Why Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens Didn’t Have Kids Before Oscars Pregnancy

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Throwback to Zanessa. Zac Efron revealed why he and Vanessa Hudgens didn’t have kids years before her pregnancy announcement at the Oscars 2024. Hudgens—who hosted the 96th Academy Awards pre-show on March 10 with her best friend, Julianne Hough—confirmed that she and her husband, MLB player Cole Tucker, were expecting their first child on the red carpet in a skin-tight black dress revealing her noticeable baby bump.

“Clearly I’m excited!! You’re gonna be the best mama @vanessahudgens,” Hough captioned a photo of her and Hudgens at the Oscars on her Instagram Story. Hudgens and Tucker started dating in November 2020, less than a year after her breakup with her boyfriend of eight years, Austin Butler. Hudgens and Tucker got engaged in February 2023 and married in December of that year. “I am yours and you are mine. Forever my valentine.🥰,” Hudgens captioned an Instagram photo of her and Tucker on Valentine’s Day.

Vanessa Hudgens Planned to Have Kids With Austin Butler Years Before Her Oscars Pregnancy With Her Husband
Vanessa Hudges at the 2024 Oscars
Vanessa Hudgens Pregnant

Before her relationships with Tucker and Butler, however, Hudgens dated Efron. Hudgens and Efron, who met in 2005 while playing love interests Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton in Disney Channel’s High School Musical, dated from 2005 to 2010. In an interview with The Independent in 2009, Efron explained that he and Hudgens weren’t thinking of having kids at the time because of their “over-exposure” to children as the stars of the High School Musical franchise. “The very idea of kids at this point is frightening to me. Maybe its over-exposure at a young age to a lot of kids?! Right now, I think I’m honestly, deep-down, too selfish of a person. So I don’t have that longing yet. I think eventually, maybe, it will come,” he said.

He also discussed awkward moments between High School Musical fans and their parents. “Since I was very young, I’ve always got along with adults as well as, if not better, than kids my own age. I don’t know why that should be?” he said. “Throughout HSM, there’s been a teenage following. But even more than that, there’s been the moms right from the very beginning. The more interesting fan encounters are usually with moms.”

He continued, “”As far as the mothers are concerned, you never know what’s going to happen. Its funny because the kids can be shy but the moms feel like they know you. They come across as very comfortable. They want to talk to me and ask how I’m doing, and sometimes they want to go and get a bite to eat… Oh yeah, a lot of stuff like that.”

Hudgens, for her part, told Nylon in 2022 that he always had a timeline for when she would start a family. “I always thought I would be married at 25, because that’s when my mom got married, and then when that didn’t happen, I was like, ‘Oh, OK, So we’re just going to shift everything back a bit.’” She continued, “I always thought that around 36, 37 is when I would want to have kids, and that still plays. I don’t feel panicked about it.” (Hudgens was 35 when she and Tucker became pregnant with their first child.)

Hudgens also told Women’s Health in 2018 (at the time she was dating Butler) that planned to have kids in her late 30s. “I want to get married, travel, then have kids—probably in my late 30s,” she said. She continued, “Everyone’s clock is different.”

As for why Hudgens and Efron broke up, Hudgens told the “Awards Chatter” podcast in 2019 that pressure from the public played a part in their split. “It started off really organically,” she said. “I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at the time.”

She continued, “It was this massive phenomenon and [all] eyes were on me. And it’s just a really weird foreign thing to go through, and by being in a relationship, it kind of kept me stabilized and grounded, and I had someone to lean on who was going through it as well.”

She also recalled a fight she and Efron had late into their relationship. “I remember one time we did have a fight and it was while we were at rehearsals, and I remember Kenny Ortega coming around the corner with the most concerned look on his face like, ‘Oh no, is our movie going to fall apart?’” she said. She continued, “I pride myself on being a professional, so I was like that aside we are going to move forward and do what we need to do…and we sorted it all out. I think because I was so young, I think that relationship stabilized me.”

The 96th annual Oscars airs on Sunday, March 10, at 7 p.m. on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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