Teenage dream! Many actors got their starts in Disney Channel Original Movies — but what happened to the hunky leading men from those films? It’s up to you UsHere’s a quick summary of what your first crush is doing right now.
From Motocrossed’s Riley SmithAnd Trevor O’BrienTo High School Musical’s Zac EfronAnd Corbin BleuSince 1997, the Disney Channel has produced a number of Hollywood stars. The first DCOM was 1997’s UnderwrapsThere have been more than 100 movies that premiered on the network in the past.
However, certain DCOMs were able to tell completely untrued stories. The Thirteenth Year’s tale of a young boy named Cody Griffin (Chez Starbuck) being left on a boat by his mermaid mother only to be raised by average humans.
Despite the bizarre plot, fans wanted Cody to win his swim meets. They also wanted Cody to reunite with his mom in sea. The film premiered in 1999. Smart House, Johnny Tsunami, Zenon: The 21st Century GirlAll of it. Starbuck is still a beloved icon to this day.
“Aquaman, bro, if I didn’t walk you couldn’t run,” he jokingly said during a January 2020 episode of Christy’s Kitchen Throwback.The Colorado native also explained why he doesn’t believe there was ever a sequel to his Disney hit.
“I know that it cost, like, over $5 million to make it. It was one the most expensive Disney Channel Original Movies. They went over budget by a lot,” he explained. “They were like, ‘OK, we can’t afford to do another one.’ If it comes back, hook a brother up. I still dive.”
Many DCOMs, including 1998’s Brink! were rooted in reality — though some details are a little far-fetched. Brink (in the film)Erik von Detten) dealt with typical teen angst by putting all his time and effort into perfecting his rollerblading skills. The result: He earned a spot on Team X-Bladz, much to the dismay of his BFFs and fellow “soul skaters.”
Looking back at his role, von Detten told E! News in March 2021 that it’s “crazy” that fans still remember the Disney film. The former star, a San Diego native, has since settled down and become father. However, he recalled what it was like to be a teenage heartthrob.
“My mother was very good at making sure I had a perfect balance. I socialized with kids and kids in the entertainment industry,” he told the outlet. “When I got into my teens, she gave me my freedom to go to premieres, but she definitely made sure I stayed close and didn’t get into the partying scene too much.”
The Princess Diaries actor added: “There are situations when drugs are offered at parties or whatever and I always had the moral compass to know that’s just a one-way street. It’s probably a combination between upbringing and moral guidance. So yeah, I survived.”
Scroll down to see which Disney Channel Original Movies hunks you love are still acting, and which stars have regular jobs.