Frankie Rodriguez & Joe Serafini Open Up About The End Of HSMTMTS
Frankie Rodriguez & Joe Serafini Open Up About The End Of 'HSMTMTS'
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series may be ending, but this adorable couple will continue on in real life.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is coming to an end on Aug. 9 when the entire final season drops on Disney+.
The fourth and final season of the show will be even more meta as the students of East High return for their senior year only to find out that they are going to be extras in the long-awaited High School Musical 4: The Reunion movie.
Courtesy of Disney
In a recent interview with Queerty, Frankie A. Rodriguez, who plays Joe, and Joe Serafini, who plays Seb, opened up about their experience filming the final season and what it meant to them to play a gay couple on a Disney show.
Creator and showrunner Tim Federie wanted to end the show when the main characters were graduating instead of risking getting canceled and not being able to finish the series the way he wanted.
“There was lots of tears, but it’s a really beautiful way that they wrapped it all together, I would say,” Serafini said in the interview.
Courtesy of Disney
Season three of the show ended with the Wild Cats becoming famous in Brazil and Rodriguez and Serafini — who are a couple in real life too — admit that this may cause some conflict and tension in their characters' relationship. Serafini confessed that the drama in prior seasons was “miniscule” compared to what we’ll see in season four.
The couple mused that if they had been able to choose a musical for the cast to perform on the show, Serafini would have picked the new live action remake of Ariel the Little Mermaid while Rodriguez would have wanted to tackle Into the Woods.
“I always hoped we would get a surprise announcement that we’re doing Into the Woods, especially since Disney made Into the Woods,” Rodriguez said. “I was like, ‘well, it’s adjacent so it could happen,” but I always thought that would be a fun one to do.”
While High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a musical comedy, it also has a lot of heart and queer representation that is often missing from Disney shows — something that is important to both actors.
“It’s hard to wrap your heads around, even four years into these characters, just the power of their existence on the screen to people watching at home,” Serafini explained.
He also loves that the show never makes a big deal out of Seb and Joe’s relationship, “Yeah, it’s just been so incredible and to have them exist in this natural, not pushed or forced way. I mean, Seb and Carlos are just in a relationship. That’s all it really is.”
Cast members often take home mementos from the show or movie they were on, but they are usually clothing items or small props, Rodrigiez and Sarafini however were able to walk away with a huge and iconic piece from their time on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
“I turned to Joe and said, ‘you should ask for the piano” and he was like, ‘no,no,no they’ll never do it,” Rodriguez confessed. “I said ‘just ask for it’ and he asked Tim Ferderie, our showrunner, for the piano and two weeks after we wrapped the piano showed up at our door.”
Courtesy of Disney
So now the famous rehearsal-room piano is in the apartment that the couple live in together. “We hope to have it in a house someday where we can have the cast over and like everyone can play it,” Serafini said.
The piano was especially meaningful to the pair because Serafini often gathered the cast together for sing-alongs while on set.
“Joe was always like the piano man,” Rodriguez said. “So I think anytime cameras went down and there was a piano in the room and Joe was able to bring everybody together for, like, a big ‘ole singing moment. Those were always the best because everybody is so amazing, so the fact that they were just willing to do it for free — it was great.”
Serafini chimed in, “Yeah, we got to literally just, like, have amazing performances people would die to be in the room for.”
The pair are so charming together we can’t wait to see what their characters get up to in season four!
The final season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series returns on Aug. 9 on Disney+.