Ashley Tisdale: “High School Musical's” Sharpay Is Back

“High School Musical’s” Sharpay Evans always wanted to steal the spotlight, and Ashley Tisdale was happy to give it to her.

Even after effectively moving on from the uber-popular Disney Channel musical trilogy that made her famous, Tisdale, 25, was thrilled to let her vainglorious alter ego shine solo in the direct-to-home-video spinoff “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure,” hitting stores this Tuesday.

“I really wanted Sharpay to have a really great ending,” Tisdale tells PopcornBiz. “When everyone else was going to amazing and different colleges, I was like, 'She deserves so much more than that, something so much bigger!' So I just felt this movie was just such a great ending to the character. You get to see her world and you get to see her go from the girl that everybody knew from the 'High School Musical' movies to someone who grows and evolves.”

Not that it’s an easy road for the pampered princess of East High as she tries to take Broadway by storm. Tisdale says she loved the notion of “having that character go from someone that always felt like she got what she wanted to being in New York City and facing challenges where she's obviously not going to get everything that she wants. She has to work hard and has to go about things a little differently than she's used to.”

A few years have passed since Tisdale last donned Sharpay’s signature pastel pink designer ensembles, and Tisdale says the clothes – and the hair, and the makeup – did indeed make the girl.

“It was definitely much harder to jump back into her this time, just because I wasn't surrounded by my security blanket, I like to call them: Zac [Efron], Vanessa [Hudgens] and Lucas [Grabeel] and Kenny [Ortega, the ‘HSM’ director],” she admits. “It's so easy, obviously, to play her around other characters that you've always played her in for three movies. But to make her the lead in a movie…That was definitely nerve-wracking. Definitely the blonde wig helped – and the rhinestones. Even when the wardrobe has no rhinestones on it I still don't really feel like Sharpay, but once you add the sequins I'm like, 'Okay, she's back!'”

Tisdale wasn’t exactly ready to adopt Sharpay’s style as her own – “I wore the pink trench coat that I arrive in New York City in so much, I was SO tired of it,” she sighs – but she did covet a certain component of Miss Evans’ ensemble. “One thing that I do want from Sharpay is her pink golf cart,” she insists. “I want that SO bad, and Rich Ross, the chairman of Disney, has it. I'm trying to get it back from him!”

Tisdale says she has no desire to distance herself from her breakout role, even as she moves on to an adult career (she currently stars on the CW’s sudsy college cheerleading series “Hellcats”). “I love 'High School Musical,’” she says freely. “It's given me so much, and it's also one of the best experiences that I've ever gone through – all of us. It was just something really special, because we all grew up together and it was so much fun working with each other. So I love talking about it. It was pretty much the start of my career.”

Her career evolution, she believes, has been “such a natural progression, not running away from my fans and kind of growing with them. I'll continue to do that. I'm not trying to go do these edgy roles. I feel like you can always do edgy roles, especially when you're older. I have no rush to get to being that kind of actress. I would really like to just be comfortable with where I am. I like to make decisions based on my instinct and continue to follow that.”

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