Kelly Clarkson had a sweet surprise prepared for Kristen Bell on her talk show Tuesday

By Eric Todisco
November 27, 2019 11:52 AM
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It’s a blast from the past for Kristen Bell!

The 39-year-old actress’ new Disney+ series, Encore!, reunites cast members of a high school musical to recreate their performance — and Bell was shocked when she had a reunion of her own on The Kelly Clarkson Show Tuesday

Before Bell, who both hosts and executive produces the series, was surprised by the arrival of two familiar faces, she told Clarkson, 37, about her time in high school drama class.

“I did have great teachers,” she said. “I had two theater teachers, Ms. Rashid and Mr. Barnard, both of whom I feel sort of lit a match under my butt and helped me figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life. Ms. Rashid especially, she was sort of known as our drill sergeant and I feel like it trained me to be a member of a professional theater group.”

Once Bell said she hasn’t seen people from the drama class in two years, Clarkson shocked the actress by bringing out Ms. Rashid and her former classmate Katie Ells.

Kristen Bell
| Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show

“This is crazy,” an astonished Bell said. “A big part of the show is that we bring…somehow, the drama teacher was always so pivotal in these kids’ lives no matter where they came from. We always bring them back in and this is really emotional. Maybe for a boy it’s a football coach, but it’s the closest thing to another parent that you have.”

Rashid then shared her favorite memory from working with the Bell back in the day.

“I was always late,” Bell joked.

“No, that’s not my favorite memory,” Rashid insisted. “This is the truth, I think I wrote it to you this past summer. When we were doing Lady, Be Good, and you were doing this on the couch with John Murphy, who was channeling John Cleese. All of a sudden, you had to get up and do stuff, and you just took the direction so perfectly.”

“I love when the lightbulb goes on for kids and you made that entire cast stop,” she continued. “Everybody was watching and all the kids were just going ‘Huh.’ And I thought, That’s just what they need, to see a 15-year-old pro.”

“She stole the show. Like literally, put it back,” Rashid added.

Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Ells, who was also in the school’s production of Lady, Be Good with Bell, shared what their experience was like together.

“We just had a lot of fun,” she recalled. “Our school is really small. I don’t know if you remember but we did this dance to get hyped up.”

“I remember being so enamored with you though,” added Bell. “When I got into high school, cause I came from another school district, hearing about your theatre program and thinking like ‘Oh my god, I get to perform with Katie Ells.’ ”

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As the sweet reunion came to an end, Rashid told the award-winning actress, “You inspire me so much. I am so proud of you.”

The first season of Encore! consists of 12 episodes that are being released weekly on Disney+. Thus far, the first three episodes have featured high school production reunions of Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and The Sound of Music.

Encore! is streaming on Disney+ now.