Exclusive Interview: Monique Coleman, from 'High School Musical 2'
Exclusive Interview: Monique Coleman, from 'High School Musical 2'
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Monique Coleman is one of the young stars of the smash hit Disney Channel original movie Hgh School Musical, and tonight at 8pm on the Disney Channel, she can be seen in the highly anticipated sequel, High School Musical 2.  Monique plays Taylor the leader of the school's science club who befriends Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and who begrudgingly teams up with basketball star Chad (Corbin Bleu) to help get Gabriella and Troy (Zac Efron) the leads in the school play.

Monique spoke with BuddyTV a while back about how this role has changed her career, talking about the details of High School Musical 2, and also her time on Dancing with the Stars.  Below you will find the complete transcript as well as the mp3 audio file of the interview.

Hey this is Oscar Dahl with BuddyTV. I'm here with Monique Coleman from High School Musical. Monique, how're you doing?

I'm good, how are you?

I'm great. You know, growing up, was acting sort of always the thing you wanted to do? Or did you just kinda get into it later?

Absolutely. I started because I was kind of a troublemaker a little bit—or not even a troublemaker, problem child in school. I was constantly reading to the other kids during naptime, and I just never seemed to be able to keep my mouth closed and I just so full of energy and one of my teachers told my mom like you know, I…she thinks that maybe she needs an outlet for all this energy. Literally the first—it was like the acting class that I took, I just fell in love and I knew what I wanted to do. I've been performing since I was really little and that's just it. It became part of who I am.

Cool. What would you say your breakthrough was? I mean, when did you first realize ‘Hey, I've made it.'?

I'm still realizing it today, I guess. I don't really feel like I've made it necessarily until I've been able to give back in a way that is substantial. I think I'm in that process of making it, and I'm really lucky and feel fortunate to have that kind of success that I've had from high school musical. But I still think that there's more out there and there's so much I wanna say. I think that there's been some landmarks, some huge things…being on the Today Show and Good Morning America, and all those that something just completely unexpected and amazing and also having the opportunity to go on tour. Because I'm not…I never have been a singer by…like I would never consider myself as a singer, like “Oh I'm great!” And so the idea of being able to have to perform in front of 15,000 screaming fans and get up there every single night and do that with something that I never even put into the equation and that was something that made me feel like wow, this is huge. This is bigger than huge. This is out of this world.

So far in your career you've almost done it all. You've done movies, TV shows, stage. Of those, which do you enjoy the most and which do you see yourself doing most of in the future?

That's a good question. I personally really love doing movies because I like getting yourself into a role and oftentimes you get to be on at a specific location, and it's your life for that time, and then you get to leave it. But I think that might be my favorite in what I would like to continue to do. I also though could see myself at some point doing like a series, like a sitcom or something. That is something I really…haven't really done very much of but I think that with the right producers and writers and that kind of thing, that I think that that would be something that I could definitely do and—for a long time and I would love it.

Cool. Can you tell us how you ended up with the role of Taylor on the original High School Musical?

Yeah. I actually originally auditioned for Gabriella, and that was just not the right part for me at all and I knew it and I went in there and I was so nervous, I thought I was gonna die because I didn't feel like I had the singing chops to be able to pull it off and I didn't but even in my audition, I was like “Look, I'm sorry. I'm just so nervous about singing, can we just get that part over with?” And the casting director looked at me and said, “Sure, do you wanna like sing in the corner?” And I look back on it, like maybe it was a joke, but I took it seriously and I did and I went to the corner and I sang with my back to them. And then literally before I walked out I was like, “I just hope you guys just know that I'm a better actress than this.” I think it added to the attitude that I gave them, my personality was what struck them as being like Taylor. I think he called back—it took a month before I even heard anything, I was out of town, and they called me back. I changed my hair, everything and they called me back for the role of Taylor which I never even heard of. And I read it in the script and I just thought, “Wow. What an incredible opportunity.” I loved that she was so smart, I loved that she just was this girl that was a leader and you couldn't tell her anything, kind of ruled the school in her own way and I just from that moment on knew that this was a part that I really, really wanted to play.

Cool. When you were finally cast and you got the script and everything, did you expect High School Musical to be the huge sort of hit phenomenon that it became?

Not at all. I thought that it would be, I thought that would break records on the TV—Disney channel, honestly. I thought “You know what, this movie is gonna do better than any Disney channel movie has done.” I had that feeling. But there were moments where I thought “Wow, this is really special.” We were filming a picture of Status Quo, I was watching and I got goosebumps, I felt like I was watching a scene from one of those really humongous scenes in an old musical. But I never really thought that it would make a celebrity and I never thought that it would reach people outside of the Disney channel and become a DVD and be something—I mean the other day we were on Good Morning America, yesterday actually, yesterday morning and said that to say that High School Musical is just a TV movie is like saying American Idol is just a talent show. And that's how I feel about it. Like I thought that it was just gonna be a TV movie but it's become so much more than that and I never ever thought that it would.

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