‘High School’: Reilly and Cezanne Gilliland playing Tegan and Sarah

By | October 22, 2022

Before 21-year-old twins Reilly and Cizyn Gilliland, real-life indie-pop sister duo Tegan and Sarah Quinn, were considered “high school” on Amazon Freevy, they were working at Round Table Pizza in Fresno, California, and making sourdough. TikToks on the side. Neither really knew anything about the Grammy-nominated band — unless their growing Tik Tok fan base indicated their similarities.

“We’ve heard the names ‘Tegan and Sarah’ because people in my commentary room compare us,” Reilly said. Difference A gray day at a park in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles. But we don’t really see them.

Then Reilly gets a DM from Tegan who stumbles upon her TikTok account. Tegan revealed that she and Sara are adapting their favorite memory of “High School” into a TV show about teenagers discovering their love for music, and are looking for identical twins for the show. Although neither sister has ever acted, sung or played an instrument before (Reilly says she’s never even been to a concert, although her first one will be Tegan and Sara next month), Reilly was open to the opportunity. It took her sister a moment to warm to the idea.

“At first, ‘Why are we doing this?’ That’s not what we want to do – we don’t want to be actors. But then, ‘How can we get the job? We are not actors.’

But sure enough, after sending in a tape, auditioning for the show, and meeting the crew in person, Reilly and Cizzy got the job. When it came to casting, writer, director and show co-showrunner Clea Duvall wanted the series to be as authentic as possible—meaning she wanted identical twins with musical talents.

“We know what we are asking is completely unreasonable. Because it wasn’t just one person who could do those things — it was two people who looked exactly the same,” Duvall says. Difference. “So when Reilly and Cizzin showed up through the Tik Tok algorithm, it was really incredible. And especially after they got the job and we started working with them, it was just how perfect they were.

In fact, watching “High School” — which premiered Oct. 14 — you’d never guess it was Riley and Cizzy’s first foray into acting and music. To prepare, the twins worked out four times a week, along with taking guitar and singing lessons.

Below, Reilly and Cizyn talk about stage fright, what they looked like in high school, and how the show inspires other young members of the queer community.

High School S1
By Michelle Faye/Amazon Freev

It’s safe to say that being accepted into “high school” changed the course of your life. Before you got the job, what were your career plans?

the seasonWe’ve been doing a lot of cooking, some of them together and some of them not. I didn’t have any career that I wanted to do. I did one semester in college, and then I didn’t like it. I thought about going to cosmetology school but it was too expensive. Another time I wanted to be a firefighter, but then I sprained my ankle so I couldn’t go into the program. My mind was constantly changing about what I wanted my life to be, so when we met, I had nothing in mind.

Riley: I had no idea for me. I mean, at least Cezanne had some ideas and some ways to go, like going to her firefighter thing. me No, as a child, I thought it was fun to be an actor. It was just a thought, and I don’t know, that would be fun. It was always in my mind, maybe I can be an actor, maybe I can do it. But I wasn’t going to do anything about it.

the season: PS, she took us to two Disney auditions. Reilly had heard it on the radio and she took us to the audition.

Riley: I was just 9 years old!

the season: I mean, obviously she didn’t drop us off there, but she had my mom and dad pick us up, and it was here at a hotel and there were only 9-year-olds who wanted to get on the Disney Channel. . I think we did that twice, actually.

You mentioned earlier that neither of you had really sung before. Did you have to sing during your audition and how did you prepare for it?

the season: Well, we should have done that during the screening process, send us a video of us singing. And we didn’t. Riley found an excuse because she was the one who usually interacted with them.

RileyEither I talked to them or nobody.

the seasonSo Reilly was making excuses for why we couldn’t send a video of us singing a song like “She’s at work, I’m at work.”

Riley: And we’ll be together and I’ll say, “Seazynn, we have to make a movie, we have to shoot a little video of us singing, it’s so small.” And she’ll be like, “No, I won’t.” So I said, “Well, I’ll let them know we’re not here, we can’t do it.” And in the end, we still got the job.

the season: Yeah, that’s one thing I don’t do. And if they said, “Okay, we’re not going to give you the job,” I’d say, “Okay, that’s fine.”

Riley: This is what happened. We avoided any requests to send a video of us singing, but Sissy was singing one time in the parking lot and I recorded her. So I sent it to Sarah.

the season: and I used to sing “Tegan didn’t go to school today.”

RileySo Sarah said, “Okay, you can do this.”

Cezanne, how did you overcome the fear of singing in front of others?

the season: Oh, I didn’t. Especially in front of the employee and everything. The first time I had to do it, Reilly wasn’t even there, but she walked into the room where we were filming and sat there because there was no other way for me to do it. After that, even every time, when we had a scene to sing, it was not easy.

Riley: First I had to sing in the whole production and oh my god, I had the biggest mental breakdown before I did that movie. I thought I couldn’t do it – I was crying on another set, and Clea had to talk to me. She was very helpful in every situation. She came to another set with me and was joking and said, “I’ll sing with you!” She was eating. It was very good. So we rehearsed before the film and I finally pulled myself together. I mean, that scene isn’t going to be as good as I want it to be because I was crying five minutes ago, but Clea was really helpful in making that happen. I definitely couldn’t have done that without her.

In the show, viewers will see Tegan and Sarah go through a rough patch in their relationship, and music is what ultimately brings them together. Was there ever a time when the two of you were not close?

RileyThere was a time in our lives when we were separated and came back together. When we were around the same age as Tegan and Sarah were on the show, like the show, Cézanne had a secret girlfriend and we broke up. I didn’t know what was going on because we were best friends with them. I said, “What’s going on?” Why don’t they want me to talk to them?” But nothing I remember brought us together.

the seasonWe broke up.

Apparently, this episode is called “High School” and explores Tegan and Sarah’s teenage years. What were you two like in high school?

the seasonI was a horrible high school student.

Riley: She was desperate, and I was a loser.

the seasonThe loser is a bit of a drama.

Riley: No, no, Seazynn.

the season: She was going to church.

Riley: From my freshman year until the middle of my junior year, I went to church five days a week. I was crazy. I don’t say I’m religious, I just go to church. I was only friends with people at church, and then I found out I was gay, left the church and started making my own friends. The last two years of high school, we started doing things we weren’t supposed to do.

the season: You thought we were doing drugs. We were climbing power towers and…

Riley: That’s not what I’m talking about!

the season: No, we were stealing…

RileyAnyway, I was a loser.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from this experience?

the season: Before all this, I agree with life. And I think since this happened – I’m not normally okay with change, so with the change we made, I realized how much you live in life if you don’t adjust, and I realized how important that is.

Riley: I realized that I love acting, and that’s something I really want to continue doing. When I started doing it, I felt really good and thought, “Oh yeah, maybe this is what I’m supposed to be doing.” I truly understood that I was in love with him.

Seazynn, do you want to get in on the act too?

the seasonNow, I’m just hoping for a season 2 because I want to do a season 2. But beyond “high school,” I think it’s hard to say right now. I enjoy the production side of things and learning more about their jobs and what they do behind the camera. So now I think it’s something I’m looking for a little more. But I mean we’ll see.

What do you hope viewers, especially queer kids, will take away from the show?

the season: I hope they can see themselves on the screen. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything on television that made me feel that way. I know I played [the character]But when I look back, I feel that way.

RileyI say to young queer kids in particular that they are not alone. I felt that way because I wasn’t seeing myself on TV and being around gay people and in church and everything. I felt lonely. I had no one to look up to and relate to. But by being able to play this guy who feels all those really normal things, I hope people realize that there are other people who are going through the same thing.

Category: tv

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