From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
AGE: 21
BIRTHDAY: OCT. 18
PLAYS: MR. POPULAR TROY BOLTON

HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR HSM EXPERIENCE FROM START TO FINISH?

It's very much like the way you feel with your best friends at the end of high school—we've had so many firsts together. We were all at very similar places in our lives when we started and we all just held hands and pushed each other and we grew with each other. And also, for me, High School Musical 3 feels like my last chance to just let the joy of being young shine through.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?

Honestly, I don't know. Even five years ago I'd never have predicted I'd be here. I have no idea where I'm headed. I'm having fun choosing projects and roles and collaborating. I would love to still be an actor in 10 years.

IS COLLEGE STILL IN YOUR PLANS?

Definitely. I was accepted to USC to study film. However, the opportunity to collaborate with working directors is also a great spot to be in. I'm learning a lot, and I'm not behind any desk.

WHOSE ACTING CAREER DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?

Tom Cruise and Leonardo DiCaprio. These guys continually evolve. It's amazing, after all these years they're learning new skill sets. You know, learning to ride motorcycles and learning karate.

OF ALL YOUR COSTARS, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO GET TO THE SET EARLY?

Olesya Rulin or KayCee Stroh.

BE LATE?

Chris Warren.

MESS UP A DANCE NUMBER?

Yours truly. I'm the last one to get everything.

BE AT THE SNACK TABLE?

The dancers who don't stop dancing all day. And probably me and Corbin.

WORK OUT THE MOST?

Ashley.

BUT YOU'RE A WORKOUT FANATIC, AREN'T YOU?

Yeah, when you're living in L.A. and you're an actor, it's easy to just sit around all day, and I have to stay active. I have since I was a little kid. I have all kinds of different hobbies that I do, and one of them, my fail-safe, is to go to the gym for an hour. But it's unfortunate that so many people are waiting outside every time I leave the gym.

YEAH, NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO THESE DAYS, THE PAPARAZZI SEEM TO FIND YOU, RIGHT?

Yeah, it's strange. Every day is a crazy adventure. We do some pretty kooky things to avoid them. It's like The Bourne Identity. I'm starting to learn the ways of the ninja.

JUST TO GET A CUP OF COFFEE?

Yeah! Ashley's been dealing with the same stuff. Whenever we go to dinner we have to drive an extra half hour to lose them.

YOU AND VANESSA ARE CLOSE, BUT DO YOU SEE YOURSELF HAVING HSM REUNIONS WITH THE OTHER COSTARS, TOO?

Absolutely. We're all a different piece to the puzzle. After doing three movies and seeing the world together and sharing these life experiences, we're going to need each other's support as we move out and do different things.