‘HSMTMS’ Guest Star Jordan Fisher on Jamie’s Family Dynamic with Gina
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 2 Episode 11 “Showtime.”]
High School Musical The Musical: The Series has had no shortage of exciting guest stars, and the July 23 episode is no exception with Jordan Fisher, known for Dear Evan Hansen and To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You.
We get an intimate glimpse of Gina’s (Sofia Wylie) life through her scenes with her older brother, Jamie (Fisher). Jamie is a successful music producer who comes to East High to support Gina in the play. During his visit, however, he inadvertently jeopardizes things between Gina and EJ (Matt Cornett).
TV Insider caught up with Fisher to discuss his love for the show before he got the chance to guest star and the important message about family he hopes fans take away from the episode.
How did the opportunity to guest star on High School Musical The Musical: The Series come about? Were you a fan of the High School Musical franchise before?
Jordan Fisher: Yes, I was. It all began [with] a Twitter interaction. I was working on Dear Evan Hansen pre-COVID on Broadway, and my whole cast was obsessed with this show. Everyone was like, “Jordan, you got to watch High School Musical The Musical: The Series.” I binged the show in two and a half days, [became] absolutely obsessed with it, and went to Twitter and was like, “I am the biggest High School Musical The Musical: The Series fan, and Tim Federle, the show writer, responded, and people were freaking out. I followed him. I think you can see the whole reaction on Twitter. And he was like, “I’m diving into your DMs, here we go,” and everyone was like, “Wait, what?” This happened in February of 2020, so a year and a half later, we’re seeing what kind of fruit was borne from that interaction and he and I became good buddies.
I already knew a couple of the kids on the show. I was a huge fan of Olivia Rodrigo’s; I followed her on her Instagram. She’d post these incredible videos of her in her room just playing and singing original music. High School Musical gave her a platform to fully take advantage of and now she’s the most important female recording artist in the world. Everybody in this cast brings something special that separates them from other people, authenticity being one of the main things. It’s the thing Tim does so well with the show — Coming from a theater background, creating a show for musical theater kids to be seen and felt and heard whatnot and then casting musical theater kids to portray these roles, unbelievable move, the best move that anyone could’ve made in television.
What was it like to work with the cast?
My obsession with the show really started with each individual cast member. Everyone brings something beautiful to the show, and I was thrilled to meet everybody. I was treated so well and with so much love by this cast and crew. Everyone was so happy I was there, [and] that was next level to me because I’m such a fan of the show. To film at that high school, as well, that’s something that’s really special to me. Corbin Bleu is the reason why I started doing what I did. I felt seen. There was someone on TV doing something that I wanted to do, and he looked like me. It was that high school, it was that film. It was the first High School Musical movie that made me go, “That’s what I want to do.”
From the brief interaction between Jamie and Gina, it’s clear her big brother hasn’t always been around for her. How do you think this family dynamic affects Gina?
It’s very complex. I have a complicated family dynamic as well. You definitely figure out what works, but every family has a story. Gina’s no exception, Jamie is no exception. There’s a lot more to be explored with this character, so I really hope that we get the opportunity to do so. He’s a very macro to micro, complicated individual. In terms of this first interaction between Jamie and Gina, you get to see and feel a little bit of that, but also recognize the warmth of, “I’ve missed you.” “I’ve missed you, too. I love you and I want to be here, and I want to be around.” Where did all that come from? That’s the thing that I really am curious about, but I know that there’s a complication to all of it. [It’s] like having a bit of sound horn for people to feel felt and that they’re not the only ones that are in an interesting family dynamic.
In the brief scenes you have, there seems to be guilt and sadness from Jamie about not always being there for Gina. In what way do you think Jamie would want to be more present in Gina’s Life?
I think just [being] consistently in Gina’s life. [Being] physically there as much as possible is the thing that he knows that she needs and frankly Jamie needs that, too. [They need] communication and consistency, not running away for whatever reasons that we hopefully get to find out about.
In this season Gina struggles a lot with being comfortable at East High, especially due to lingering feelings for Ricky [Joshua Bassett], and even considers moving again. If Jamie knew this, what brotherly advice do you think he would give Gina?
Life is life and it’s long. High school sucks but it’s also great. You have to relish in the great moments and recognize the not-so-great moments. At the end of the day, I want joy for people that I love. There’s not always a direct flight to reach that point. Sometimes you have a little bit of a layover somewhere and those layovers are where we really evolve and grow.
My advice to anyone that’s going through things is to not avoid going through it but to just keep pushing because it will end at some point. You will find joy on the other side of it. You will find growth on the other side of it. And if you avoid it, you’re not benefiting yourself at all. When you find yourself in a corner, you’re not going to be equipped. You’re not going to be combat-ready and that’s not great. Unfortunately in 2021, high schools are a great place to learn how to survive. High school’s an amazing place to learn how to deal. It’s really tough.
What do you hope fans take away from Jamie’s interaction with Gina?
That culturally speaking, family dynamics can be definitive of a human and of a person. I think recognizing how you choose to live your life, solely you, is ultimately your power. Jamie took that bull by the horns and so did Gina, and they did it in their own ways. But family, whether they’re blood or who you choose, really is everything. It doesn’t have to be blood, and I’m the first person to say that. I have chosen family that I’m significantly closer to than a lot of my blood relatives. Family is so important and there are people around you that oftentimes probably need it. So, open your mind and your heart to hear them. That’s what we’re here for.
Jamie also talks to EJ and ends up referring to him as a pseudo big brother figure to Gina. How do you think that is going to affect the future of the relationship between EJ and Gina?
I think if Jamie had a little context, he would be thrilled for them. I could also be wrong. I’m not the creator of the show or the writer of this character, but that’s how I feel based on the character breakdown right now. I think that Gina and EJ have a beautiful dynamic that is truly full of love, honestly. And I love the idea of them exploring that, fully and knowing transparently where they stand with each other. I also adore them both as people and I adore their characters. I ship them. I want to see them together.
Can we expect to see more of Jamie or if there’s an opportunity for him to return, what else do you hope to see from him?
I would love to see Jamie reappear on the show. I hope that happens. I’d love to see a little bit more of his world, what he deals with, and what’s led him to where he’s at. That’s the thing that I’m curious about, something that I want to explore: what led Jamie to be away and how he found this new career that he’s blossomed in in the biggest way. I’m curious as to what highs and lows he went through to get to that place and where Gina is concerned in all of that and his family.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Fridays, Disney+