While the Wildcats often seemed like they were “all in this together,” Monique Coleman didn’t always agree.
The star, who played the smart president of East High’s science club Taylor McKessie in the Disney Channel franchise, recently joined fellow Disney album Christy Carlson Romano on the latter’s most recent episode of her Vulnerable podcast. “Disney really broke my heart because when I got to the third movie, in so many ways, I really championed the film,” she explained. “I really always spoke so positively, and I was a black girl playing the smartest girl in school which was a very big deal at that time. And when it came to promoting the third movie, I wasn’t invited on the tour.”
She added that “they said something about there not being enough room on the plane,” and ended up only bringing along her costars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu. Lucas Grabeel, who plays Ryan Evans in the trilogy, was also not invited.
“That heartbreak really hit me very deeply and did cause a bit of a depression because it helped me to recognize that I was overly identifying with what I was doing and not who I was,” she added. “And that was what led me to take that step and say, ‘Maybe this is my five minutes of fame. Maybe this is it in some way. And if that is the case, then what am I going to do with it.’”
Jaylin Hawkins was working as a court reporter in Washington, D.C. when the pandemic hit. “Suddenly all my work froze,” they say. So the then-25-year-old did what many young adults did at the time: moved back in with their parents. Cooped up in West Palm Beach, Florida, Hawkins recalls friends urging them to get on TikTok. “At the time I thought TikTok was just for kids doing dance moves,” Hawkins […]
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