega on 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year'

High School's Coming to an End for Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu


Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu and Kenny Ortega on 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year'

Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu in 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year.'

© Walt Disney Pictures
Updated February 28, 2014
The familiar faces from the High School Musical TV movie franchise are together on the big screen in Disney's High School Musical 3: Senior Year directed by Kenny Ortega. The third film of the hugely popular franchise marks the first one of the series to be released theatrically. And #3 is likely to be the last time we see all the lead actors – Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Lucas Grabeel, and Monique Coleman – together in a High School Musical production.

Director Kenny Ortega believes there will be a High School Musical 4, and in fact High School Musical 3 introduces a fresh batch of faces who could take on leading roles if Disney opted to continue the franchise without the current stars. At the Los Angeles press conference, Ortega was asked about where the franchise may go. "There are plans to make another movie, yes. There are plans to make other movies," revealed Ortega. "We're in discussion with Disney about how we proceed. I personally don't think it will be college musical."

Producer Bill Borden added, "None of us have actually talked about four that much together, but we've been working so hard on three. Three was made in a very short time. We finished filming 14 weeks ago…maybe 15 weeks ago we finished filming the movie. To be honest, as the producer I haven't even talked to Disney about four. We have a ways to go."

The future of the High School Musical series is still up in the air, but if HSM3 winds up being the last time we see those singing and dancing Wildcats, then at least fans will be able to see them say good-bye to high school life and hello to adulthood. High School Musical 3: Senior Year sends the kids out into the world, and at the press conference Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu spoke about what it was like to wrap production on what will likely be their last HSM movie.

High School Musical 3 Press Conference

How do you plan to transition to more adult roles?

Corbin Bleu: "It's all about range. We, as artists, we're never satisfied. So you've got to always continue to stretch yourself. I'm focusing on getting some more in-depth roles. It would be nice to truly challenge myself, stretch a little bit more. Also interested in just expanding into other art forms as well. I'm working on music. I'm into the studio working on my second album. And I'm also producing. I produced a film with my father called Free Style which is about motocross and will be out in January in theatres."

Zac Efron: "Before High School Musical 3 I filmed a movie called 17 Again playing a 37 year old guy in a 17 year old's body. That was interesting. And then right after that I filmed a movie called Me and Orson Welles, more of a drama, set in 1937, about the Mercury theatre troupe putting on a production of Julius Caesar. So two different roles."

How did you feel emotionally knowing this would probably be the last High School Musical movie? Also, what's happening with Footloose?

Zac Efron: "When we were filming High School Musical, we took every opportunity to kind of revel in the scenes and dances because we knew this would be the last time we were all together in this capacity, so we were soaking it up. And Footloose is coming together, actually. We're trying to figure out the right way to do it, but yeah, it seems like it could happen."

What will you miss the most?

Zac Efron: "I don't know if you can put it all into one specific memory. I think it's just the environment. It's been a very safe, creative place for us to work in the last three years. And it's going to be pretty hard to leave that behind."

Kenny, could you compare this one with the previous two movies?

Kenny Ortega: "You know, we kind of did our best to do each film full-out. Zac says we didn't leave anything on the dance floor but a pile of sweat. We never came into these movies thinking we were just making a little movie for television. We raised the bar on ourselves, we challenged ourselves every day, we set out to do something special that would have some lasting power."

"I think for High School Musical 3 it was special for me in that… I went after High School Musical 1 because I was hoping that if I do a good job here, maybe this might reveal the curtain on me again. It could be another shot to do a full-length feature motion picture. Little did I ever imagine that High School Musical would actually be that full-length motion picture. So, for me, moving into High School Musical 3 was like a real dream fulfilled. It was just great fun imagining it, designing with it, playing with these guys, but we really kind of set it up the same way. We did have a little bit more money, but we had a lot more lighting and a lot more detail to sort of pay attention to. And we had a little bit more schedule, so we could think a little bigger. And, of course, we wanted our film to be recognizable. We wanted our audience to immediately recognize where they were and who they were with. We certainly didn't want to throw the baby out, as they say. We wanted to go for a bigger design, but not lose ourself in the process."

Page 2: Leaving High School Musical Behind

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