BIRTHDAY: MARCH 17
PLAYS: SHY COMPOSER KELSI NIELSEN
HOW IS YOUR CHARACTER DIFFERENT IN HSM3?
Kelsi has grown into a woman. She’s ready to graduate and she’s ready to take that next step in performing arts. Ms. Darbus never told her she had potential, and now I feel like she knows she does.
WHAT DID YOU DO RIGHT AFTER THE FILM WRAPPED?
I went to Moscow for a bit, and then I went to my parents’ village in Russia. I picked mushrooms and berries. I’d pick mushrooms in the forest and then I’d make mushroom soup or shish kebabs. I also rode around on a Vespa. I painted a little bit and watched a lot of sunsets.
WHAT’S YOUR 10-YEAR GAME PLAN?
I don’t believe in 10-year plans. I don’t believe in five-year plans. I don’t know what I’m doing next week! I don’t really care as long as I’m happy and healthy. I’ll be hanging out with my dog Charlie.
WILL YOU STILL BE IN SHOWBIZ?
Sure, why not? I love acting, it’s a wonderful profession. I’m happy to be here and ride out the wave.
Chris Warren Jr.
BIRTHDAY: JAN. 15
PLAYS: BAKING JOCK ZEKE BAYLOR
HOW HAS HSM CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
It helped me build a lot of confidence—being in an environment with such great people.
YOU MISSED YOUR SENIOR PROM AND GRADUATION THIS YEAR. DISAPPOINTED?
I was, but I got to go to both in the movie. The real prom probably would have been lame compared to what we did.
HOW HAVE YOU GROWN UP SINCE THE FIRST HSM?
This movie was the first time I felt independent. I was shopping all the time. It was my money, but it was a lot of money. Next time I went shopping, I was like, “Let’s really think about this.”
WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR THE NEW HSM KIDS?
Stay humble and be ready: This is going to be huge.
BIRTHDAY: FEB. 3
PLAYS: CLASS CLOWN JASON CROSS
HOW HAS BEING IN HSM CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
I was really confused a couple years back. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So High School Musical definitely showed me what this world could be like, and I’m trying to run with it. Plus, having a little bit of money now, I’m getting into being an adult.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SPLURGE?
I got a black Mustang GT. It’s awesome, I love it! It’s probably my favorite thing out of everything that’s happened so far.
WHAT’S SOMETHING MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FILMING OF HSM3?
People would be surprised that we all lived together. We woke up in pajamas and stuff. It was like a relaxed, family relationship.
WHICH ACTOR’S CAREER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO EMULATE?
My favorite actor growing up was Tom Cruise. I’ve always wanted to do a movie like Risky Business. I also love Robert Downey Jr. He’s been in some amazing pictures.
BIRTHDAY: MAY 29
PLAYS: HIP-HOPPER MARTHA COX
HOW DOES YOUR CHARACTER EVOLVE IN HSM3?
She goes from the shy brainiac to leading the school. She’s a hip-hop diva and she matches my personality—super spunky.
WHAT DID YOU DO TO MARK THE END OF FILMING?
My fiancé and I and Corbin, Ryne and Chris Warren Jr. had a campfire and roasted s’mores together. We stayed up until 5 in the morning just eating s’mores and talking.
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR HSM EXPERIENCE?
Every morning I get up and it feels like a dream. You’re talking about a little girl from Utah who, ever since she was 5, was like, “I’m going to do it someday. I’m going to sing, act, dance. I’m going to be a famous triple threat!” It’s just been so fun, and every time I think the cast can’t get any closer, we have a way of doing it.
BIRTHDAY: JULY 29
PLAYS: TROY’S PROTEGE JIMMIE ZARA
HOW NERVE-RACKING WAS IT TO AUDITION FOR HSM3?
I was so nervous; I’d never sung, I’d never danced. Before I auditioned, I was like, “All right guys, I’ve never sung before, so if I suck, just send me on my way.” I sang and they were like, “You should sing more often.”
DID YOU PICK UP THE DANCING PART EASILY?
No. I didn’t realize how every muscle in your body goes into dancing. My abs were sore, my pecs. But I pull off some moves.
DID YOU MAKE FAST FRIENDS WITH THE CAST?
I knew Zac because he had done a film with my roommate. We bonded. And I’d say my best friend on-set is Chris Warren Jr.
WHAT DID YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME DURING FILMING?
Shopped. I’m a sneaker fan like no other. I bought 10 pairs of Nikes in Salt Lake City. And two suitcases. I love rock music, too. I have 4,250 songs in my iPod.
TAKE ANY MEMENTOS FROM THE SET?
A script. I had everyone sign it, all the actors. Zac wrote a cool message. It said, “It’s been real. Here’s the torch.”
BIRTHDAY: MAY 17
PLAYS: FRESHMAN SIDEKICK DONNY FOX
YOU JUST STARTED HIGH SCHOOL IN REAL LIFE, RIGHT?
Yeah, I’m a freshman, it’s pretty exciting. Just started and got right into the homework and hard-studying thing. It’s not my favorite, but you got to do it!
HOW DOES HSM3‘S HIGH SCHOOL DIFFER FROM REAL HIGH SCHOOL?
I don’t think you can run half-naked through my school without getting suspended! And singing in random places. I don’t think that happens either.
DID YOU GET ANY SOUVENIRS FROM THE SET?
The wardrobe lady let me keep a few pairs of shoes. I’m a shoe fanatic. I have mostly sneakers and a few classy pairs for church or for a special occasion.
RUMOR HAS IT YOU’RE WORKING ON AN ALBUM. WHAT’S THE VIBE?
Hip-hop, R&B and pop. I did a track that was inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.”
BIRTHDAY: JUNE 2
PLAYS: SHARPAY’S PERSONAL ASSISTANT TIARA GOLD
SO YOU CAME ALL THE WAY FROM LONDON TO AUDITION FOR THIS MOVIE, RIGHT?
Yeah, it was my first time in America. It was cool.
WERE YOU AN HSM FAN BEFORE THIS FILM?
I was 11 when it first came out. I had a poster of Zac in my room! I took it down when I was 12.
THIS IS YOUR FILM DEBUT. WERE YOU NERVOUS?
It was scary when I first met everyone, but they’re all cool. Luckily, I met them all before I had to dance.
DID ASHLEY GIVE YOU ADVICE?
She talked about remembering who your friends are. Now, if I’m talking to someone and they’re like, “How’s Zac?” I’m like, “Oh, shush. You just want to hear about the movie.”