Watch Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella cast reunion with Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, and more: 'It was a game changer'
You don't need a fairy godmother or an invitation to the ball to check in with the cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella.
Stars of the musical, Brandy (Cinderella), Paolo Montalban (Prince Christopher), Whoopi Goldberg (Queen Constantina), Victor Garber (King Maximillian), Jason Alexander (Lionel), Bernadette Peters (Stepmother), and Veanne Cox (Calliope), joined EW to discuss their groundbreaking 1997 TV movie, which arrives on Disney+ this Friday.
"It was an honor to be part of something so wonderful back then, and even now, and it was multicultural, and it was just so wonderful that children were watching it could just enjoy it and all the different kinds of people that were in it, and not even question it," Peters says in the reunion video above.
"There are very few weeks that go by, even now after how many years — 25, where somebody does not come up to me and say how much it meant to them, and how much it changed their lives, and how much it started their lives," adds Cox. Alexander concurs, saying "It does come up when you meet people often, and they talk about this particular Cinderella, and they claim it, and they go 'Brandy was my Cinderella.'"
Reflecting on the film's enduring success, despite the fact it was unavailable to stream, and didn't have a soundtrack, Brandy notes, "It was a game changer, like it was just so different, and it just gave everyone an opportunity to just play these iconic characters, and see it in a different way. It was just so magical."
Goldberg makes it a point to clarify that "a lot of this came from the heart and soul of Whitney [Houston]. I know that a lot of what you're seeing is what she wanted."
That vision is best represented by Brandy's Cinderella moment, when she got to wear the light blue dress, and make a grand entrance into the palace. Montalban remembers that moment well, telling the group, "When Brandy came out in her Cinderella dress, no acting required, and actually I had to take maybe 10 extra breaths because she was so stunning at the top of the staircase. And they probably took the first take because I just recently saw that portion of it and was like this man is not breathing because he's seen the love of his life appear at the top of the steps."
Over two decades after they made it, the cast is excited for fans to see the movie again, and be able to share it with their loved ones. "It's the perfect time for it to come out. This is the perfect time," stresses Garber. "There are no mistakes, this is the time."
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella begins streaming on Disney+ at the stroke of midnight on Friday, Feb. 12.
Watch the full reunion with the cast above. And continue the celebration with EW on Twitter as we co-host a live viewing party on Friday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT along with Concord Theatricals, on behalf of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Viewers can follow along with Entertainment Weekly's Twitter, Rodgers & Hammerstein on Twitter and Instagram, and Cinderella on Twitter and Instagram for trivia throughout the event, as well as a chance to win some great prizes. Just use #Cinderella1997 on social media to join the watch party. Fans can also share their excitement by using the official Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella AR filter on Instagram.