Zac Efron Met ‘1 of My Frickin’ Heroes’ While Vacationing With a ‘High School Musical’ Connection

Actor Zac Efron has made several popular films over the past decade. But for many, he’ll always be best known for his starring role in the movie High School Musical. Not only did the pop culture phenomenon help bolster his status in Hollywood, but it helped him make connections — including one that led to a memorable encounter.

Zac Efron starred in the ‘High School Musical’ franchise

Efron gained fame for his role as Troy Bolton in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. Troy is a high school basketball player who decides to try out for the school musical after meeting new student Gabriella. The 2006 film was followed by two sequels and a spinoff Disney+ show.

Following his Disney breakthrough, Efron starred in films such as 17 AgainCharlie St. Cloud, and The Lucky One. However, it wasn’t until 2014’s Neighbors that he was able to turn a corner into more adult roles. Since then, Efron has headlined movies like Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

He met Jim Carrey while vacationing with the film’s director

Kenny Ortega (L) and Zac Efron attend the 2010 Maui Film Festival VIP Party on June 17, 2010 in Wailea, Hawaii.
Kenny Ortega (L) and Zac Efron attend the 2010 Maui Film Festival VIP Party on June 17, 2010, in Wailea, Hawaii. | Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Maui Film Festival

For his fans, meeting Efron would be a dream come true. But the actor also has celebrities that he looks up to — one of whom he met years ago. “I was staying with my friend Kenny Ortega,” he said on Hot Ones in April 2020. “He directed High School Musical. This is a couple [of] years after. He said, ‘I’m friends with Jim Carrey. You want to go to his house?'”

Efron said he walked down the Hawaii beach and had a funny encounter with the comedic star. “On the second story of the building, Jim Carrey was there just standing on the balcony,” Efron explained, saying that the actor made a primal noise reminiscent of one of his beloved films.

“It was really like Ace Venture: Pet Detective, and that’s one of my favorite movies growing up,” he continued. “So it was pretty cool. He’s a very nice guy and one of my frickin’ heroes.” Efron shared a photo of the two on Instagram in 2019, writing, “After all these years, I still haven’t washed this nipple.”

How does Efron feel about ‘High School Musical’ now?

Zac Efron at Disney Channel's 'High School Musical' Press Breakfast on December 16, 2005
Zac Efron at Disney Channel’s ‘High School Musical’ Press Breakfast on December 16, 2005 | Eric Neitzel/WireImage

RELATED: Leonardo DiCaprio Was Surprised by How Much Attention Zac Efron Got During His ‘High School Musical’ Days

Many adult actors look back on their younger roles with disdain. But Efron wasn’t into the idea from the beginning. “The second we finished the first one,” he told Men’s Journal in 2016 of when he was ready to move on from the franchise. “I was, like, 17. And I said, ‘Guys, you know this is not at all what I want to do?'”

Efron remains unhappy with who he used to be. “I step back and look at myself and I still want to kick that guy’s a** sometimes,” he said. “Like, f*ck that guy. He’s done some kind of cool things with some cool people—he did that one thing [Neighbors] that was funny—but, I mean, he’s still just that f*cking kid from [High School Musical].”

Soon after, Efron clarified that he loved working on HSM. He called it “one of the most cherished and exciting times of my life” in an Instagram with Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, and ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens. In April 2020, he introduced the cast singing the film’s song “We’re All In This Together” during a Disney Family Singalong.