Disney is introducing a history-making out gay character to High School Musical
More than two decades since the first instalment of the series aired across TV screens, the High School Musical world is about to get its first openly gay character.
For the upcoming Disney Plus series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, actor Frankie A Rodriguez will star as Carlos.
The character will be a gay choreographer of East High’s staging of High School Musical in the mockumetnary series, reported the Advocate.
Queer young folks are ‘no different than everybody else,’ says Frankie Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he’s watched the original Disney Channel Original Movie “a hundred times”, playing into his love of musicals; from Singin’ in the Rain to West Side Story.
“I was like a big Broadway nerd growing up,” he said.
Rodriguez’s reaction to the film “the first time I was like: ‘Oh wait, other theatre kids exist’.”
“Now I’ve probably seen the first movie a hundred times,” he said.
“But when the first movie came out I was so intrigued because there was really nothing like it for my generation.”
His character will share a lot of his passions, such as Carlos having watched the first HSM 37 times.
The Californian has been inundated with messages since the first official trailer dropped, he said, from young HSM fans pumped to see him swerve into their laptop screens.
“I think for Disney to take a chance like this, it’s very exciting,” said Rodriguez, “I can’t wait for [these kids] to actually see the show.
The biggest take-away from the show is simply: “You’re no different than everybody else,” he added.
Frankie Rodriguez is open to fellow HSM star Zac Efron making an appearance.
Initially, Rodriguez was weary that, as a queer person of colour, his character may fall prey to certain stereotypes across the show’s 10 episode run.
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But the role is one that is “organic” and “true to life” thanks, in part, to Tim Federle, the gay creator and show runner.
“Just to know that someone’s on your side, 100 percent on the creative team, it just puts your mind as an actor at ease,” he said.
What exactly Carlos’ character will be remains shrouded in speculation, but Rodriguez reminded people that the only way to find out is to tune in when the show airs on November 12.
“I don’t want to give too much away”, he said, “but it’s going to be fun to watch.
“If Zac Efron’s available and willing to come back to Salt Lake City, I’m ready!”