The film, which has been described as a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, saw Efron playing the male lead Troy Bolton, a high school basketball player who feels conflicted when he finds himself interested in participating in the school musical with Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), a girl from the scholastic decathlon team.The film, which also starred Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman in pivotal roles, became a major success and helped Efron gain recognition among teenage audiences.
In 2004, he began appearing as a recurring character in the first season of the WB series Summerland.
For the show’s second season, which aired in 2005, he was promoted to the main cast.
In his subsequent musical films, Efron did his own singing.
Efron was next seen playing the role of Link Larkin in the musical comedy film Hairspray (2007), based on the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name.
After lending his voice to the commercially successful computer-animated film The Lorax (2012), he appeared as the male lead in the romantic drama The Lucky One (2012), based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks.
The film became a major box office success despite negative reviews from critics.
Cloud (2010), which became a moderate success at the box office despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics.
Efron next appeared as a part of the large ensemble cast in Garry Marshall’s New Year's Eve (2011), which depicted a series of holiday vignettes of different groups of characters.
Efron’s first release of 2014 was the romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, on which he was also an executive producer.