‘High School Musical’ Was Vanessa Hudgens’ Only High School Experience

'I got to have my fantasy prom and got to wear a cap and gown,' she says of reaching movie milestones while being homeschooled.

At the ripe old age of 19, Vanessa Hudgens is on the verge of becoming a Hollywood superstar. She and Zac Efron are the Disney power couple, and now that she’s leaving her role as Gabriella Montez behind, Hudgens is also poised to leave the “High School Musical” franchise in the dust.

“I came into this project at 16 years old and just eager to work,” she told MTV News. “I had so much fun, and I was so passionate about acting, singing and dancing.”

Up next for Hudgens is another high school film, “Bandslam,” which Hudgens insists is nothing like “HSM.” “It’s a little bit more rock and roll,” she said. “I get to play a character who’s very different. She’s a lot darker and more deadpan. She comes out in the end with a Flying V [Gibson guitar], and she gets to have her fun.”

But right now, Hudgens is excited to have the well-loved “High School Musical” franchise finally coming to a theater near you, after two made-for-TV films. “The fact that we finally get to take it to the big screen is really exciting,” she said. “We finally have the chance to create something bigger and better.”

Hudgens didn’t have the opportunity to attend a real high school. She was too busy working in Hollywood to deal with the daily grind of lockers, gym class and all the awkward moments that most normal teens go through. So working on “HSM” offered the chance to see what it would be like to be a normal teen, albeit with lots of musical numbers.

“I was actually homeschooled. [So working on 'HSM,'] I got to have my fantasy prom and got to wear a cap and gown for the first time and graduate with people I love — the cast — so it’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s been this journey.”

And on that journey, she met her boyfriend. When most teens are learning about the birds and the bees in front of their classmates, Efron and Hudgens did it in front of the paparazzi — but that doesn’t mean she’s ruled out working with Efron again.

“We have the most amazing time,” she said. “I think with the entire cast, as well. We are all so close. I think we’d like to keep that door open to do another project together.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”

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