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Vanessa Hudgens Talks Zac Efron Relationship: 'I Was Really Mean Because I Was So Fed Up'

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Jesse Dittmar/The Washington Post/Getty

Vanessa Hudgens says that her relationship with Zac Efron sometimes looked better on screen.

The actress and singer, 26, opened up about the jealousy she felt while dating her High School Musical sweetheart, 27, who was bombarded with female attention.

“I went through a phase when I was really mean because I was so fed up,” Hudgens revealed in a New York Times article Sunday.

“Girls were running after him, and I was giving them death stares. Then I realized that’s not what that’s about,” she continued.

But the Gimme Shelter actress has a new golden rule to live by when it comes to respecting those around her: “Spread the love, be a good person, they support you, be nice,” she said.

She and the Neighbors star split in 2010. Hudgens is now dating and living with actor-model Austin Butler, 23, according to the New York Times.

The actress is also busy with the stage adaptation of Colette’s 1945 novel Gigi, in which she makes her Broadway debut.

The show follows a free-spirited young girl living in Paris at the turn of the 20th century who is forced to become the companion of a wealthy playboy. The title role was made famous by Audrey Hepburn in 1951.

“It’s been a lot of fun prepping for Gigi allowing myself to be as free as possible. I love this character, the music and play so much,” Hudgens told PEOPLE in November.

Gigi opens April 8 at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City.

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