Drew Barrymore Recalls Being a Third Wheel on Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' Date

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·4 min read
Drew Barrymore Recalls Being a Third Wheel on Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' Date
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A long, long time ago, Drew Barrymoreand an iconic Hollywood couple were all in this together.

"This" being a Kings of Leonconcert. On The Drew Barrymore Show on Friday, May 7, the actress interviewed Vanessa Hudgens remotely and recalled attending one of the rock band's shows with her and the star's then-boyfriend and High School Musical co-star, Zac Efron. In October 2008, it was reported that the couple and the now-TV host were among several celebs who watched Kings of Leon play the Los Angeles' Nokia Theater L.A. Live.

"I was just thinking about, back in the day, we went to a Kings of Leon concert together, you, me and Zac Efron," said Drew, 46. "And it was one of the funnest nights of my life."

Much like we're doing at this very second, Vanessa, 32, appears to picture the iconic three-way-date fondly in her head.

"Are you kidding me? It's like, still a story I tell to this day," the actress told Drew. "That was such a wild time. I remember being there and I was like, 'What's happening? This is so amazing.' You were so sweet."

Drew joked, "I was literally your and Zac's third wheel," adding, "It was so fun and you guys were so cute and cozy and I just had the best time."

Remembering Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' Romance

Zac, 33, and Vanessa met in 2005 on the set of the Disney Channel movie High School Musical, in which they played couple Troy and Gabriella. They went on to reprise their roles in two sequels. The two dated for about four years before breaking up in 2010.

"It started off really organically," Vanessa said about their past romance, in a 2019 interview on the Awards Chatter podcast. "I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time."

Vanessa went on to date Austin Butler for almost nine years before it was reported in January 2020 that the two called it quits. The actress began dating MLB player Cole Tucker of the Pittsburgh Pirates last fall.

Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Drew Barrymore
Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Drew Barrymore

"I remember in quarantine, I was like, 'Cool, so I'm single now and I can't meet anybody,'" she recalled on The Drew Barrymore Show. "And I'm like, 'I guess I'll go on a dating app,' but I always said I would never go on a dating app. And then I found myself on a dating app and I was like, 'I hate myself!' So I was like, 'I gotta get off of that.' And so, I kind of just gave up for a minute...and my girlfriend was on this Zoom meditation group, weekly, and she's like, 'Would you want to hop on?' I was like, 'Of course, I love that.'"

The Spring Breakers star said she was added to a group text, where everyone shared GIFs of themselves. "There's like a GIF in the group chat of like, a baseball player and he's sliding onto a base and I thought it was a joke," Vanessa noted. "So I just responded, 'Hot.' And then I get on the Zoom and I'm like, 'Who is that?' And I found him and we started talking and yeah, it's while that, you know, we found each other over Zoom."

Vanessa encouraged women to make the first move if they are interested in someone. "I mean, I'm such a go-getter," she said. "I'm like, if I want something or someone, I'm going after 'em. I fully just slid into his DMs and was like, 'Hey, it was nice to meet you.' I think there is no shame in making the first move. If you want it, why wait for someone else to give you what you want?"

As for Zac, the actor has dated several women, reportedly including some famous ones, since he and Vanessa broke up.

He and Sam Miró went out for a year and a half until they split in 2016. In 2020, while living in Australia, Zac went public with his relationship with local model Vanessa Valladares. Last month, one of the actor's friends, Kyle Sandilands, said on his radio program The Kyle and Jackie O Show that the star recently confirmed reports that he and his girlfriend had broken up.