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Corbin Bleu & Monique Coleman: Our Lifetime Holiday Movie Is ‘Fulfillment’ For ‘HSM’ Fans

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Corbin Bleu Monica Coleman

It’s been 15 years since Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman first worked together on ‘HSM.’ HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the pair about ‘A Christmas Dance Reunion’ and how it’s a ‘meta moment’ for ‘HSM’ fans.

High School Musical fans are getting the ultimate holiday treat in A Christmas Dance Reunion, which premieres December 3 on Lifetime. Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman are working together once again, over a decade after the last High School Musical movie. This time around, Corbin and Monique play Barrett and Lucy, who cross paths when Lucy returns home and a romance between them starts to build. They end up reigniting their love of dancing together over the holidays.

HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the pair about their High School Musical reunion and how fans of Taylor and Chad get to finally see a “full-fledged romance.” Corbin and Monique also discussed the unconventional way they had to learn to dance for this movie and how they do not want to wait near as long to work together again. Read our Q&A below.

Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman in ‘A Christmas Dance Reunion.’ (Lifetime)

First and foremost, why did it take you guys so long to work together again like this?
Corbin Bleu: I’ve got to be honest. I feel like it is a little bit serendipitous that it has been this long because we maintained our friendship this entire process. But coming back to work together in this capacity was a bit of an eye-opener as to how well we do work together. Not that it’s a surprise. I know Monique and her work ethic, and I know what she’s capable of, but I knew it was going to be an amazing experience. I think it really was a little bit lost by me just how wonderful of a partner she and now we want to do a lot more together.

Monique Coleman: We definitely over the years thought it would be fun. There was never that kind of impetus to just take that step or take that leap. This has just been such a wonderful moment, and in many ways, it does kind of mirror the film in the sense where Lucy and Barrett hadn’t seen each other. It’s a little different, but they hadn’t been together since they were teenagers, like 15 years or something. It’s very similar in this instance where it’s been 13 years since we got to dance together and do a film. Once that sort of passion was reignited, we were like, whoa, this is very natural.

Was this film a coincidence or were you both approached for the movie because of your history together? How did that all come about?
Corbin Bleu: I think that they did have the both of us in mind. Although I was attached first, and I did not know that they had the two of us in mind. Until one morning, my wife and I are still in bed, and we got a text message from Mo basically saying, “Can’t wait to start doing the movie with you guys.” That was just the realization of what was already an exciting project to be a part of just became a completely different type of excitement. Now all of a sudden what we had here was a really special and magical moment that was about to occur.

Monique Coleman: Brian [Herzlinger], our director, he had mentioned at one point to me that it was during the Disney Family Sing-Along, which I believe happened in April of last year during COVID and they were in development. He said he just saw the dynamic between us and the friendship and that was the spark for the idea of: what about them together? It was something that I don’t think any of us really could have understood how truly magical it was going to be, but apparently, the idea was there pretty early on.

Corbin Bleu Monique Coleman
Monique Coleman and Corbin Bleu as Lucy and Barrett. (Lifetime/Everett Collection)

After working a handful of years before, what was it like for both of you to work and dance together and reignite that effortless chemistry that you guys have always had?
Corbin Bleu: Effortless is the word. It’s just so easy. That’s what you hope for. Of course, everything is work. You want to put in your best work, and you want to bring a lot to the table. But at the same time, the less resistance you can get the better. The fact that it was us, and we do have already this relationship and history and chemistry, we really are close. Monique has been in my very small circle of friends over the last 15 years. I think to be able to have an onscreen love interest, one we’ve already had onscreen as a romantic relationship, and then to be able to continue that and just know that we trust each other the way we do, not only from the onscreen relationship but also partnering and working together. Knowing that we have each other’s back even during this entire press process and speaking about the movie. It’s just such a wonderful thing to be able to do together and bounce off of each other, and we’ve really found that we do have each other’s backs. I know if ever there’s a time that I falter that she’s there to pick up the slack and vice versa.

There’s a lot of dancing in the trailer. Is there a final dance number? What was it like breaking out the moves again?
Monique Coleman: You know there is. That was such a fun part of it. First of all, we were coming off of the pandemic, so I had to put the cookie down and spend the two weeks that we were in quarantine getting my body ready to be in this position. I hadn’t danced in quite a long time, so there was definitely a bit of just curve of endurance and strength that had to be regained and also flexibility. From the first day in quarantine on, I really just had to start getting into a bit of a routine. And then Christian Vincent, who is our choreographer, very quickly started sending us videos of dancing and started working with us in zoom rehearsal sessions. I’ve never had an experience like that where we were having to learn to dance and learn partner dances over the computer because we weren’t able to be with each other. That was a very unique experience leading up to it. And then when we got in that first rehearsal, I just was completely geeking out at the fact that we were doing this again. I think Corbin can speak to what it was like actually filming the dances because that was also a very unique experience.

