DISCLAIMER: THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED PRIOR TO JULY 13TH BEFORE THE ACTORS WENT ON SAG-AFTRA STRIKE
*Previously recorded footage courtesy of Disney (2023).
The upcoming season finale of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series graduation is coming up, slated for its release on August 9th! But for those who cannot wait to hear more about the series or are searching for more behind-the-scenes information, we have some exciting news for you! We have an exclusive interview with stars Julia Fester, Frankie Rodriguez, and Dara Reneé, who each star as Ashlyn, Carlos, and Kourtney, respectively in the series! We cannot wait to talk to everyone as they tell us about HSMTMTS, their thoughts on the season finale, and their characters, brought to you by Young Entertainment Exclusive! Because the series is already released, if you are planning on reading this interview and have not watched the series, this article will actively avoid any spoilers regarding the series. For those planning to watch before reading this article, we highly recommend watching it first. And now, onto this interview and its refresher.
We have already gone into length about the High School Musical franchise and its successor, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in earlier articles, which you can check out at our website! But for those new to the series, here’s what’s up with the show. The series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a series based on the fictionalized version of East High School, a school where the movies were originally filmed. But instead of following the original cast, this series follows a different set of characters featuring their enthusiastic interest in theatre while displaying their lives as they navigate their journey of love, lives, friendships, identity, familial relationships, and interests. Each season follows a different musical that showcases these events. What’s fun about this series is that several cast members from the original films appear as guests as a fictionalized version of themselves, and it’s rather interesting to see how they’re depicted in the series. For those eager to watch the series, you’ll be able to stream the series on Disney+.
As mentioned earlier, the spin-off show was based on films made in the early 2000s. Starring actors and actresses that you’ll recognize in more roles such as Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu, Vanessa Hudgens, and others, the franchise has steadily developed a cult following over the following years with its soundtrack, cast, and story. Fun fact, did you know that The High School Musical has a book series? The series was number one on New York Times best-selling list and remained on there for at least sixteen weeks. Pretty cool, huh?
If you want to read more about the show and the franchise, you can catch an interview we did with Frankie here: https://
Here is some information on these rising stars! First up, we have Julia Lester! An LA native, she’s been professionally acting since she was five, and has starred in many roles such as Mom as Emily, Mr. Student Body President as Ingrid, Prince of Peoria as Suzie, and The Thundermans as Smith. Next, we have Frankie A. Rodriguez! Born in Sanger, California, Frankie has acted in the following roles as Nicholas from Bunk’d, Christopher from Will & Grace, Eduardo from Modern Family, and his more prominent role as Carlos from HSMTMTS. Finally, we have Dara Reneé, born in LA, California. Her roles consist of Fee from My Stepfather’s Secret, an upcoming role as Ulyana from Descendants: The Rise of Red, and Janice from Grey’s Anatomy.
We first asked Frankie about the final season, and how involved he and the cast was while collaborating with Tim Federle and the writers as to where the characters’ series’ end would be. Frankie answers that he has full trust in Tim as to where these characters are supposed to go and mention how he’s great at capturing bits of the cast and effectively making what Frankie describes to be a high-school version of themselves. Upon reading the final script, Frankie mentioned how perfect it was for where Carlos would go. If you want to know more about everyone’s questions and answers, be sure to watch the entire video for the full interview!