‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ cast talks helping fans “feel seen”

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is taking the stage for season two, debuting today on Disney+.

Starring breakout “Drivers License” hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo, as well as a diverse, talented cast including Joshua Bassett, Dara Reneé and Freddie Rodriguez, the new batch of episodes promises more singing and dancing, more romance and more drama.

But above all that, the cast is proud to showcase a kind of representation on screen that they didn’t have as kids.

“There’s really nothing more special to me than somebody saying, like, ‘I feel seen,’” Bassett, who plays Ricky, tells ABC Audio. “That’s a beautiful thing.”

Reneé, who plays Kourtney, says she never saw anyone that looked like her on TV growing up, so hearing fans’ reactions to her character means a lot.

“[To] be able to have, like, young people come up to me and be like, ‘Yo, like, I love your hair, I love your vibe, I’m so glad I get to see you on TV, like I see myself through you’ — it’s such an honor,” she says.

Rodriguez, who plays Carlos in the show, adds, “It’s just super awesome to get to be the representation that you didn’t get to see as a kid on film or television.”

“Knowing that you might be changing someone’s perspective about themselves or giving them the confidence to go out and do something, that’s really special,” he says.

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