Corbin Bleu: First of all, it’s a very difficult concept, in general, to put dance on film because you are dealing with something that’s permanent, and you want to capture that moment. It’s not even just the scene when you’re dealing with choreography. There are so many moving parts. In our particular scenario, we did have several hurdles being that we have to partner dance, and we’re not together for the first large chunk of it because we’re having to do it over zoom. I think we had two or three days of actual in-person rehearsals and then the shooting process. I compare it to High School Musical where we had one to two days per dance number. In A Christmas Dance Reunion, we had two days in total. So we shot the entire latter half but that whole final chunk of dances in one day, and then the rest of them were shot in another day. So to pull all that off, and for it to turn out the way it did is really a testament to the people involved. I’m not just talking about Monique and me, but all of our other dancers that were involved, Christian Vincent, our choreographer, Brian, our director, and everyone involved bringing that together. Again, you can talk about the path of least resistance. In that scenario, there could be a lot of resistance, and I think it’s the people that we had that really allowed us to work.

Corbin Bleu Monica Coleman
Corbin Bleu and Monica Coleman as Chad and Taylor in ‘High School Musical 3.’ (Everett Collection)

Fans know you both as Taylor and Chad. What do you love about Lucy and Barrett’s burgeoning love story in the film?
Corbin Bleu: I think there’s going to be a sense of fulfillment for people to see Monique and me again onscreen. Even though we are different characters, and we’re not playing Taylor and Chad, I feel like those who have followed Taylor and Chad didn’t get to see that relationship come to full blossom. This is a little bit of a meta moment where they get to see a full-fledged romance between the two of us. But as far as Lucy and Barrett, I think it’s such a wonderful representation of time gone by and how you can rekindle a relationship or romance and a passion for dance.

Monique Coleman: I feel like Lucy and Barrett in some ways are a little bit closer to life for Corbin and me than Chad and Taylor. I think that’s kind of what it’s always been. That was not intentional in the writing. They didn’t know what I had gone off and done, but in a way, it was these two people who grew up together and then one of them kept going, and the other one kind of detoured. The Barrett character brought Lucy back to who she’s always been, and in a way, that’s what this movie does with us. Corbin does have an incredible Broadway career and stage career and has continued to dance and thrive in that. I am not a lawyer, but I am an activist, and I have spent a lot of time working in philanthropy. I had a production company, and I did very serious things. These two characters now get to come back together at a place that they love, to do something that they love together, and that feels a lot more true to who we have actually become over the years. I think that’s going to be really neat because people will get to, as Corbin said, there will be the satisfaction of seeing us onscreen together. Initially, I think that will obviously bring the nostalgia of Chad and Taylor, but then they get to witness a totally new story of Lucy and Barrett through that. They get to see peaks and seeds of who we actually are and who we’ve really become over these years. It’s a wonderful kind of layered experience.

With Lifetime, we’ve seen sequels happen with their holiday movies. Are things left open for a possible sequel?
Corbin Bleu: I know we would love for that to happen. Obviously, a sequel for this with Lifetime would be awesome. And then also, Mo and I in general, know that we want to continue working onscreen together again.

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Tom Brady’s NFL Future: How Wife Gisele Bundchen Factors Into His Decision To Keep Playing

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Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen

Tom Brady has a tough decision to make as this seems to be the first year that he has seriously considered retiring from the NFL.

Tom Brady, 44, may not be sticking around in the NFL for too much longer. Now that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their playoffs game and his season is officially over, he has to revisit the decision about whether this is the year to retire. “Over any other year, this is the first year that retirement has even had an inkling of being thought about on Tom‘s side of things, a source EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife. 

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen pose during a previous event. (Shutterstock)

Apparently, his wife Gisele Bundchen, 40, will play a big role in Tom’s decision whether to continue with the NFL or retire. In fact, “conversations with Gisele in the offseason is going to be a major component on if he continues to play in the NFL or not,” our source tells us. This is not the first year that Gisele has had input but as the years go on, the decision becomes more and more difficult.

“After every year that goes by Tom has a conversation with Gisele to see where the family stands on him playing another year or not. “And regardless of how this season has ended, this year is looking to be the most important conversation yet,” the source explains, adding, “The kids are getting older, and they both want to decide how they really want to spend the next fifty years of their lives. And they are going to have many conversations after the season that are going to be very heartfelt.”

Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen
Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen at a previous event. (Sky Cinema/Shutterstock)

Regardless of how his wife feels, the Buccaneers want their quarterback to stick around. “Tampa wants him back and would do anything to get him back,” our source notes. “He still has a year left in his contract. The team really believes he will be back. Tom can pretty much write his own story and play for as long as he wants and if it was up to Tampa, they don’t want him to ever retire.“

The Buccaneers played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Jan. 23. In a nail-biting game, the Rams ended up defeating the Buccaneers 30 – 27. Since this game was part of the playoffs, this means that the Buccaneers are out the running to compete in the Super Bowl and that they’re done playing for the season. Fans will have to stay tuned to see if Tom decides to return for his 23rd season.

