Julie and the Phantoms is hitting all the right notes for musical fans, as it has so much heart, and features a soundtrack full of hits. The band formed on the Netflix show has amazing chemistry, even though many members of the cast also happen to be newcomers. Director Kenny Ortega has recently shared some fun behind-the-scenes videos from filming, and it looks like all the actors are naturals. No matter how talented the cast, every show faces its challenges, and Madison Reyes (who plays Julie) has revealed the most challenging scene to film.
The scenes discussed are in the Season 1 finale episode, but no plot details are spoiled, so feel free to read on if you haven’t finished the season yet. Madison Reyes mentioned the final song that is performed, along with a monologue scene where Julie has a moment of reflection that takes place in an alleyway outside the theater where the band performs. Here’s what she told me in an interview with CinemaBlend:
The most challenging scene had to be Stand Tall and the alleyway scene. It was really mentally draining and coming up to be the last week of us filming, so those feelings were 100% real and it was our last performance together. It was really sad because we put so much effort and work into it, and it was also a good payoff. Stand Tall was a new song we’d gotten while we were in Vancouver that ended up getting cut because I couldn't sing it [fully] - it was too high at the time, but I can sing it perfectly now. As a band, we had a lot of input on it and we really grew as friends and a family while creating it together.
The final days of filming are always emotional. For casts who get along great, no one wants the experience on set to end, and throwing so much emotion into something definitely presents a challenge because it is draining. It’s amazing to see the payoff from this young cast giving everything they’ve got to make such touching TV. Trust me, you can feel the love this cast has for each other when watching the show.
Speaking of the cast’s chemistry and performing as a band, I was curious to learn how they were able to pull that off when three of the four bandmates are ghosts. There is a lot of interacting to be done between musicians on a stage together, but Julie physically cannot touch the ghosts. As Reyes explained:
We kind of messed with that the first couple of episodes. That first scene where Luke [Charlie Gillespie] passes through Julie… There's a lot of back and forth. We have to record it with just me there, and then Charlie without me there. It was kind of easy, we still had chemistry, the main thing was to make sure we were still interacting. And we still got the payoff when the guys interacted with each other.
So there you have it. Kenny Ortega seems to have a magical touch, from High School Musical, to Descendants, and now with Julie and the Phantoms. He simply has the ability to equip young stars with the tools to break through anything. Every new challenge doesn't bring reward, but it seems this cast has literally put sweat and tears into this show and been rewarded for it.