'Hannah Montana' star Jason Earles has been secretly working behind the scenes of 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,' says actress Julia Lester
- Disney star Jason Earles guest stars in " High School Musical: The Musical: The Series " season 3.
- However, the " Hannah Montana " star has been involved as a mentor to the cast since season one.
- Julia Lester noted the irony that the cast's "camp counselor" is now playing a camp director.
" High School Musical: The Musical: The Series " star Julia Lester told Insider that season three guest star Jason Earles has been working as a mentor to the cast since the first season.
Earles, best known for his role as Miley Cyrus' brother Jackson Stewart in the 2000s "Hannah Montana" series, makes an appearance as camp director Dewey Wood in the season premiere of the "High School Musical" spinoff series, which was released Wednesday.
Lester, who plays lead character Ashlyn, revealed to Insider that the actor has been working as a mentor to the main cast and was ironically nicknamed "camp counselor."
"He's our dialogue coach in technical terms, but he's really like an acting coach and mentor," Lester said. "Since season one, we've called him camp counselor as a joke. And now he, like, literally is like a camp counselor. Well, he's camp director."
Lester continued: "It was so much fun and, literally, he wore so many different hats in the show, but also figuratively. One second he would be bringing the house down with laughter on camera and then the next day helping us with a really intense emotional scene and being so invested. I'm like, 'Oh my God, a childhood idol in front of my eyes acting.' It's amazing."
The series' showrunner Tim Federle told Insider that it felt like he and Earles were the only adults on set.
"I remember Dar Renee season one walked onto set and was like, 'What is Hannah Montana's brother doing here? I'm so intimidated. I wasn't intimidated before,'" Federle said. "And I was like, 'No, no, no, he's here to help.' So to get Jason's comedy chops in the show is such a blast."
In an interview with People , Earles explained that he was brought in by former Disney Channel casting head, Judy Taylor, to make sure the cast was in a "safe environment" for their mental health and personal development due to their young age. The main cast was all between the ages of 15 and 21 when the show first aired.
Earles, who was 29 when he first played 16-year-old Jackson in "Hannah Montana," also noted the similarities between Olivia Rodrigo's stardom and Miley Cyrus' rise in the mid-2000s.
"For me, what has been mindblowing is I was there during Hannah Montana, and I watched Miley turn into the biggest pop star in the world overnight," he told People. "The show premiered, we told them, 'She's a pop star,' [and] suddenly, she was a pop star."
He continued: "And then Olivia Rodrigo when 'Drivers License' dropped, the world just decided that she was the biggest pop star on the planet. It happened so quickly. It was so shockingly similar to Miley's rise that I was like, 'How can I possibly be this close to this twice in one lifetime?' It's just fascinating to see in the front row as it goes down."
"High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" season three premieres Wednesday on Disney+ .Read the original article on Insider