Skip to main content

Zendaya danced on the original series, Shake It Up. Zac Efron sang during the original movie, High School Musical.

These actors rose to fame with Disney Channel productions, later starring alongside each other for the movie musical, The Greatest Showman, now available on Disney’s streaming platform.

Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Hugh Jackman attend the Australian premiere of 'The Greatest Showman'
Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Hugh Jackman attend the Australian premiere of ‘The Greatest Showman’ | Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Zendaya and Zac Efron starred in the movie musical, ‘The Greatest Showman’

Released in 2017, this movie musical told the story of P.T. Barnum, (portrayed by Hugh Jackman,) and how his circus became legendary.

The Greatest Showman also introduced viewers to characters like Anne Wheeler, a trapeze artist who falls in love with one of P.T. Barnum’s associates, Phillip Carlyle. 

Complete with plenty of singing and dancing moments, Phillip Carlyle is portrayed by Efron. Anne Wheeler, his co-star, is portrayed by Zendaya. However, both of these actors first appeared in Disney Channel originals. 

Did Zendaya and Zac Efron ever work together during their Disney Channel days?

Although these actors both appeared in Disney Channel originals, the two never appeared in the same Disney Channel production together. Efron was best known for his work in the original movie, High School Musical as the basketball-playing singer, Troy Bolton. 

The actor reprised this role for two sequels, performing musical numbers like “Bet On It” and “Get’cha Head in the Game.” Efron later appeared in the Disney Channel series, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, as the handsome and environmentally conscious Trevor.

Zendaya had a role in several Disney Channel shows. That includes Shake It Up, where she starred alongside Bella Thorne. She had cameos in Good Luck Charlie and A.N.T. Farm, later starring as the title character in K.C. Undercover. One of her last projects with the television network was the movie Zapped.


Where Does HBO’s Original Series, ‘Euphoria’ Take Place? Here’s What We Know About Zendaya’s Character and Her Suburban Hometown

Zendaya and Zac Efron performed ‘Rewrite the Stars’ 

Both actors went on to star in more serious roles. Efron appeared as the serial killer, Ted Bundy, in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Zendaya won an Emmy for her starring role in HBO’s drama series, Euphoria.

However, both actors returned to the world of theater for this movie musical. The pair performed the song “Rewrite the Stars,” even sharing a few emotional moments as their characters onscreen. During one interview with Buzzfeed, the actors discussed some of the most challenging parts of The Greatest Showman.

“I would say, even though there’s all this crazy trapezing aerial stuff that we’ve done, for some reason we made it happen and it worked really good,” Zendaya said. “In a weird way, it was easy. So I’m going to go with the first day being the most dramatic scene. Literally, my first-day shooting was, like, tears and hospital beds.”