Zac Efron is an upper classman – at last. The BMOC (Big Man on Campus) is now filming High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
“When I got there everyone was calm, collected. They were working really hard,” Efron, 20, told PEOPLE about the new production while at Sunday’s MTV Movie Awards, where he won the prize for best breakthrough performance for his role as heartthrob Link Larkin in last year’s movie musical Hairspray.
As for resuming his role as Troy Bolton in Disney’s third HSM installment – which will be a feature rather than a TV movie – Efron says, “It felt like the first two movies all over again. We just kind of can’t go wrong with Kenny Ortega as our director and leader and our great cast and crew. We’ve got no squabbles to get through.”
As for making the leap to the big screen, “Everything’s been stepped up a few notches, all the dances, and I think the songs are pretty catchy this time around. And it’s our senior year, so we’ve got graduation and prom to look forward to. All fun things to have in a movie.”
A Kiss from Vanessa
Efron attended the MTV event at California’s Universal Studios with Vanessa Hudgens, who planted a kiss on him when his name was announced. Winning, said Efron, was “frightening. It’s crazy. It’s the last thing you expect. I was up against so many fantastic performances – the entire cast of Superbad, almost, which was one of my favorite movies of the year.”
On the red carpet, Efron also received a lot of attention from fans – especially the female ones. “You never know with teenage girls. It’s funny,” he said. “But they’re always, most of the time they’re pretty respectful, and I love ’em. I’m very grateful.”