Bringing the songs to a new generation! The 13: The Musical cast felt little to no “pressure” bringing the Broadway smash-hit musical to life on Netflix, the stars tell J-14 exclusively.

“The original cast was amazing. So stepping into their shoes is like, oh gosh, don’t mess this up,” Frankie McNellis — who plays Lucy in the movie — explains. “But, it was really an amazing experience.”

Gabriella Uhl — who takes on the role of Patrice — shares that there “wasn’t any pressure” because everyone making the movie was “so welcoming and encouraging.” The up-and-coming star explains, “I don’t feel like I felt pressured. I’m just so grateful that I got the chance to be in the movie.”

Before becoming a Netflix film, 13: The Musical made its Broadway debut in October 2008, starring Ariana Grande, Elizabeth Gillies, Graham Phillips and more notable names. The musical ran on the New York City stage until it came to a close in January 2009.

Lindsey Blackwell, who plays Kendra, explains that there was “already an expectation set” for the musical before the Netflix cast came into the roles. “We had to meet it or be better,” she adds.

Alan Markfield/Netflix
Alan Markfield/Netflix

Jonathan Lengel, who plays Archie, says the entire experience was “the ultimate theater camp” and he “had the absolute time of my life” making the movie.

For Eli Golden, playing the main role of Evan was his most fun role to date.

“I really get to show the world, in a way, what it’s like to be growing up. What it’s like to be the new kid, what it’s like to mess up and be able to come back from it. What it’s like to be able to find really close friends, and be able to find the people who are not your people,” he gushes to J-14. “I think it’s really important that, all around, it’s something I think the world needs to see.”

Before filming started, the talented teen “very briefly” got a chance to speak with some of the original Broadway stars. He recalls Elizabeth, who originated the role of Lucy, being “super nice” when they spoke on the phone. “I was also able to FaceTime with Graham Phillips who played the original Evan,” he adds.

After being cast as Patrice, Gabriella became social media friends with Allie Trimm, who originated the role. “She said that she was always gonna be in my corner, you know, rooting for me,” the actress shares.

Frankie, for her part, also spoke with Elizabeth who gave her some advice about playing Lucy.

“Just to have fun with the character. No pressure. Don’t try to make the character the same Lucy she did,” the actress recalls. “We have to have different versions of the character because that was all the way back in 2008, so times are different.”

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