Zac Efron Could Not Escape “High School Musical” On The Set Of His Latest Movie, But It Sounds Like He Handled It Pretty Well

Two of Zac’s The Iron Claw castmates are High School Musical superfans, with Harris Dickinson even admitting that Zac’s character, Troy Bolton, inspired him to pursue an acting career.

When Zac Efron was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month, he didn’t shy away from his Disney Channel roots.

Zac on one knee by his Walk of Fame star

The 36-year-old actor famously got his big break when he was cast as Troy Bolton in the 2006 movie High School Musical when he was 19 years old, with sequels being released in 2007 and 2008.

Close-up of a younger Zac

During his Walk of Fame speech, Zac said he was “eternally grateful” to High School Musical’s director, Kenny Ortega, and producer Bill Borden as he acknowledged that they were “both instrumental” in giving him his start.

Close-up of a younger Zac at a media event

Zac also confessed to singing songs from the films in the shower to this very day, delighting fans as he said, “I still think about it every day; I sing the songs in the shower. Go Wildcats!”

Zac and Kenny at a media event

And it is a good thing that Zac still embraces these early projects, since it sounds as if High School Musical was front and center in his costars' minds when they were shooting his latest film, The Iron Claw.

Zac with his The Iron Claw costars

Zac stars alongside British actor Harris Dickinson in the movie, and Harris has made no secret of the influence that Zac’s character, Troy, had on him in childhood.

Close-up of Harris smiling

Speaking to Variety in December, Harris said that when he was a teenager, he was torn between joining the British military and being an actor. He went on to add, “And I remember seeing High School Musical — and this is incredibly cheesy and vulnerable — but I remember thinking, Oh, if Troy Bolton can do it… The films [Zac] had done, they were cultural phenomena.”

The Iron Claw costars sitting together on a talk show

Harris also admitted to singing High School Musical songs to Zac while they were working on The Iron Claw together, something that their costar Stanley Simons also joined in on.

Close-up of Stanley smiling

Speaking during a panel for the movie in November, Stanley said that he would serenade Zac on set, and he clarified to Complex last month, “It was ‘Breaking Free.’ I remember being a kid and listening to that song — I was a little embarrassed, but I did love that song specifically.”

Stanley and Zac embracing

“And y’know,” Stanley continued, “I was in the presence of the Troy Bolton…something had to be done about that!”

Close-up of Zac as Troy Bolton speaking into a microphone

And proving that he had no issue with his early career being focused on so heavily, Zac insisted in the same interview, “It was pretty awesome; it was a great moment.”

Close-up of Zac

In a new interview with W magazine, Zac has opened up some more about what it was like to have High School Musical fans as his costars as he admitted that they liked to “mess with” him.

Zac with his Iron Claw costars on the red carpet

In fact, Zac revealed that Stanley chose to sing “Breaking Free” at the most inopportune but hilarious moment, and Zac was forced to stay in character during the performance because he was filming a scene at the time.

Close-up of Zac

“People like to do that to mess with me, it’s pretty funny,” Zac told the publication. “We had a scene where we show up to a party where Stanley, I think, is singing a song.”

Stanley at an event for The Iron Claw

“He performed it live, and then they just continued to move onto another song, and it was something from High School Musical,” Zac continued. “I had to stay in character while that was going on, and everybody else was just losing it. The camera was on me, and I was just trying to stay in character.”

Zac with a woman in an intimate scene on a couch

But like a true professional, Zac was able to draw inspiration from the awkward moment as he said that how “uncomfortable” he was in the situation helped him relate to his Iron Claw character, Kevin.

Close-up of Zac looking sweaty

“It put me in Kevin’s shoes a little bit,” he explained. “I felt very uncomfortable.”

Close-up of Zac wearing sunglasses at a media event

And if you need reminding, here is Zac's original performance of "Breaking Free" from High School Musical — enjoy!

View this video on YouTube

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