In his subsequent musical films, Efron did his own singing.
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.
He also starred in the drama At Any Price, which premiered at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival, and the historical drama Parkland, which premiered at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival.
Both of these films received mixed reviews from critics.
He began acting professionally in the early 2000s, and rose to prominence in the late 2000s for his leading role in the High School Musical franchise (2006–08).
During this time, he also starred in the musical film Hairspray (2007) and the comedy film 17 Again (2009).
He followed this with the commercially successful comedy 17 Again (2009) about a 37-year-old man (Matthew Perry) who is transformed into his 17-year-old self (Efron) after a chance accident.
Efron’s next release was Richard Linklater’s period drama Me and Orson Welles, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and received a wide release in late 2009.
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.