On Tuesday’s episode of the Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast, the 37-year-old actress, who played Sharpay Evans in HSM, admitted that she “never thought” Efron was hot.
“It’s because I was friends with him before the movie,” she told host Amanda Hirsch of Efron, who played Troy Bolton in the TV film series. “He was way younger than me. He was like a brother, too.”
While she never personally felt a physical attraction towards Efron, Tisdale revealed there was one time that she did find the Baywatch star, 35, to be desirable.
“I think the one time where I was like, ‘Oh, OK. S—. Yeah, he looks hot,’ was the Rolling Stone cover,” she recalled of Efron posing in a white t-shirt on the cover of the magazine in 2007. “I was like, ‘Now I understand.'”
The Frenshe founder added, “I think I just knew him too well and had been best friends with him for so long that it’s like your brother that you’re hanging out with.”
Back in 2020, Tisdale also admitted that Efron was her worst on-screen kiss.
“I’ll tell you why it was the worst, okay? I had to kiss Zac Efron on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and it’s the worst because I am so close to him and he’s like my brother,” Tisdale revealed on an episode of Elle magazine’s “Thirst Trap” interview series on YouTube.
“At the time, he was used to acting on like, Warner Brothers, which is CW, and we were on Disney Channel,” Tisdale explained, noting the difference between the two networks. “And so he like, he tried kissing me with his tongue, and I was like, ‘Get away from me!’ I closed my mouth so fast.”
“I was like, ‘This is Disney Channel, we don’t kiss like that on Disney Channel!'” she recalled, adding that it was “weird” for her because of their longtime friendship.
“It’s just weird when you’re so close to somebody, and we’d already done the movie, I’d known him for years before,” she said, referring to co-starring in High School Musical with Efron. “That is why it was the worst. It’s just we’re too close.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
While Tisdale and Efron’s chemistry may have been lacking, the Greatest Showman star famously dated their other High School Musical costar, Vanessa Hudgens, for five years.
“It started off really organically,” Hudgens, 33, previously said of her off-screen relationship with Efron, which started in 2005. “I could not have been more grateful to have that relationship at that time.”