Frankie Rodriguez Shares The Scoop On “HSMTMTS”

Frankie Rodriguez is a young actor who has already had quite a career. He has been acting in tv shows and films for quite some time now. His most recent role as Carlos in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is adored by the show’s fans. Carlos assists East High’s drama teacher, Miss Jenn, with the production by choreographing the show. The character is an openly gay Latinx high schooler who is learning how to be friends with his peers throughout the course of the series. He loves his authority as the student choreographer and is a big believer in “the show must go on.” His character is funny, always honest, and constantly supportive of his friends.

He was a joy to spend virtual time with and The Sarah Scoop Show was fortunate to have him as a guest! Check it out:

Frankie began by telling us a little bit about his character, Carlos, and why he wanted the role:

“Carlos is the student choreographer of the production within the show, so the show within the show. I just remember when I read the breakdown before I went in for my first audition, I think it said: ‘loves Beyoncé, drinks iced coffee, is the captain of his color-guard team’ I was like, ‘I think this is me’. I don’t know, I felt like I knew what to do with the character, so I was like ‘okay, I have to play this'”

– Frankie Rodriguez

We are so glad that Frankie decided he had to get this role because his energy makes the series what it is. Even while Carlos figures out how to be friends with his classmates, he is always someone they can count on and that is one of the many things that makes his character so special.

When asked if he sees similarities between his character and himself Frankie he replied:

“Oh, 100 percent…I mean obviously the character is the character, but then there’s so much stuff that happens on the show where I was like ‘I’ve gone through exact situation in high school.’ So it’s kinda crazy.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

I guess fans aren’t the only ones who recognize themselves in these characters. HSMTMTS has an incredible ability to capture the essence of high school and all of its sweet moments and all the inevitable awkward ones too. With the amount of Zoom meetings happening around the country right now, Tim Federle provided fans with an especially fun new background.

Frankie explained the lessons that Carlos learns throughout the first season and how he hopes fans will be able to relate:

“Well he kinda goes on a journey for the first season, where he kind of needs to learn how to interact with his peers, not just teachers that are giving him authority. So, I think that’s why it’s important. Just to see someone kind of figure themselves out, I think it can feel a little less lonely if you’re watching that as a kid.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Television has a way of reaching out and creating connections and empathy within its audience. It can be comforting and confidence-boosting; like a home away from home. Audiences of HSMTMTS meet a variety of characters that they can follow and relate to throughout the series.
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Frankie told us about his favorite episode to film during production of HSMTMTS:

“Obviously the Homecoming episode is the first one that comes to mind. Just being lifted into the air, I mean, you can’t beat that.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Carlos has quite the homecoming experience when he finally finds the confidence to get out there on the dance floor and no pun intended, be brave. Frankie is certainly not alone when he chooses this moment as one of his favorites in the series. This spectacular song and dance number is something that you don’t want to miss! Check it out below:

Frankie told us about how much he misses his castmates and how well they all get along:

“Oh my gosh, I miss them so much. They are the best group of people. I always say this show is like the lottery of people. Everyone is so sweet and hard-working. I mean, it’s just funny, we finish work and the next thing we’re deciding is what we’re gonna do, like hangout for the rest of the night…I definitely miss them.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

These off-screen friends are crazy about each other and the admiration that have for one another is very real. In true HSM fashion, everyone ends up being friends in the end.

Frankie told us about why the significance of seeing the relationship between Carlos and Seb treated the same as any other couple’s storyline on screen:

“I think it’s important just to see…I hate to say like ‘normalize’ it, but I mean, that’s really what it is. It’s just to see that our relationship isn’t treated any differently than any of the other relationships on the show. So, I think that’s why it’s important. If you see it, then it’s a little easier for you, if you’re going through that situation, to navigate it yourself.”

The star has quite an impressive wardrobe on and off-screen. When asked if he has any say over Carlos’ costumes he explained:

“I mean, yes and no. I don’t put too much input because I kind of love the fact that someone in the costume department has created this character and has put all this stuff together for him…It’s definitely stuff I would never even think of pairing together, but it’s so funny that it really has kind of creeped into my own personal style where I’m like ‘oh those floral pants would look really good with this top’. But I think the costumers definitely know when you feel confident in something and I think they pick up on that vibe…His costumes are my favorite thing.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

This costume department is seriously talented and we can tell from Frankie’s social media that their astounding fashion sense has worn off on him.
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Carlos is a character that will allow many fans of the show to see themselves represented on screen. When we asked who he looked up to on television as a kid, he stated:

“I know this one is kind of silly, but in the vein of Disney and Disney Channel, Raven Simone was always the biggest influence for me. I would watch [new episodes] on Friday, I would rehearse Saturday and Sunday and then Monday I was reenacting everything that she would do at school. I think she’s definitely been like a big impact for me.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Frankie explained that the love of music is a family affair and his mom got him into acting in the first place:

“I grew up in a very musical family, so we always had to be in some type of music lesson, whether it was piano or violin…I think that kind of borderlined theater and kind of got me into that and I was just like ‘whoa, this is something different’…I think my mom saw that too, cause she’s the one that signed me up for a children’s theater group, and that kind of started the whole thing of acting and singing and all that stuff.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

We here at Sarah Scoop think we speak for all of us when we say, thank goodness for Frankie’s mom! Her eye for talent and his musical family helped him to get where he is today and audiences are better for it. Frankie is a true triple threat and graces our screens with his presence. The students of East High need Carlos’ direction and the audience needs his witty commentary.

