Ashley Tisdale Had To Fight For One Of Her Most Iconic Disney Roles

Ashley Tisdale has had no shortage of roles over the years, many of them being from her work on the Disney Channel. However, the actor and singer revealed during a guest appearance on the "Not Skinny But Not Fat" podcast that her roles weren't just handed to her simply because she was already employed by Disney. Rather, she explained, she has had to work for the roles she's gotten. As she discussed on the podcast, one of her most iconic roles from her Disney days very nearly went to an entirely different actor instead.

"My journey and my work has always been that I have to fight for everything I get," Tisdale shared. "It hasn't come easy." The "Suite Life of Zack & Cody" star's comments might come as something of a surprise to fans who have long admired her characters (and her viral red carpet style from the 2000s, as reported by Cosmopolitan UK), as she has become synonymous with many childhood favorites. According to Tisdale, her Disney Channel journey could've gone a lot differently.

Ashley Tisdale almost wasn't Sharpay Evans

While her character in the "High School Musical" franchise, Sharpay Evans, was determined to rule the school, Ashley Tisdale's real-life experience was far from it. In fact, as she recalled on "Not Skinny But Not Fat," she had to convince the network that she was right for the role. She explained that another actor was being considered for Sharpay and that screen testing had already begun at the time, but Disney hesitantly permitted her to audition anyway because of her role on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." She said, "I met with Kenny Ortega, sang for him and did the scene, and he was like, 'She's got to screen test.' Everyone had this material, for two weeks they were screen testing, they knew who they were screen testing, and I had it the day before."

Although Tisdale told Entertainment Tonight that she wouldn't play Sharpay again because she has changed so much since then, she said on "Not Skinny But Not Fat" that she was surprised by how positively the character was received by audiences. She explained, "A lot of people weirdly loved Sharpay, which was very interesting for Disney too, because they were like, 'Wait, she's mean.' I remember they did some testing with kids and this 8-year-old said, 'I love Sharpay because she knows what she wants and she gets it.'"

Luckily, Tisdale got the role of Sharpay, or the "High School Musical" movies could have been very different.