The world will take a trip back to Rydell High School when Grease: Live hits television screens Jan. 31, so we thought it perfect timing for the Grease cast to share the scoop on their younger selves and what life was like for them as a teenager.
Julianne Hough, Sandy
Oh, I actually feel like I was like Sandy! I moved back from London when I was 15 and didn't know how to fit in, so I was friends with the photography group of people, and then I did my theatre group, and then I had my dance company group. I never knew where I fit in, and then my dance company girls really embraced me. They were kind of like my Pink Ladies, and I felt like I had a little bit of a home, and I feel like that's what Grease is about: discovering who you are [and] what part of high school do I fit into.
Aaron Tveit, Danny Zuko
What was I like in high school? I think I was kind of the classic '90s-into-2000s high school kid who tried to do everything possible to look good on a college application. I was involved in every program you could imagine. I was in accelerated classes. I did well in school, but I also played sports, and I also did the school musical every year and was very active in our school music program, so I would leave my house at 6:30 in the morning and not get home until 10 at night. So classical overachiever.
His high school roles? I was Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors in 9th grade. In 10th grade, Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees. 11th grade: Tony in West Side Story. 12th grade: Huck in Big River.
Vanessa Hudgens, Rizzo
I didn't go. I was home-schooled. I was working. I was working on "High School Musical." I was kind of similar to how I am [now]. Obviously, I was the same person, but a bit more timid and not as confident.
Keke Palmer, Marty
See, I didn't really get to go to actual high school, but at my high-school age, I think I was very focused on being very strong because I think I was in the industry for so long. I was working on a television show at that time, and I think there was pressure, so I think I found myself tight [and] closed up. But you wouldn't notice the tight[ness] then.
Carly Rae Jepsen, Frenchy
During high school, I was very lucky because I had a popular brother, so he sifted me into way of the popular group, but I think were it not for him, I would have been very much the theatre nerd because I was Little Orphan Annie in high school, I was Dorothy in The Wiz, and I was Sandy in Grease, actually. So I was very much obsessed with any experience I could be getting in theatre or music, and we had a theatre built into our school, so we put on plays and musicals all the time.
Kether Donohue, Jan
Oh my god. You know what? I was really kind of the same as I am now. I was very weird in the very best way. I'm really lucky. My best friends now are still the best friends I met in high school. They're just the best. We were all just weird. I was just weird! I wore like this fake red fur coat, and I had platinum blonde really ugly hair with black roots coming out. I had acne, and I didn't match, and I was a little chunky, but it was some of the best years of my life! I was happy! I called my best friend the other day, and I was going through that stupid actor's thing — bitching about my weight — and she was like, "Kether, remember in high school? You were so chunky! But you were happy!" And, I was like, "…Thanks, babe."
Carlos PenaVega, Kenickie
In high school I was a super…drama nerd. Nobody liked me because I liked musical theatre, I was on the cheerleading squad. Yeah, I was just that kind of dude, [and now] I'm playing Kenickie in Grease: Live… I'm the cheerleading Kenickie! The Latin cheerleading Kenickie.
David Del Rio, Putzie
I was a theatre nerd. I was definitely a theatre nerd. I'm a film buff and all that stuff… I wanted to be president of the thespian club. At the same time, also, it was me and my four guys; we were like a little crew. We were in an arts high school that was 400 kids in total, so it was like 100 kids per graduating class, and the people who had the leads in the plays, it wasn't the jocks who were the most popular. It was the kids who were doing really well in their art [who were] the most popular, so we did really well, and we would be walking around in the hallways while the principal was walking, pretending we had earpieces, pushing kids to the side going, "Principal's coming! Out of the way!" Like, we used to do little performances in the middle [of the hall] — improv scenes. That's how it was for me in high school.
Jordan Fisher, Doody
I loved performing. All I'd known up to my high school years was really gymnastics and soccer. I grew up in a small football town outside Alabama, so I really fell in love with… There was a girl in fifth grade that I had a crush on in the drama club, and I fell in love with art. I fell in love with acting, music, dancing — that whole thing — all in one day in fifth grade. [I] ended up getting the girl in fifth grade — she's married now! — but it definitely spawned something in my life from a career's concern. It was a fire sparked at that time. People in my school, they knew me as the singer, they knew me as the performer, but they loved it. Or at least they pretended that they did. I was always supported by my friends — they came to the shows, they cheered me on.
Andrew Call, Sonny
I was a real cool cat! No. So me in high school… It's hard to explain. I crossed over in a few different directions, so I was into theatre, did a lot of sports, had a lot of those friends and other friends, too. So an all-around kind of guy. I'd like to think I was everyone's guy, but it's all perspective. Still, I wasn't worried about prom king — that was never my thing. I was worried about like, "When am I going to get out of here?" But I love Rogers, AR, so: Peace, Rogers, AR!