Some fans shipped Troy and Gabriella back in the day, and others had hope for Ashley Tisdale and Zac Efron! However, the Suite Life of Zack and Cody alum “never thought” her High School Musical costar was hot while they starred in the Disney Channel movies together.

“It’s because I was friends with him before the movie,” Ashley, 37, shared during an episode of Dear Media’s “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast on Tuesday, November 1. “He was way younger than me. He was like a brother too.”

The “Headstrong” songstress did recall seeing his Rolling Stone cover shoot from August 2007 and thinking, “Oh, OK, s–t. Yeah, he looks hot.” But other than that, Ashley had no romantic feelings toward him.

“I was like, for sure, now I understand,” the Being Frenshe founder said. “I think I just knew him too well and had been best friends with him for so long that it’s like your brother that you’re hanging out with.”

While Ashley and Zac, 35, never got together in real life, he did date her real-life best friend Vanessa Hudgens from 2006 to 2010. The trio became inseparable following the first High School Musical movie premiere in 2006, and Ashley looks back fondly on her memories of auditioning for the film.

No Love Lost! Ashley Tisdale Explains Why She 'Never' Found 'HSM' Costar Zac Efron 'Hot'
Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

“For years I auditioned for Disney movies, and I never got it. So, I finally was like, I’m not gonna audition for Disney for a while and then that’s when I started doing network stuff,” the actress shared on the podcast episode, revealing that everything changed once she was cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. At that point, she hoped to eventually “do one of those Disney movies.”

Ashley remembered hearing about High School Musical and begging to audition for director .

“I remember specifically — this is — I feel like Sharpay’s personality. I remember saying to my mom the morning of the screentest and I said, ‘You know what, mom? I may not be the best singer in the world, and I may not be the best dancer in the world, but I’m gonna act like the best singer and I’m gonna act like the best dancer,’” she said. “I think that I embodied that character because it was really just her belief in herself. That’s her vibe. So here we are at the screentest and everyone’s nervous — everyone always gets nervous at an audition — and they’re like kind of like trying to be in the back hiding, and I was front and center.”

She went on to play the role of Sharpay Evans in all three High School Musical films.

“A lot of people weirdly loved Sharpay, which was really actually very interesting for Disney too,” the New Jersey native gushed. “She was a very popular character, and they were like, ‘Wait, she’s mean.’ I remember they did like some testing with these kids and this 8-year-old was like, ‘I love Sharpay.’ And they’re like, ‘Why?’ And she was like,’ Because she knows what she wants, and she gets it.’”



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Tyler Cowan