High School Musical 3: Senior Year

Vanessa Hudges, Ashley Tisdale and Monique Coleman talk about this third and possibly final installment of the Disney film series

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has provided us with another round of interviews for High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on February 17. This time around it's the three female leads of the cast, so take a look below at these interview segments with Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Monique Coleman.

Vanessa Hudgens

Is it true you missed out on your high school prom, Vanessa?

Vanessa Hudgens: It is true! I was home schooled, so I didn't have a prom - but I had one with High School Musical 3: Senior Year. I really enjoyed filming the prom scene and I think it looks amazing on screen.

Are you sad you missed out on a prom?

Vanessa Hudgens: Not really. The after-parties at the premieres around the world were also a lot like proms because we'd all be dressed up so smartly. I've had quite a few proms now and they've all been really good fun!

What happened at the premiere after-parties?

Vanessa Hudgens: A lot of the events had music blasting and great food - and we'd all dance away. I guess it wasn't exactly like a prom, but all of my best friends were there and that's all that matters.

Sound like the HSM3 premieres were very hard work...

Vanessa Hudgens: Ha ha! I really enjoyed the premieres because I love traveling. I've always wanted to travel, so visiting these different places with High School Musical has been an amazing experience.

Did you get any free time off at the premieres?

Vanessa Hudgens: We didn't really have time to tour the places we visited, but I would always try the specialty foods in every place. I loved it. Swedish meatballs were my favourite. They were delicious!

Do you have a favourite vacation destination?

Vanessa Hudgens: Well, that depends on what I want to do during the vacation. London is great for shopping, but I love the beach. It's so relaxing to sit on the sand listening to the waves. I love the sunshine and hot places, so I think I'd prefer to go somewhere exotic today. That might change tomorrow, though!

How would you describe yourself?

Vanessa Hudgens: I'm outgoing, but at the same time I'm quite personal. I guess it depends on the day because I feel more outgoing some days over others. I'm a go-getter. I'm a very passionate person who is very loyal and thoughtful, too.

Is it weird to see your face in newspapers and magazines?

Vanessa Hudgens: It's crazy to know that most of the things you read about yourself in the press are false. It's so weird that people take the time to make up these stories. It takes so much more effort than telling the truth, so I don't understand it at all. It's such a weird aspect of being famous.

What's the weirdest lie you've seen written in the press?

Vanessa Hudgens: I once read a rumour that I was arrested at a Hollywood party. It was a huge, elaborate story but I was actually in a completely different country when they said it happened. It was crazy!

There was a story that someone tried to attack you and Zac in London...

That was completely false, too! We did not get attacked. We were walking out of a theatre and into a car when some guy stumbled along and got caught in the middle of it all. He got carried along with us, but someone was there taking photos and it looked like he was having a go.

That sounds scary...

Vanessa Hudgens: It was a crazy night. The guy was trapped in the car doorway and he was screaming, "I'm normal! I'm normal!" Our bodyguard had to help him get to the side of the road, but I got hit in the face in all the commotion. It was an accident, though.

So how proud are you of High School Musical 3: Senior Year?

Vanessa Hudgens: I'm really proud of this movie. It was so much fun and so exciting filming High School Musical 3: Senior Year. It's like our thank you to the fans for watching the first and second movie - and it gave us the opportunity to step it up once more to create something even bigger and better. It was a blast.

How did your relationship with Zac affect your on-screen performance?

Vanessa Hudgens: Well, this is our third movie together and we've grown up so much together as actors. I think you see that on screen. It makes it all the better because we aren't afraid to try new things in front of the camera. We are much more creative because we're very comfortable together.

Have you grown closer to the rest of the HSM cast, too?

Vanessa Hudgens: Sure. All of the cast have grown close and we all know each other so well that we're all not afraid to try new things. We're extremely comfortable together and it's been amazing to be able to grow up on camera with each other.

You sing, dance and act - but which do you prefer?

Vanessa Hudgens: Dancing was a big part of my life, but I would never consider myself a dancer. I adore singing, and music has always been a huge part of my life, but I also enjoy acting.

What do you like about music?

Vanessa Hudgens: I love being in the studio and singing on stage and performing. It's so much fun. I love every second of it - and I love the way you get to show who you are. I love the way fans are really passionate around the world, so I adore performing and hearing people sing along in different countries. It's an amazing feeling when that happens. It's like you're part of one big family.

When it comes to your music, what inspires you?

Vanessa Hudgens: I relate to all of my songs and I'm inspired by everything going on around me. Music comes from all different aspects of my life. Gone With The Wind is one of my songs that means a real lot to me because it basically says how I've grown up. I still have a head on my shoulders, but I'm not that little girl anymore. I like that.

