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Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine

Interview

Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity

Julia Lester
Julia Lester | HSMTMTS ©Disney/Roger Erickson

Julia Lester is the talented young actress who portraits Ashlyn in the Disney hit TV show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (HSMTMTS).  Besides, she is a charismatic person interested in sharing love, sparking joy with her talents, and reminding us that, when it comes to being kind, it is all about inclusivity.

We had a conversation to talk about her life, career, and how HSMTMTS changed her life. Therefore, we hope you can enjoy this exclusive interview for Vanity Teen.

Julia Lester, Olivia Rodrigo, Dara Reneé
Julia Lester, Olivia Rodrigo, Dara Reneé | HSMTMTS “The Transformation” ©Disney/Fred Hayes

From the early years to a life-changing role

VT: What can you tell us about your first roles? And how did you start singing, dancing, and acting?

JL: Coming from a family of performers, it was always in my nature to be interested in performing!

I started auditioning and working in commercials when I was about five years old, and then from there, I got really into other kinds of onscreen acting, as well as musical theatre and stage performance!

Some of my earliest (and fondest) onstage roles include Little Cosette in Les Misérables, Little Girl in Ragtime, and even Milky White in Into the Woods

Larry Saperstein and Julia Lester
Larry Saperstein and Julia Lester | HSMTMTH “The Storm” ©Disney/Fred Hayes

VT: Despite your considerable acting experience and been doing what you love for years, do you consider High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has changed your life for good?

 JL: Oh absolutely! It has changed my life in so many ways.

I am so grateful I have gotten to spend these really important and formative years of early adulthood amongst such inspiring and encouraging people.

Our cast and crew have really played a huge part in not only the person I am today but the person I am becoming.

Music video by Olivia Rodrigo and Julia Lester performing Wondering (HSMTMTS | Ashlyn & Nini Piano Version | Disney+) © 2019 Walt Disney Records

VT: How about the song Wondering?

 JL: Wondering was the very first song I ever professionally recorded!

It was such a huge honor when I was presented with the opportunity to sing such a beautiful song in the show. And I am so happy it has and continues to touch so many people around the world.

It’s really cool to think about the fact that the song will live on and be special to so many people throughout the years to come!

Julia Lester: “Valentine’s Day”
Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, Matt cornett, Dara Reneé, Julia Lester, Larry Saperstein, and Joe Serafin | HSMTMTS “Valentine’s Day” ©Disney/Fred Hayes

It is all about inclusivity

VT: HSMTMTH came out in 2019, and the world came to know Ashlyn. Thus, what do you think about the ways many young people are feeling identified and represented with her story?

 JL: One of my favorite aspects of HSMTMTS is the inclusivity and how important it is to our writers to create authentic, real teens that people can relate to.

I always find it comforting and sort of beautiful to relate to someone, whether they are real or fictional. We all deserve to feel seen with reminders that we are not alone in who we are!

“Valentine’s Day”
Julia Lester and Larry Saperstein | HSMTMTS “Valentine’s Day” ©Disney/Fred Hayes

VT: Would you like to invite our readers to stay tuned with season 2 and the following episodes that are about to come?

JL: Absolutely! There’s so much more drama and music this season. Things have been really elevated for the viewers, so definitely keep watching so you can experience all the magic! 

Juila Lester
Julia Lester | HSMTMTS “Showtime” ©Disney/Fred Hayes

VT: What can you share with us about What She Said?

JL: Most definitely, I am so excited and honored to be an associate producer on my older sister, Jenny Lester’s, film What She Said. It’s a “traumedy” about sexual assault, made by an almost entirely female and non-binary crew under 35.

It’s incredibly hopeful and funny, and I’ve never seen this kind of story told in this way before. I am so proud of Jenny and her team and can’t wait for the release! I recommend following @shallowgravesny for all updates on the film, including premiere dates!

Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine
Joshua Bassett, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, and Olivia Rodrigo | HSMTMTS “New Year’s Eve” ©Disney/Nick Sokoloff

VT: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?

JL: If you’re reading this, I love you, and I am so grateful for you!

Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Julia Lester: it is all about inclusivity Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine
Julia Lester | HSMTMTS ©Disney

Before we go

Julia Lester is such a beautiful lady with an even more beautiful soul; thus, I hope we could keep getting more from her and spread her message of love and inclusivity.

Let us remember, it is OK to be the way we are because we are not alone.

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