Post Mortems

High School Musical Reveals Full Beauty and the Beast Cast; EP Breaks Down Several 'Meaningful' Choices

High School Musical Cast

It’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Cast List!

Friday’s episode of the Disney+ series revealed which Wildcats will be playing the leads in the school’s production of Beauty and the Beast, and it’s actually pretty perfect. (Sorry, Lily!)

Before we jump into showrunner Tim Federle‘s thoughts on the casting process, here’s how things shook out: Ashlyn (Julia Lester) and Ricky (Joshua Bassett) are leading the show as Belle and the Beast, with E.J. (Matt Cornett) as Gaston, Big Red (Larry Saperstein) as LeFou, Courtney (Dara Reneé) as Mrs. Potts, Carlos (Frankie Rodriguez) as Lumiere, Seb (Joe Serafini) as Chip and Gina (Sofia Wylie) as Babette.

“When we have a new season of the show, part of the fun is the casting of the show within the show,” Federle tells TVLine. “I feel like the drama teacher. And some of it is just very basic. Like, I want Dara Reneé to sing ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ so she’s Mrs. Potts. And E.J. sort of is a carbon copy of Gaston. As his arc plays out this season — as he becomes humbled in some places — there’s an interesting juxtaposition of him playing this character who’s such a buffoon.” (Uh-oh, did he say “humbled”? Is someone not getting into Duke?)

Most of the other castings were also no-brainers (come on, who else was going to play the Beast?), but some — especially the show’s leading lady — have a bit more meaning behind them.

“Julia is such a good comedic actor, and such a relatable person, that giving her the opportunity to play Belle was very meaningful to me,” Federle says. “Not only does she have a killer voice, but Ashlyn this season is dealing with what it means to be romantically loved for the first time. That makes Ashlyn uncomfortable, because she’s so used to being in the shadows, so to put her in the spotlight in every way felt like a great way to throw that character into some dramatic situations.”

Your thoughts on East High’s Beauty and the Beast cast? Season 2 in general? Drop ’em in a comment below.