In the new Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Ashley Tisdale plays a candy- counter clerk at the Tipton Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Now, she's singing her way to stardom in the Disney Channel movie High School Musical. You can catch both on TV this month, but first, read our exclusive interview with Ashley in which she talks about working with Cole and Dylan Sprouse, her famous friends, and living in a hotel. Here's what she had to say:
Q & A
Tell us about Maddie on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Is she like you or different from you?
Ashley: She is a lot like me. I love her style. She's a little bit more sarcastic than I am. She's a funny girl and always getting into trouble with London, but she always knows how to get out of it; she's a really smart girl and I love portraying someone who is really smart.
Describe Cole and Dylan Sprouse.
Ashley: Oh, they are totally my little brothers. They are so funny and I love them so much, because they're so different from each other. When I first met them, they were identical and I thought, "How am I going to remember them?" Now, I see differences between them. They hang out with me all the time.
Do you have a favorite episode of the show?
Ashley: I loved "Rockstar in the House" with Jesse McCartney. He is so cute! It was such a great episode and so much fun to do. There was so much for me, London, and Zach to do. It was really cool and a great experience working with Jesse.
Would you ever like to live in a hotel?
Ashley: It's fate that I wound up on a show based in a hotel, because I toured for two years on Les Miserables, so I have the experience of living in a hotel and I love it. The best things about staying in hotels are getting movies on the TV and room service!
Did you play the lead in Les Miserables?
Ashley: Lacey Chabert had been starring in it, and she is one of my really good friends. She is older than I am and I looked up to her, and I thought she was really cool. I told my manager and he got me an audition for the national tour. My mom threw me into some voice lessons to get me prepared for it. It was a really great experience and so I have sung ever since then. I love to sing.
Are you thinking about recording a CD?
Ashley: Yes, I definitely am! I just finished a movie called High School Musical. I have five songs on that CD. I also sing on the show, so hopefully it's leading up to recording a CD one day. I love to write music, and I've been writing a lot of stuff, so we'll see.
Tell us a little bit about High School Musical.
Ashley: My character, Sharpay, rules the school. She is the mean girl, the president of the drama club, and has a paternal twin named Ryan. Sharpay and her brother act like they're celebrities in their own school. I think this movie is so great, because it's all about high school and being intimidated by the cliques.
Can you play any instruments?
Ashley: I have a really good ear with music. I can play piano by ear, which means I can listen to a song and play it on the piano. Melodies just kind of come up in my head. I have a voice teacher who showed me how [to write] lyrics.
Do you like to read?
Ashley: Yes, I do like to read. I think it's really important. It's awesome, because it relaxes you. You just put yourself into that book and pretend you're that person in that experience. I read anywhere I can. I love to read in the car. When I'm rehearsing and working, I love to go in my dressing room and read.
Interview by Marie Morreale
(Photo: Debi Patton)
Wanna know when The Suite Life of Zack & Cody is on? Check out disney.com.
High School Musical premieres on the Disney Channel at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
Full Name: Ashley Michelle Tisdale
Birthplace: Neptune, New Jersey
Current Residence: Saugus, California
Height: 5' 3"
Pet: a multipoo named Blondie
Stores: Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister
School Subject: creative writing
TV Shows: Laguna Beach and Surface
Book: The Great Gatsby
Movies: My Best Friend's Wedding, Just Married, and Peter Pan
Actors: Brittany Murphy and Julia Roberts