You're not going to give up acting, are you?

Vanessa Hudgens: No way! Movies and acting are also so much fun. I love playing different characters and doing different genres. It's all still very interesting to me. In fact, I don't think I could choose between music and acting, which is why something like High School Musical has been amazing. I get to do both. I couldn't be happier - or luckier!

Ashley Tisdale

You dance, sing and act in High School Musical 3: Senior Year - but which of the three do you prefer?

Ashley Tisdale: I'm definitely not a dancer. I can move well, but it's more about the acting and the singing for me. Acting and singing are completely different, so I can't say which one I love better because I love them both. I love acting because I get to play different characters. But I also love my music because I get to portray me. My fans can get to know me better through my music, which is something I really like.

What music do you listen to at home?

Ashley Tisdale: Personally, I love eighties music. If I'm at a party and someone's got an eighties compilation CD, I am the happiest person alive! Apart from that, my favourite artists to listen to include Michael Buble, Billy Joel, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. I love all types of music.

Do you like to party?

Ashley Tisdale: Oh, sure! Who doesn't like a party? Mind you, I'm not the biggest party animal in the cast of High School Musical. That honour goes to Corbin. He really knows how to start a party! He's so outgoing and he loves to dance - he's always the first person on the dancefloor.

What's the best thing about working in showbusiness?

Ashley Tisdale: I love my job! I really enjoy singing and acting, so a role in the High School Musical movies has been a dream come true.

Are there any downsides to being a successful actress?

Ashley Tisdale: The fame side of the business is a downside when it intrudes into your life. We're passionate about what we do and we love what we do, so I don't regret anything - but I can't stand the paparazzi.

Are the paparazzi a pain?

Ashley Tisdale: The paparazzi are completely annoying! They camp outside my house, which is really upsetting. Even if I just pop out for a coffee, they will follow me. I love this industry and I love what I do, so I guess this is just one thing you have to learn to put up with.

How tough is it in the spotlight?

Ashley Tisdale: You know what? I look at people like Britney Spears and I don't know how she coped with fame at such a young age. She was 16 when she got her success, but I can't imagine being 16 and in the spotlight like she was. I'm so glad that this all came later on in my life because it's tough. I'm 23 now, so I'm older than she was - but I've no regrets because I've worked hard to get where I am. Fame is just one of the downsides to this business.

Is it difficult to see your false gossip written about you in the press?

Ashley Tisdale: It's got to the point where I don't really think about things like that anymore. You just have to block out the negative and think of the positive. People are always going to say stuff about you and there are always going to be crazy rumours out there, but as long as you know the truth, you're fine.

What advice would you give to people who want to follow in your footsteps and become famous?

Ashley Tisdale: I would say stay true to yourself because there is a lot of fakeness in this industry. Work hard and follow your dreams, but never forget where you came from.

Were you excited to work on High School Musical 3: Senior Year?

Ashley Tisdale: Shooting this movie was amazing. The choreography was harder and the musical numbers were a lot bigger, but it was a lot of fun. We had a really great time filming it.

Do you like Sharpay?

Ashley Tisdale: Well, I love playing her! She's a drama queen who rules the school and that was a lot of fun to portray on screen. Sharpay was dramatic and off the wall in High School Musical 2, but in High School Musical 3: Senior Year, she's even bigger. I've always had a lot of fun with her.

Are you anything like Sharpay in real life?

Ashley Tisdale: I'm nothing like Sharpay! I was never the popular girl at school, although can probably relate to her because of her passion for performing. I love to perform, so that's probably the one and only thing we have in common.

How would you describe yourself?

Ashley Tisdale: I'm definitely a dreamer. I dreamed of being on TV shows and movies ever since I was a little girl. In fact, I've been in this business since I was three. I'm driven and I'm always honest, although sometimes I can be very blunt. I guess I'm one of those girls who can be too honest about things for my own good, but I expect it back. I expect people to be honest and blunt with me, too.

How would your friends describe you?

Ashley Tisdale: They'd say I'm very headstrong and I know what I want from life. I listen to peoples' opinions, but a lot of the time I'll trust my own instincts. I'm also really clumsy, so I'm always getting hurt.

You're a dancer, a singer and an actress... Is there anything you're not good at?

Ashley Tisdale: Ha ha! I'll let you into a secret... I'm someone who can't lie at all. I'm the worst liar in the world!

Do you still enjoy meeting fans?

Ashley Tisdale: Meeting fans is so cool! It's great to be able to touch peoples' lives. We actually had a boy come over to us and explain how he got the courage to audition for a school musical after watching our movie. He was a basketball jock who ended up getting the lead in Peter Pan!

Are fans the same around the world?

