THE MASKED DANCER: Ashley Tisdale. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

The Reason Ashley Tisdale Won't Play Sharpay Again Doesn't Sit Well With My Soul

I get it, but I don't get it.

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High School Musical fans, grab your extra-large box of tissues because Ashley Tisdale said she’ll never play Sharpay Evans again. In a recent interview, the 36-year-old actor shared her thoughts about reprising the role as East High’s drama queen, and she seemed extremely uninterested in doing so. I’m just as depressed about it as you are, but her explanation is also kind of... vague?

Not to get sappy, but the High School Musical flicks will always have a special place in my heart. Life just seemed *way* simpler back then, and even though I know that’s just my childhood nostalgia talking, I would do anything to turn the clock back to the early 2000s, aka High School Musical’s heyday. From 2006 to 2008, Tisdale’s performance as mean-girl Sharpay was iconic — so iconic that she earned her own direct-to-DVD film, Sharpay’s Big Adventure, in 2011. (She was actually the only character to get her own movie, which is pretty bad*ss, if you ask me!)

But a lot has happened since 2011. The film series ended with Sharpay’s Big Adventure, and ten years later, Tisdale has stayed booked and busy with other projects: In 2019, she released her first album in 10 years, Symptoms, and in 2020, she returned to her beloved Phineas and Ferb role as Candace in Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe. This year, she appeared on The Masked Dancer as a judge. And, oh yeah, she had an adorable baby. To say she dabbles in a lot of different lanes would be an understatement.

One lane she’s not interested in cruising down, though? Playing Sharpay Evans again. Cue the womp-womp track.

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“I just feel like I wouldn't be able to really do that again and give it justice,” she told Entertainment Tonight in an Aug. 10 interview. "You know what I'm saying? I think at that moment in time, I was very unaware of myself and my surroundings, and I feel like that's a big part of Sharpay.”

I suppose it makes *some* sense that Tisdale better identified with a young woman like Sharpay way back when — she was in her early-20s for the first three films, and was 25 by the time Sharpay’s Big Adventure was released. On the contrary, these days, the former Disney Channel starlet considers herself the exact opposite of her past character. “She is just not really aware, and so as I grew up and became more aware, I think that it's just something that it wouldn't be the same,” she said.

But Tisdale’s explanation is still super elusive. What lack of awareness is she speaking of, exactly? Sure, Sharpay was a *bit* narcissistic, spoiled, and unconcerned about anything but herself. But playing characters that are nothing like you IRL is the whole point of acting, right?

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Not returning as Sharpay is one thing, but don’t think you’ve gotten out of making a comeback as Maddy from The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Ash. I’ll be waiting!