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‘Excessive Faculty Musical’ Director Says Disney Wasn’t Prepared For A Homosexual Character In 2006


The director and choreographer of Disney’s “Excessive Faculty Musical” says he all the time noticed one of many authentic trilogy’s characters as a part of the LGBTQ group, although it was by no means addressed onscreen.

In a Selection interview printed Tuesday, Kenny Ortega revealed that the character of Ryan Evans (performed by Lucas Grabeel) was conceived as a homosexual teen. Together with the remainder of the Disney Channel movie’s artistic workforce, he finally “determined he’s in all probability going to come back out in faculty.” 

Although Ortega praised Disney as “probably the most progressive group of individuals I’ve ever labored with,” he stated he didn’t assume the corporate would’ve supported the concept of portraying Ryan as brazenly homosexual in 2006, when the unique “Excessive Faculty Musical” was produced. 

“I used to be involved as a result of it was household and children, that Disney may not be able to cross that line and transfer into that territory but,” stated Ortega, who’s homosexual. “So, I simply took it upon myself to make selections that I felt that those that had been watching would seize. They might see it, they’d really feel it, they’d realize it and they’d determine with it. And that’s what occurred.” 

As for a way Ryan was portrayed within the movie and its two sequels, he added, “It was much less about popping out and simply extra about letting his true colours come ahead.” 



Lucas Grabeel, who performed Ryan Evans, on the premiere of Disney’s “Excessive Faculty Musical 2” in 2007. 

“Excessive Faculty Musical” followers had lengthy theorized that Ryan was homosexual due to his pursuits and trend selections, although the character by no means clarified his sexuality. 

Relating to LGBTQ characters, tv has made progressive strides within the 14 years for the reason that debut of “Excessive Faculty Musical.” The present’s most fast successor was Fox’s “Glee,” which made anti-LGBTQ bullying and popping out central to its narrative when it premiered in 2009. 

And final 12 months, Disney Plus unveiled “Excessive Faculty Musical: The Musical: The Collection,” a 10-episode collection reboot of the franchise that featured an brazenly homosexual character. 

Performed by Frankie A. Rodriguez, Carlos is a scholar choreographer on the Salt Lake Metropolis highschool the place the unique “Excessive Faculty Musical” was filmed. One of many debut season’s later episodes even hints at a romantic relationship between Carlos and one other character, Seb (Joe Serafini). 

Ortega, who additionally choreographed “Soiled Dancing” and “Hocus Pocus” in addition to live shows and movies for Michael Jackson and Madonna, instructed Selection Tuesday {that a} queer aesthetic is current in all of his work, whether or not apparent or not. 

“I put lots of who I’m into my work,” he stated. “I imply, actually all the best way again from the earliest work that I’ve completed, whilst a choreographer in movie and tv. And I believe, yeah, that it’s simply there, and whether or not it’s screaming at you, or whether or not it’s simply kind of quietly there, it’s there.”