By Madison Brodsky, ETCanada.com Staff.

Vanessa Hudgens gave the internet all of the nostalgic feels when she returned to the school which served as the backdrop for the “High School Musical” franchise fourteen years ago. Now, a month later, the triple threat is explaining how the surprise visit came to be.

“I was actually there because my boyfriend was playing there, and I was there with him and I was like, ‘I gotta go to East High,” Hudgens told ET Canada.


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“I had rented a car and I just drove myself down there with Darla, my puppy, and took her out and stood on the streets,” she added. “It was great because it was summer vacation so there was nobody there. It felt like a wasteland and it was just such a blast from the past.”

Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens photographed inside East High’s gymnasium in “High School Musical”
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens photographed inside East High’s gymnasium in “High School Musical”
— Photo: Fred Hayes/ Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection

In case you missed it, the 33-year-old actress posted a reel of herself walking around the outside of the school in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the beloved musical track, “Breaking Free” played in the background. Returning to set and reflecting on all of her memories with her former cast mates, Hudgens calls the moment “surreal.”

“It’s wild,” she said. “So many years have gone by and it’s still standing.”


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Hudgens was appearing at her Cali Cares charity fundraising dinner benefiting No Kid Hungry on behalf of her brand, Caliwater. The event that took place at Spago in Beverly Hills Sunday night included a formal dinner, a silent auction and a jazz performance from the “High School Musical” actress herself.

When asked why she chose No Kid Hungry as a charitable partner, Hudgens was quick to note how non-profits who help children and those with cancer have always been close to her heart.


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“I feel like it’s really important to ask yourself what’s upsetting to you, and the things that have affected me and that are upsetting to me are cancer because I lost my dad to cancer, and then I love kids and no kid should have to worry about when they’re going to be able to get their next meal,” Hudgens said.

“No Kid Hungry does such an amazing job at providing meals to children all over and making it really easy and accessible for families,” she added. “It’s just so important and they do such a fantastic job. I love everything that they do, so whenever I can support them, I’m there.”





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Ellen Bullock