After the High School Musical series, its creator presents his first film Le Monde de Nate…

Director Tim Federle and actor Joshua Bassett answered AlloCiné’s questions about their new collaboration: the musical Le Monde de Nate, available since today on Disney+.

What is it about ?

Nate Foster, 13, dreams of performing on Broadway. The problem is, he can’t even land a part in the school play. But when his parents are away for a few days, he takes the opportunity to rush to New York with his best friend Libby to prove to the whole world that he can succeed.

A chance meeting with his aunt Heidi – whom he had not seen for years – will upset his plans. Nate and Libby will then discover that ambition often determines the extent of the greatest adventures…

The World of Nate, directed by Tim Federle from his novel of the same name, starring Rueby Wood (Nate), Aria Brooks (Libby), Joshua Bassett (Anthony) and Lisa Kudrow (Heidi).

AlloCiné: How is this musical different from High School Musical?

Tim Federle: Compared to my High school Musical series, here, the story has to be contained in a format of about 1h30. So it’s a condensed writing exercise compared to that for a series where you have the opportunity to spend a lot more time with each character.

Joshua Bassett: In the series, all the songs are the continuity of the reality in which the protagonists exist. In Le Monde de Nate, the musical moments are moments of fantasy, dreams, imagined by Nate. This is where the main difference lies. I believe that in the end it gives an even more glamorous vision, it’s an explosion of dances, songs, colors. It is truly a fantastic film that will enchant everyone.

What attracted you to this film?

Joshua Bassett: Undoubtedly the opportunity to continue my collaboration with Tim. We have such a good experience with the High School Musical series. I read the script and totally fell in love with the project. And then, I liked that this role was a little different from what I usually play. He’s not a villain but you can’t say he’s all tender with Nate. I loved playing with a different and more sulfurous energy and dynamic.

After the high school musical series, its creator presents his first film le monde de nate...

Joshua Bassett in The World of Nate.

What is the main focus and messages of this film?

Tim Federle: It’s really a huge story of a young man, Nate, who dreams of becoming a star on Broadway. What is important is to realize that music is a universal language, a means of communication that affects everyone in the same way across the globe. This film shows the importance of friendship and of sharing your dreams with others because it is, together, that we manage to achieve them.

I think the ultimate message of the film is to realize that even if you think of yourself as an alien on your planet, it’s not up to you to change, it’s up to the planet to adapt to you. This film shows that we are all different and that in the end we always find our tribe, the one who accepts you as you are.

I really hope that many young people will see this film and will recognize themselves in Nate and that they will understand that there is always a place for them, somewhere, in this society which is not always tender. We need to take care of each other more than ever. Let’s never leave anyone behind and always be ready to reach out to others, even if they don’t look like us.

Everyone needs to feel loved.

Joshua Bassett: This film shows the perilous path one must follow when one is different and the world around you does not accept you as you are. I think that today we have a large number of young people who are asking questions about their true identity, their place in society and this film can only help them understand who they really are and how fit into this society with which they are sometimes at odds.

Everyone needs to feel loved, to feel accepted. But it is sometimes a perilous exercise. You always have to go forward and seek your place in this world until you find it. I hope this film gives all of you young people today all the strength you need to find your way.

Did you have any challenges to overcome with this shoot?

Tim Federle: Yes, working with two 14-year-old stars isn’t always easy. You have to get them to do their class homework as well as that of actor, dancer and singer.

What are the best and worst memories of your youth, coming of age?

Tim Federle: The best memory of my youth was when my parents, at the age of 9, took me to see a performance of the musical Cats. It was by looking at these bizarre individuals, disguised as cats that I realized that I had found my calling. And every time someone laughed at me for wanting to be a dancer is my worst memory of coming of age. I think we are all the heroes of our own story and we must not pay attention to those who try to put us down.

After the high school musical series, its creator presents his first film le monde de nate...

Aria Brooks and Rueby Wood in Finding Nate.

Joshua Bassett: The worst of my memories was a period of my youth when I was told to always erase all my emotions, to erase my sensitivity. I was told that I couldn’t cry because I was a boy, it’s a horrible feeling. It is frightening what is imposed on our youth sometimes.

The best memory was to go to school at home and that has always allowed me to pursue all my passions. I could do whatever I wanted. I remember an intense moment of freedom, of happiness, just perched high on a tree when I was 11 years old. It’s an unforgettable moment as if there were no limits to all my dreams. In life you can become whatever you want, you must always hold on and never let go.

After all these years in the world of dance and singing, what does all this represent and how has it changed you?

Tim Federle: Music, by nature, transforms you every moment. Depending on the song you can be sad or find colors. A song wants to be the mirror of whoever writes it and that has a profound effect, then, on your soul. I think this movie has some amazing musical moments that will thrill you and fill you with hope. For me it’s a film that can have the same impact as musicals from my childhood like Fame and Little Shop of Horrors.

When is the next season of High School Musical?

Tim Federle: We are, in fact, in the middle of filming season 3 which will be on Disney+ by the end of the year. This time the series takes place in a summer camp. There will therefore be a lot of musical numbers under the stars and during the day you will have to be careful of sunburn and mosquitoes (laughs)!

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