Ashley Tisdale: Well, the High School Musical fans are very passionate wherever you go - and they have exactly the same screams. They have so much love and so much support, so we're very grateful. I got to visit Paris and Madrid promoting the third movie, as well as Munich and London, so I saw quite a number of fans. It was really exciting to travel the world but we only got to spend two days in each place, so there wasn't enough time to really explore.

Where would you most like to visit on your next trip abroad?

Ashley Tisdale: I like to visit tropical places on vacation because I love the beach. I love the water and doing loads of water sports, so anywhere next to the ocean will suit me. I also love shopping, but I can find something to buy wherever I go! London is great for shopping, as is Los Angeles and New York - but I can find a good shop in the middle of nowhere!

Monique Coleman

What is the best thing you take with you from working on the High School Musical trilogy?

Monique Coleman: I feel so blessed about everything this movie has allowed me to do. I've been able to visit some amazing places because of High School Musical and I've met some amazing people all around the world. I would never have imagined coming so far with all three movies. I'm very proud.

Which one moment of your entire HSM experience stands out the most?

Monique Coleman: One specific instance I will never forget was getting to perform in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for two nights. The fans were outrageous! I never felt famous or like a celebrity until I went there. It was crazy. The fans gave so much love and so much passion. It really blew me away.

Why was it so special?

Monique Coleman: Well, we heard so many stories about kids being so poor that lots of them would put their money together so that just one of them could go to the concert. Stories like that can't fail to impress you. When you think about it, the impact this movie has had around the world is amazing.

Was it tough moving from TV to the big screen in High School Musical 3: Senior Year?

Monique Coleman: For me, it was a relief because I've always wanted to be in feature films. It was a perfect transition because it would be scary to do it from scratch - but this time I could do it with a character I knew through and through. I was also with a cast I knew really well, which was another positive.

So it was easier knowing all your cast mates were in the same boat?

Monique Coleman: Definitely! We're such an awesome ensemble and we get along with each other so well that it was a great way to face an immense fear. It was awesome to be able to tackle this with the people you love and in a project you believe in. We knew the movie was going to make an impact, but it was exciting and scary all at the same time.

What is the message of the third movie?

Monique Coleman: I really hope that children around the world can be inspired by the idea of breaking outside the box. There's no need for people to feel as though there is only one career or path you need to follow in life or that there is a certain age at which you need to know what that is.

What do you mean by that?

Monique Coleman: Well, I think this movie is about following your own personal passions. I hope that High School Musical inspires people to not feel as though they need to do what their parents or teachers or friends would necessarily want them to do, but to look inside and see you can do it all.

Is that what happens in High School Musical 3: Senior Year?

Monique Coleman: Sure, that's what happens at the end of the film. They're all happy and still make the people who matter to them proud. I really understand the idea of pride and honour. I have that in my family, so I understand it completely. At the end of the day, this movie has helped me grow and I hope it inspires kids to think for themselves.

What are you like in real life?

Monique Coleman: I'm very sentimental and ambitious. I like to be relaxed and I like to live a peaceful existence, but that's very difficult considering I'm very neurotic. On the inside, I'm very chilled - but on the outside I'm a big mess of worry! I'm an adventurer. I believe in being bold and brave - and taking risks. Even if I'm afraid of something, I'll still have a go at it.

You're the only person in High School Musical who changed her looks for the third film...

Monique Coleman: There's a reason for that! The haircut reflects my character's personality. In the first two movies, I was figuring out who Taylor McKessie was. Acting is a journey and I don't think I had it down completely. But coming into the third movie where it was senior year, I thought back to characters like Taylor who I grew up with and they all cut their hair before they left school.

So you cut your hair?

Monique Coleman: Exactly! I don't know why, but there's something about getting your college cut at that age. Taylor is ready to move on and she is ready to interview for schools with anyone who wants to hear her. Personally, I felt the shorter hair was a better look, too!

Are you going to sign up for High School Musical 4?

Monique Coleman: Is there going to be a High School Musical 4? There are all these rumours, but I've not heard anything. To be honest, I don't know if there's a way to have Taylor in another High School Musical because she graduated from high school at the end of the third film. But who knows? Some of us might think that it sucks out there in the real world and want to come back to East High. We'll just have to see what happens.

So what is next for you?

Monique Coleman: Don't ask me this question! I'm scared because it's been so incredible to be blessed by the work on the High School Musical movies. But I don't know what I'm going to do next - and I don't know what I want to do next. Part of me wants to stay in the same place and play Taylor forever - but another part of me wants to break out and go in a completely different direction. The deepest part of me feels confident in every single one of our futures. Everyone is going to become exactly what they're supposed to become - but it's a tough job finding out what that is. Wish me luck!

High School Musical 3: Senior Year hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on February 17.