The cast list has been released, and it was revealed in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Episode 2 of Season 2 that Ashlyn will be starring as Belle, the lead role in East High’s performance of Beauty and the Beast. It’ll be exciting to see a different character in the spotlight this season, but Ashlyn has already been seen struggling with some insecurities because of this role.
In Episode 3, rehearsals of Beauty and the Beast have begun, and we get a first glimpse of Ashlyn tackling this new lead role. She is beyond excited to have been casted as Belle, but she is also feeling a bit self-conscious about not quite matching up with the body type Belle has traditionally been seen as in past movies and productions. When Ashlyn confides her body image insecurities to Gina, saying she doesn’t feel like a “natural Belle,” Gina kindly reminds her that Belle is a cartoon. She is a fictional character, which means anyone can play Belle regardless of physical appearance.
HSMTMTS is good at breaking typecasting barriers
We saw in Season 1, when Seb stars in High School Musical as Sharpay Evans, that the series does not have an issue with casting characters in non-traditional roles. Typecasting can be harmful, since it tends to put people in a box and restricts them to certain roles with no room for creativity or growth. Seb was a fantastic Sharpay, and there is no doubt that Ashlyn will be an amazing Belle.
We’re anticipating that we’ll see Ashlyn tackle these body image issues as she keeps rehearsing and discovers that she got the lead role for her talent, and she is absolutely meant to be Belle. Body positivity is an important topic to cover, and in a series like HSMTMTS, there is no doubt that this storyline will lead to Ashlyn embracing this new role and breaking down typecasting barriers even further!