Rosie Perez & Josh Radnor on the 'Push and Pull' of Their 'Rise' Roles (VIDEO)

Damian Holbrook

As anyone who has watched the series premiere of Rise knows, this Friday Night Glee—from the FNL and Hamilton teams—tells the story of the fictional Stanton High's production of Spring Awakening.

The show features a group of talented and appropriately troubled teens overseen by a white male director and the woman of color he stole the job from. Yeah, that's what's up.

'Rise' Stars Auli'i Cravalho & Damon J. Gillespie Tease the NBC Musical Drama (VIDEO)

'Rise' Stars Auli'i Cravalho & Damon J. Gillespie Tease the NBC Musical Drama (VIDEO)

Auli'l Cravalho and Damon J. Gillespie break down their characters' chemistry.

In the opener, Josh Radnor's earnest educator Lou Mazzuchelli swept in to take over the drama department after the school's theater teacher departed, despite the fact that he A) had no experience and B) the opening should have been filled by Tracey Wolfe (Rosie Perez, reminding us again why she deserved that Oscar nomination for Fearless), the long-time assistant director with two decades of working with the kids. Sure, she always wants to stage another production of Grease, but come on. Read the room, Rise!

For this segment on Celebrity Page, we sat down with Perez and Radnor, who good-naturedly put up with our queries about Lou's capabilities, Tracey's willingness to work with him, and how they, as actors, have handled being surrounded by so many singing kids. Just don't call it a musical... as they schooled me in the unedited cut of our conversation, this is a drama with a musical element.

Rise, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC

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