 

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Thierry Mugler: 5 Things On The Iconic Fashion Designer Dead At 73

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Thiery Mugler

Fashion legend Thierry Mugler has died at 73.

Thierry Mugler has died at 73. His death was confirmed on his official Instagram account. “#RIP We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace,” the post’s caption read along with the same words in French and a picture of a black square. Tributes have already started to pour in for the renowned designer who was best known for styling A-list celebrities. Here’s everything you need to know about the late fashion icon Thierry Mugler.

Thierry owned a perfume company

Thierry first launched his perfume collection in 1992 and it has been his main focus. His first majorly known fragrance was Angel. He then jumped off of that and launched Alien in 2005. His scents can be found at major department and makeup stores including Macy’s and Sephora.

“We dedicate our lives to connecting men and women with their emotions, to provide them addictive stories,” President of Mugler Fashion and Fragrances said of Thierry’s work on his perfume company’s site. “We develop authentic relationships with our clients by offering personalized services and unique experiences. We’re limitless and uncompromising in our creation. In both Fashion and Fragrances, Mugler shakes things up, inspires.”

Thierry brought Diana Ross onto the runway

Diana Ross had adamantly not graced the runway until Thierry requested her presence. He asked the “I’m Coming Out” singer to walk in his 1991 fashion show for his summer collection. She accepted, making his show her first-ever runway appearance. Her famous daughter Tracee Ellis Ross also walked in the show.

Thierry designed Madonna’s sexy concert corsets

Thiery Mugler has died at 73. (Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEI/Shutterstock)

Thierry was the mastermind behind Madonna’s many elaborate and sexy concert looks. He even designed a piece named Madonna that served as the final look in his tenth-anniversary collection. The look tied into Madonna’s use of religious themes as it had a flowy, angelic shape and design but still had her dazzling touch of bedazzled blue and white star in the center of the dress. Most of Madonna’s sexist and most shimmery looks were designed by Thierry.

Thierry retired from fashion in 2003

After designing for over 30 years, the legend retired from creating any more collections in 2003. He announced that he would shift his priorities to perfume and photography. Even he stopped creating looks, his fashion house went under the direction of Nicola Formichetti who styled plenty of A-list celebrities as its artistic director including Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna and more.

Thierry came out of retirement to design Kim Kardashian’s 2019 MET Gala look

Even though Mugler threw in the towel on House of Mugler in 2003, one A-list star was able to convince him to come out of retirement. He designed Kim Kardashian’s iconic sheer sexy dress that dripped with jewels for the 2019 MET Gala. “This is the first time in 20 years Mr. Mugler has designed for the House of Mugler,” Kim told Vogue (via Harper’s Baazar) at the time. “So to come and design this gown for me is such an honour. This is about eight months in the making. He envisioned me this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping.” She also got her to design her cowgirl-robot-hybrid Halloween costume that year.

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Kanye West Wears Bright White Contact Lenses With Red Leather Clad Julia Fox At PFW — Photos

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Kanye West, Julia Fox

Kanye West and his new gorgeous girlfriend Julia Fox turned heads in breathtaking looks while posing for epic photos during Paris Fashion Week on Sunday.

Kanye West, 44, proved he can own just about any look when he stepped out wearing bright white contact lenses during his latest appearance at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday. The rapper was joined by actress Julia Fox, 31, and the new lovebirds confidently posed for photos while wearing wild and bold looks. His outfit included a charcoal scarf that went over his head and over the bottom part of his face as well as a black leather jacket, pants, and boots, while she wore her own long black leather jacket over a red leather dress.

Kanye West and Julia Fox at Paris Fashion Week. (MEGA)

Julia also added metallic silver pointy-toed thigh-high boots and a dramatic makeup look that included black eyeshadow and liner all around her eyes. She topped off her stylish choices with dangling earrings and had her long locks tied back. The two stars didn’t seem to mind the crowd that surrounded them as they walked on by together and appeared relaxed and comfortable in their own skin.

Kanye West, Julia Fox
Another pic of Kanye West and Julia Fox wowing with their looks. (MEGA)

Kanye and Julia’s latest outing comes on the same day they made their red carpet debut as a couple in matching all denim outfits at the Kenzo Paris Fashion Week show. They included denim jackets, jeans, black gloves, and boots, and Julia’s makeup was the same as her latest appearance. Ye and the pretty brunette stayed close to each other the entire time they were out and about and definitely looked thrilled to be around each other as onlookers stared in awe.

Kanye and Julia first met last month on New Year’s Eve and haven’t been shy about showcasing their fondness toward each other. The latter has already posted several social media pics and videos of them sharing tender moments, like a passionate kiss, and has opened up about the attention she’s been getting because of the new romance.

“It’s funny cause I’m getting all of this attention, but I really couldn’t care,” Julia said during the Jan. 21 episode of her podcast Forbidden Fruits. “People are like ‘Oh, you’re only in it for the fame, you’re in it for the clout, you’re in it for the money.’ Honey, I’ve dated billionaires my entire adult life, let’s keep it real.”

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