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"I actually had a kid bring it up one day and was like, 'You look like the kid from Halloweentown High.' And I was like, 'Yeah, that's me.' He was like, 'Yeah, right, you work at Blockbuster.'"8.
Grabeel asked Ortega about Ryan's sexuality very early on.' And he's like, 'Well, think of it this way: You have the opportunity to play a character who's young, he's into theater, he's an artist, and let's go at it from that point of view.' He talked to me about his own life and he was like, 'I see a lot of myself in Ryan.Yeah, I knew I was gay in high school, but I didn't tell anybody.' … Zac Efron established himself as a prankster early on before shooting began."After reading the script, the first thing I said to him was, 'OK, Kenny, Ryan's gay, right?I know it's Disney Channel so I'm not really gonna be gay, but I mean, yeah, right?The final callback for Taylor came down to Coleman and two Asian-American actresses.17.
She was worried she wasn't going to get the part because of her hair "which bore a striking resemblance to Corbin's hair." She added, "I looked more like his sister than a potential partner."18.
When he got called back, he sang "Lean on Me." Director Kenny Ortega asked him to go out and learn Ryan's lines and read again. At the second callback, Grabeel and Tisdale auditioned together and their Sharpay-Ryan dynamic was quickly established.
"We ran through the scene and then she gave me notes," Grabeel recalled with a laugh.
"After shooting Halloweentown High, I had to go back to work at Blockbuster because I made a little money, but I didn’t book anything right after," he said.
The store had the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie available for rent.
"At the time, Raven-Symoné was the most prominent African-American on the Disney Channel, if not the only one.