Are Vanessa Hudgens & Zac Efron Still Friends?

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Alexandra Lozovschi

Once a golden couple of the early 2000s, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, went their separate ways in January 2011 after a five-year relationship that started on the set of Disney's High School Musical. While the famous exes haven't been a thing for the past decade, many are still wondering if the once seemingly perfect couple continues to be on friendly terms.

Sadly for HSM fans, the answer is a flat "no," Hudgens revealed to Access Hollywood back in 2017.

Here's what reportedly caused the total rift between them.

Perfect Romance

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The HSM co-stars seemed like they were destined to be when they first crossed paths on the movie set in 2005, with Efron gushing about their instant chemistry in 2007: “I was like, ‘They’re not trying us with other people.’ For some reason, we kept sticking around [for callbacks]. I don’t know what it was with Vanessa, but we kind of clicked from the very beginning.”

Likewise, Hudgens has also spoken enthusiastically about their connection, saying: “We created a bond from the start."

Watch their adorable HSM audition tape below!

But while raving about each other in interviews would later become a common thing for the high-profile couple, their perfect romance soon began to unravel, with breakup and cheating rumors first surfacing in 2007.

Relationship Doubts

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According to The Things, one of the things that were causing problems between Hudgens and Efron was his insane popularity with female fans.

“I went through a phase when I was really mean because I was so fed up,” the 33-year-old actress and singer told New York Times in 2015. “Girls were running after him, and I was giving them death stares. Then I realized that’s not what that’s about. ‘Spread the love, be a good person, they support you, be nice.’”

Likewise, Hudgens confessed she had a hard time dealing with being apart once their careers started moving in different directions after wrapping up the third and final installment of HSM in 2008.

“Long-distance relationships are hard no matter what. When you don’t have face-to-face time, it’s just different," she told Shape magazine in 2011. "Having an iPhone helped, but it just wasn’t the same.”

Likewise, Efron was having his own relationship doubts, as he told Details in August 2010, four months before the former couple called it quits.

“Believe me, I rack my brain thinking, ‘Why am I not out there playing the field?'” he said. “One of my buddies was like, ‘You have no idea what’s going on right now. You’re peaking on Ecstasy and you’re watching TV.’ But it’s not in my heart.”

Different Paths

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While it was never confirmed that Efron was unfaithful to Hudgens, The Thing notes that his sky-rocketing career, which constantly required him to be away, ultimately caused the relationship to end.

After HSM, the 34-year-old star went on to make several successful movies in 2010-2011, including Charlie St. Cloud, New Year’s Eve, and Robot Chicken: Star Wars III. Meanwhile, Hudgens' Beastly and Sucker Punch did not perform so well, with the media outlet intimating that their different career paths may have caused a wedge between them.

Opening up about the relationship on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast in 2019, Hudgens spoke fondly about how the romance first started while also revealing that tensions between them were starting to cause problems at work.

“I remember one time we did have a fight, and it was while we were at rehearsals, and I remember [HSM director] Kenny Ortega coming around the corner with the most concerned look on his face like, ‘Oh no, is our movie going to fall apart right now?'” she said.

Although things between the couple had largely seemed stable from the outside, reports of Efron's wild partying as well as his drug and drinking problems cast a new light on the relationship. According to People, the actor had serious substance abuse issues in 2010, with one source recounting an incident where Efron and his friends went to a strip club as soon as Hudgens left for a New York photoshoot.

No Longer Friends

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While Efron would go on to rehab and clean up his image, the pair broke up in December 2010. They briefly reunited and were spotted getting cozy at an event in January 2011, giving fans hope for a reconciliation, but ultimately decided to part ways for good shortly thereafter.

Regardless, Hudgens still had good things to say about the defunct relationship in 2019, proving there was no bad blood between them. Speaking to People in April 2019, she said she was "grateful" for the time they shared together.

“It started off really organically,” she said. “I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time... It was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me.”

Hudgens added: “And it’s just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well.”

However, the Tick, Tick... Boom! star made it clear that she and Efron no longer keep in touch.

“That’s not… not a thing that happens,” she told Access Hollywood in 2017. “No, I completely lost contact with him.”

Watch it below!

It's also noteworthy that Efron was famously absent from the HSM reunion last year, with many wondering if that had anything to do with his ex.