HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR
An Exclusive Interview with Corbin Bleu
by Wilson Morales
October 17, 2008
For Corbin Bleu, life has been peachy since he started playing ‘Chad Danforth’ in Disney’s ‘High School Musical’. Who knew that a film made for TV would blow up the way that it has and become a huge franchise for the studio, and a boost for his career. Bleu, who had done other films and TV work before and during the run, has been able to capitalize on the success. He starred as a boxer turned double Dutch champion in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Jump In!” with Keke Palmer and his real-life father David Reivers. Prior to the premiere of HSM2, “Jump In!” was the most watched Disney Channel program premiering to 8.2 million viewers. His debut solo album “Another Side” was released in 2007 featuring the hit single “Push It to the Limit” from “Jump In!”
With the latest sequel, ‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’, Bleu gets to add more depth to his character one time as he prepares to venture off to other projects.
In an exclusive interview with blackfilm.com, Bleu talks about his character, his next album, and next film, ‘Free Style’.
How does it feel to be back working with the cast again?
Corbin Bleu: Great. It’s been a ride. Every time we leave ‘High School Musical’ land and venture into other projects, it’s nice to have a change of pace; but when you come back, it sucks. It’s a fantastic cast. It’s a very safe environment to be in.
How different was it making ‘HSM3: SENIOR YEAR’ for the theater verses for TV?
CB: On the big screen, you have a different mentality because everything is magnified. When you are doing it for small screen, there are some things that might get lost. On the big screen you don’t miss a beat. Every step and every detail you have to be aware of. There’s a lot of preparation time and you have to make sure you have down pat. That goes for the acting as well. All the nuances are so magnified on the big screen, you needed to make sure.
What’s in store for Chad his senior year?
CB: Chad has evolved. He’s still a jock. He’s still loves basketball, but what’s cool about Chad is that he’s becoming more accepting life and theater. During the first film he was all about basketball. He couldn’t accept the fact that his best friend wanted to sing, but this time he sees that singing isn’t just a hobby for him, but almost a career choice. Chad and Troy had always grown up together and wanted to be in the NBA together. Now that the possibility is fading, he knows that life isn’t always you plan it to be.
What are the similarities between you and your character Chad?
CB: Chad and I are not extremely similar. Chad’s life is basketball and my life is staying far away from the sport as possible. (Laughs) Actually, that’s not true. I grew up in the school of dancing. I do enjoy basketball. I do enjoy watching it, but playing it is another issue. That was difficult to get into.
How did your senior year in high school compared to this one in the film?
CB: I was actually home schooled my senior year. I did get a chance to go to regular school my freshmen and sophomore year. I didn’t grow up with Homecoming Game or cheerleaders running through the halls.
Not even a prom night for you?
CB: I didn’t go to my own prom but I have been to several, so I did get to have that experience and that was very fun.
You and Zac seem to have a really close relationship on screen. Does that translate off screen as well?
CB: It does. It’s been a great journey for all the cast but Zac and I, and this is the first time that the boys are back where we got a chance to work side by side, just the two of us. We established a great friendship and have a great bond. Up until now the relationship between Troy and Chad has been quiet. You always knew that they were good friends, but you didn’t the friendship grow, but this time with the boys are back, you see reminiscence of history.
Do you prefer musicals over other genres?
CB: No. I don’t prefer them. I love doing musicals and I hope to venture into some in the future, maybe on Broadway, which would be great, but you can’t do just one genre. There is so much to take part in and stretch yourself as an actor. I’m looking forward to getting some dramatic work.
In the meantime, what can we expect from your next album?
CB: It’s been a great learning curve and a great collaborative effort this time around. It will be a different sound from the first album. I’m working with some great producers. I’m working with Eric Hudson, who has worked with Kanye West, Rihanna, and Chris Brown. I’m also working with Claude Kelly, who has worked with Akon. I have some great minds on the project, which is really exciting.
How do you balance your music and your film career?
CB: You just do. You go from one project to the next. It’s nice when you have a change of pace. When you are working on music, you are really involved with it and every once in a while you hit a wall, and you need to switch up a bit, and so it’s nice to do films and great to bounce back and forth.
Should this film be very successful, and there’s been talk of a ‘High School Musical: College Years”, would you consider coming back for it?
CB: I think what ‘High School Musical’ represents is a youthful energy, and with college, it would difficult to think about the occurrences and events that happens in college from a younger perspective. I think it’s great to see the characters graduate, but we are passing on the torch. We are passing on the torch. We have three new characters in this film who are very eager and very hunger and came on to this project prepared and brought something to the table and it’s nice to see where their characters will take off.
Do you have any other film projects lined up?
CB: Yes. I produced a film with my father. I got a chance to be behind the camera. It’s called ‘Free Style’. It’s about motorcross. It’s a great family film. We stayed very true to the sport. There’s a wonderful love story involved as well. It’s a great journey about a young guy who is pursuing motorcross and the struggles he faces. When I was reading scripts trying to find a new character to play, and get more depth, and this one stuck out.
For anyone who may have not seen the first two films, why should they see ‘High School Musical 3: Senior Year’?
CB: If you want to walk out of the theater with a beat, and have a joyous feeling, this is the movie to see. It has a ‘tip of the hat’ to old school Broadway, old school musicals. There’s also cool characters, and every one loves to see singing and dancing. ‘High School Musical’ has never been like this. Everything in the film has matured from the look, the music, and the characters. It still has a lot of fun and you will have a great time seeing this.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR OPENS ON OCTOBER 24, 2008