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Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
Gabriella Montez of High School Musical is played by Vanessa Hudgens. A shy, intelligent young woman, Gabriella is a new girl in school, as she just moved with her mother to Albuquerque, New Mexico. During a New Years party at a ski resort, she was forced to sing with a boy she did not know. The two exchanged names and got each other’s pictures.
Upon entering her new school, East High, she discovered that the boy she sang with was Troy Bolton, the school heartthrob and team captain of the basketball team. An introverted girl, she did not want to let everyone know her past achievements, as she just wanted to be the normal, average girl. However, Taylor, the leader of the science club, discovered her potential, and convinced her to join the club.
Gabriella joined the club, but was still drawn to Troy, whom she convinced to audition with her in the school play. The two made it to the call backs, despite the devious schemes of Sharpay, who wanted Troy and the spotlight all to herself.
In the second installment of High School Musical, Gabriella and Troy, along with their friends, work at the resort owned by Sharpay’s family. Taking advantage of this, Sharpay tries to have Troy for herself. She succeeded in catching his attention by using her wealthy father’s connections to offer Troy a basketball scholarship. Seeing that Troy was slipping away from her, Gabriella felt devastated and broke up with him.
During the talent show, Troy and Gabriella’s friends convinced Troy to sing, and Gabriella joined him later, signaling their coming back together as a couple. After the talent show, the group went out to the golf course to enjoy the fireworks. There, Troy and Gabriella shared their first kiss after a number of failed attempts.
(Photo courtesy of Vanessa-Hudgens.com)