Troy Bolton To True Crime, Zac Efron Has Surprised Us All

by : Emily Brown on : 18 Oct 2020 16:17

T as in Troy? Well yes, but also T as in Ted Bundy, Teddy from Bad Neighbours and That fancy one from The Greatest Showman

Okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch, but on Zac Efron’s 33rd birthday it’s only right to look back on his range of roles, and acknowledge that he’s always been around when we need him.


The actor rose to fame in the role of basketball player, music fan and teen heart-throb Troy Bolton, but it would’ve been easy for him to slip into the category of forgettable ‘Disney Channel Original Movie star’ if it weren’t for the success of the first film.

Zac Efron High School MusicalDisney

Whether down to his charming personality or the positive message he portrayed in the film, Efron proved to be a hit with girls and guys alike, coming across as someone you’d be glad to have in your circle.

Rather than settling for being ‘the guy from High School Musical’, Efron branched out in the emotional drama The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, in which he proved his range as an actor by making the audience break down in tears at the loss of his on-screen brother.


As a good-looking, charming young man it wasn’t so surprising when he took on less serious roles in the likes of Bad Neighbours, That Awkward Moment, Dirty Grandpa and Baywatch, but I’m sure many fans were delighted to see him return to his roots and show off his singing voice in the likes of Hairspray and The Greatest Showman. 

Zac Efron Bad NeighboursUniversal Pictures

After watching Efron find himself in High School Musical as kids and laughing at the antics he got up to as a bachelor and college student as teenagers, it’s seemed like the actor has always embraced roles fitting to his fanbase, bringing to life many of the struggles and experiences that viewers were going through themselves.


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Considering his back catalogue of comedy and musicals, Efron shocked many fans when he signed on to play serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Efron put his charm to work once again in the film, though this time his character had much more sinister plans in mind.

The film’s release in 2019 coincided with a growing public love of true crime stories, and further demonstrated Efron’s range as he pulled off the chilling role of Bundy. A far cry from his innocent Getcha Head In The Game years, his portrayal likely convinced many viewers that he is much more than a former Disney star.

Zac Efron Ted BundyNetflix

In keeping with his apparent habit of staying on trend with viewers’ interests, one of Efron’s latest projects saw him be himself in front of the camera in a Netflix documentary titled Down To Earth.


While his observations of ‘sick’ renewable energy sources in Iceland may not have been the most insightful, it’s always reassuring to see a celebrity stress the need to help the environment, and to see someone who has previously been associated with ‘laddish’ and ‘frat boy’ roles discuss climate change further encourages people to see Efron in a new light and pay attention to the messages he’s putting across.

Considering he’s only turning 33 today, there’s no denying that Efron has achieved a lot of things in a short space of time. Troy Bolton might have been the one to win us over initially, but in the following years the actor has proved time and again that he’s always got more up his sleeve.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Celebrity, Now, Serial Killer, Ted Bundy, Zac Efron