On The Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson asked Bell about her high school musical days and even showed off a throwback picture of the now-39-year-old actress in her Dorothy outfit from The Wizard of Oz, complete with her dyed-red hair. “Guys, I went to Rite Aid and I got a dye. I am Method,” she jokingly boasted.
But most of her early theatrical memories focused on her teachers, Ms. Rashid and Mr. Barnard. “Both of whom I feel like sort of lit a match under my butt and helped me figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” she told the talk show host. “And Ms. Rashid especially, she was sort of known as our drill sergeant. But I feel like it trained me to be a member of a professional theater group.”
The Frozen II actress got a blast from the past when Ms. Rashid and her former choir classmate Katie Ells walked onstage for the planned surprise. The moment felt meta for Bell, who routinely brings back the drama teachers of her show’s members.
“A big part of the show is somehow the drama teacher was always so pivotal in these kids’ lives no matter where they came from,” Bell said. “And we always bring them back in, and this is, it’s really emotional because I think — maybe for a boy sometimes it might be a football coach, but it’s the closest thing to another parent that you have.”
Ms. Rashid chimed in with her favorite memory of her former pupil. “This is the truth that I have kept…. When we were doing Lady Be Good, and you were doing like this [looks down] on the couch with John Murphy who was channeling John Cleese,” she recalled with a laugh. “And all of a sudden, you had to get up and do some stuff and you just took the directions so perfectly. And I love when the light bulb goes on for kids, and you made that entire cast stop. … And I thought that is just what they need, to see a 15-year-old pro.”
Watch the sweet surprise reunion below.