Tim Federle raved about his decision to hire real theater kids to play these characters and how well it turned out. Frankie definitely agreed:

“I think it helps because we all really are theater nerds and so, to play it onscreen…it’s a lot of fun. That’s the only way to describe it, is that it’s a lot of fun just to be around theater people all day and reference some obscure musical and someone will know what you’re saying. That’s always fun.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Theater kids all around the world can’t help but agree that the show totally nailed it when it comes to drama departments in high school. The drama that happens off-stage is often the most dramatic, but the friendships created in rehearsals are the sweetest you can find within high school’s halls.

When asked if between takes people broke out into song true to the plot of any musical he assured:

“I mean, literally, that’s what happens. There is a piano on set, so whenever there’s down time, someone’s playing the piano, someone’s playing guitar. It’s almost like theater camp.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Frankie spilled that he tries not to think too hard about how he is literally living the dream, so that he won’t get too overwhelmed by it all:

” It’s crazy. I don’t honestly think about it too much because I feel like if I do, I will psyche myself out…We did the whole press tour in New York and getting to see your face on a bus is a little crazy. And it wasn’t until weeks after that whole where I was like, ‘I was on a bus. I was on a billboard in Times Square. I’ m on a Disney show.’ You just go down a rabbit hole of how did I get here? It’s almost easier just to not think about it.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Frankie gave us the inside scoop on season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series

“Well, it’s already out there that you’re gonna see more of everything. You’re going to see more dancing, more music, more character development, so it’s just a bigger season. So, I’m excited.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

That makes two of us! The dedicated fanbase for the series is on the edge of their metaphorical seats, waiting to see what happens next to their favorite East High students.

When asked what season 2 looks like specifically for Carlos, he assured there would be more Seblos content:

“I don’t know, it’s honestly hard because we’ve only filmed the first two episodes…We were just into the introduction of all the characters, so we really haven’t gotten to see where our storylines go yet, but, I mean, more Seblos I’m sure.”

– Frankie Rodriguez

Seblos is the ship name for the relationship between Carlos and Seb’s characters, lovingly given by fans of the show. Seb is played by Frankie’s costar Joe Serafini. The two are super close friends offscreen and have even been quarantining together while the production of HSMTMTS is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis. Fans will be ecstatic to know that their relationship will be an even bigger part of Season 2. Tim Federle, the series’ showrunner, tweeted that there would be plenty more in store for these two.

Frankie can’t wait to get back to Salt Lake City to keep filming season 2:

“We’re just on a hiatus for right now. Hopefully we’re back sooner than later!”

– Frankie Rodriguez

The sooner they get to filming, the sooner we get more super cute cast content!
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Frankie compared his first day on set to someone’s first visit to Disneyland it sounds magical:

“We film in Utah at the actual school where the original movies took place, so that in itself is something that’s so hard to wrap my head around…It’s kind of like when you think of, if you’ve never been to Disneyland, and you envision what it is to be there. And then when you’re there, your senses are so heightened because there’s pretzel smell and noise music is playing and there’s just like this energy. That’s what I would say set is like. My first day of filming was in the gym, so just to be there I was like, ‘oh my god, Zac Efron has been in here.'”

– Frankie Rodriguez

The actor explained the significance of the original HSM trilogy to him as a kid:

“For me, it was really the first of its kind…There’s teenagers singing and dancing in a movie, so it was definitely something that opened up possibilities for me. I was like, “oh, I can sing and I can dance.'”

– Frankie Rodriguez

The students at East High have never shied away from a good dance number and this show is no different.

Frankie told us about some people’s initial hesitation that quickly turned to support of the show. He shared his gratitude with us:

“I would like to say just, thank you. You know, when the announcement when out about this show, there was a lot of speculation of what the show was gonna be. You know, a lot of protective fans saying, ‘don’t ruin High School Musical,’ but to have been embraced by them and also a new generation of people who are being introduced to High School Musical for the first time, just thank you for supporting us and being so nice.

– Frankie Rodriguez

Frankie is always well-dressed and knows how to have fun! Don’t forget to follow him on social media to keep up with his busy life on an off-set:

Instagram: @frankiearodriguez

Twitter: @MrFrankieAR

Frankie Rodriguez is insanely talented and seriously humble. The Sarah Scoop Show thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with him and we sure hope that he can get back to filming in Salt Lake City ASAP! We can’t wait to see more of his talent on screen soon, but don’t just take our word for it, go check out High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+ now!

Want more HSMTMTS interviews? Get the scoop now:

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