The feud between High School Musical: The Musical: The Series schools East High and North High finally comes to a head during the latest episode, which premiered on Disney+ on Friday, June 25 — and stars Olivia Rose Keegan and Andrew Barth Feldman are spilling all the tea on being the villains in this epic Beauty and the Beast rivalry.
“It’s really an interesting challenge to have to get behind all these terrible things,” Olivia tells J-14 exclusively of playing Lily on season 2. Andrew — who plays Antoine — adds, “It’s really fun. … To be, like, a French Disney villain is a huge dream come true. The biggest dream come true.”
In the latest installment, titled “The Field Trip,” the East High students take a trip over to North High after their beast mask gets stolen. Assuming that the rival theater club stole their prop, the teens butt heads before competing in an epic dance battle. Lily and Antoine also get a little flirty with Ricky (played by Joshua Bassett) and Ashlyn (played by Julia Lester). When asked if these characters really are crushing on the East High students, Olivia explains that she thinks “it’s a little bit of both” — a real attraction and manipulative ploy.
“I do think deep down, you know, everyone has a heart somewhat,” the actress explains. “Especially with Lily, she’s not evil. She’s just, you know, the epitome of what can go wrong and create a mean girl and in high school. So, I think it’s really interesting to see where exactly those walls come down and what’s real and what’s fake.”
Andrew agrees, saying that it’s the same for Antoine, but there’s “way less depth to it” because “being manipulative and actually being interested in someone are the same thing to him.”
Even though they may be mean when the cameras start rolling, the HSMTMTS stars say there’s nothing but “hugs and cuddles” behind the scenes. Especially when it comes to Andrew, who is a self-proclaimed superfan of the show. “It was impossible for them not to know,” he says. “When I got [to set], I was literally quoting the show at people, like, just their lines and they may not have even remembered. I really was loud and obnoxious.”
As season 2 of HSMTMTS comes to an end and both schools gear up for their final performances, Andrew teases that viewers can expect a “better” show from their fictional school “North High is better. Four words. Done,” he jokes. “That’s how we avoid any spoilers. It’s just an objective truth.”
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