Ashley Tisdale Doesn't 'Understand the Fuss' over Zac Efron

10/10/2008 at 08:45 AM EDT

Ashley Tisdale Doesn't 'Understand the Fuss' over Zac Efron
Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale
Kevin Winter/Getty
Everywhere he goes, frenzied crowds of girls scream Zac Efron's name. But Ashley Tisdale isn't one of them.

"I've never looked at Zac that way because he's always been like a younger brother to me," the 23-year-old High School Musical star tells Britain's Daily Mail. "Girls go crazy over him, but I've just never been attracted to him in that way."

The problem? "I'm three years older than him," she says. "That makes a major difference when you are young."

And while she concedes that Efron – who turns 21 on Oct. 18 – is "definitely hot," Tisdale just can't see him as a heartthrob.

"He's a great actor, but I still don't understand what everyone's making the fuss about," she says. "The hysteria over him is all rather surreal."

(Off screen, Tisdale has her own leading man – Jared Murillo, from the band V Factory.)

Best Friends Forever

Still, Efron is a good pal – and so is his girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens.

"With fame and success you do lose friends because of jealousy and competitiveness," she said. "It's different with Vanessa and me. Nobody else can understand what we've been through in the past couple of years."

That includes Hudgens' infamous photo scandal.

"She was very upset over the nude pictures," Tisdale concedes. "I don't talk much about that, but definitely I was supportive over the issue."

And even though they're both in the same industry – with acting and musical ambitions – Tisdale insists, "there's no competition between us."

2007: Ashley gets a new nose!
Get a sneak peak at HSM 3!
Read about Zac and more HOT teen stars!

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