East High’s Kourtney unknowingly found love with rival North High’s Beast during High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2, and it definitely put a strain on their budding relationship. The show’s stars Dara Reneé and Roman Banks (who play Kourtney and Howie, respectively) speak with J-14 exclusively about the Beast’s big reveal and Howie’s emotional ploy to get Kourtney back.
While it was a heart-stopping surprise to fans when the Beast mask came off to reveal Howie during the Friday, June 25, episode titled “Field Trip,” making that scene come to life was actually hilarious for the actors. “It was a tedious process. It was a long day,” Roman recalls. “It was a lot to maneuver with the mask and trying to make sure everything still looked good, and then trying to make sure the reveals still look good when I had to take it off.”
The actor continues, “I was like, ‘I don’t know how the heck I’m going to get this thing off and still make it look smooth.’ So, I eventually found a way to do it, but the very first time I took it off and then like moved my glasses. So they were like twisted and Kourtney is very serious. She’s like, ‘Howie.’ And I’m like, ‘I can explain, I can explain.’ I’m just trying to fix everything. … It was so crazy to figure how to actually do it, but I think it turned out pretty decently.”
Dara, for her part, says watching her costar attempt to remove his mask with grace was “the funniest thing in my life. … It was so hard to go back to being serious.”
One scene the actors didn’t break character was from the most recent HSMTMTS episode, titled “Most Likely To,” which premiered on Disney+ on Friday, July 2. When trying to get Kourtney back, Howie sings a beautiful rendition of “If I Can’t Love Her” while the pair is working at the pizza shop.
“That day was really special,” Roman tells J-14. “I knew I was going to sing because I had to sing in my audition, but I never pictured I would get a song. Especially, like, such a long song at that. When [creator] Tim [Federle] told me it was wrapping the episode, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ It was so much fun. I just remember, we just did a lot of takes in the pizza shop and, I mean, it’s very easy to sing to Dara Reneé.”
He adds, “They really just made it a really fun experience. … I can’t wait to watch it, but that was definitely one of the greatest gifts of shooting this season, was just getting to sing that song.”
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