Zac Efron played basketball-playing heartthrob Troy Bolton in the first three of Disney’s High School Musical movies. I know this, despite not being a child when those movies were released, or having seen them in their entirety. That’s how popular Zac Efron and his floppy little haircut was in the mid-2000s. Zac Efron has had quite an extensive career since he was singing at the rest of the East High School Wildcats to get’cha head in the game, and yet! Apparently, he cannot escape the role of Gabriella Montez’s pretty-boy boyfriend. Zac appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night to promote his Netflix travel series, Down to Earth with Zac Efronand he explained to Jimmy Kimmel that even in the places you might least expect it, he’s getting the “OMG it’s Troy Barnes!“treatment. Like by a semi-isolated crocodile-hunting tribe in Papua New Guinea.
via People magazine:
“I lived with this local tribe. They were from the Sepik River, and they’re kind of well known as the crocodile people because they live in the Sepik River, and they worship crocodiles. It’s their deity, their god.” Kimmel then asked the Down to Earth host if he was recognized at any point during the trip or if the group ever saw him in the Disney films.
Nodding his head, Efron explained, “I was out there camping, I didn’t have a cellphone. We were off the grid. In Papua New Guinea, there’s no technology. We were sleeping in little huts that they had for us – and that was me and a lot of buddies. We were roughing it, for sure.” By the end of the trip, “a couple of guys came to me with cellphones — these are the tribesmen guys. We FaceTimed their cousins, their wives and people that were living in other places all over the world. They knew who I was the whole time and didn’t say anything about it! It was pretty wild, and then I realized, ‘Wow, OK. I’ve made it everywhere.””
Zac should have ended by saying, “See? These object strangers instantly recognized my face! We can officially kill those plastic surgery rumors now.”
High School Musical was a massive mid-2000s phenomenon, so, frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked if a race of aliens from 16 galaxies away on Earth one day, looked at Zac Efron, and said something in zeep-zorp that translated to “Wow, Troy Barnes! A selfie please?. The real test is if someone asked those crocodiles in the Sepik River if they were excited to meet Zac Efron. Sadly, those crocodiles might have taste and reply, “Meh. But call us when we get a visit from Sharpay Evans!”