The Untold Truth Of Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter has carved herself a comfortable space in Hollywood, one large enough to accommodate an entertainer whose list of career achievements just keeps expanding. She found success as a singer and actor early on, refusing to sacrifice one of her passions for the sake of the other.

Carpenter has released five studio albums as of this writing, and her acting credits range from small parts to principal characters in both film and television. During her Disney Channel days, she went from appearing in one episode of "Austin & Ally" to starring in "Girl Meets World" and the "Adventures in Babysitting" remake, while over on Netflix, she worked her way up from a bit part in "Orange Is the New Black" to a lead role in the dance comedy "Work It." She credits her strong work ethic for making it possible for her to act and simultaneously record music. "I'm that kind of girl that will work until they physically pull me off set or out of the studio. ... I always want the best of what I can offer, and I think that's a blessing and a curse," she told Hero in 2018.

But what she doesn't view as a curse is starting her career at a young age, as she revealed in a 2014 interview with Bucks Happening. "I wouldn't regret anything for the world, because I know this is exactly what I'm supposed to be doing," she stated — and the proof is here in her untold truth.

Singing came before acting for Sabrina Carpenter

Speaking to Hunger, Sabrina Carpenter explained why she fell in love with singing and songwriting before she got bit by the acting bug. "Music came before I even [knew] what acting was, because when you're a child, music is something that you can actively do and see every day of your life, and writing songs was obviously easier than acting," she said. As a young child, the Pennsylvania native was also at ease performing in front of total strangers, telling The Buffalo News that she used restaurant patrons as a captive audience, serenading them with the birthday song.

By age 9, Carpenter had realized that she could reach a wider audience on YouTube, telling Interview that the first song she covered on her channel was the Taylor Swift hit "Picture to Burn." She was just 12 years old when she signed with a record label, and a year later, her song "Smile" was included on the CD "Disney Fairies: Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust."

In 2013, Carpenter expanded her relationship with Disney by joining "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter as part of the voice cast for the animated series "Sofia the First." She played a princess with pipes. "Some of the characters on the show don't sing and I was very fortunate that she did," Carpenter told Media Mikes. Around this time, she was also busy working on her debut EP, "Can't Blame a Girl for Trying," which she released in 2014.

She competed in a singing competition staged by Miley Cyrus

At age 10, Sabrina Carpenter saw "Hannah Montana" for the first time. By then, she'd already been taking singing lessons for four years, and Miley Cyrus became an instant aspirational figure for the tween. "I just thought it was amazing how she had her own show where she could sing and she could act. I was like, 'Well maybe I can try that,'" Carpenter recalled to Bucks Happening. But it would be through singing, not acting, that she would get to meet her idol.

In an interview with Access Hollywood, Carpenter recounted how she entered a singing competition through the Mileyworld fansite at age 10. After weeks of covering songs by artists ranging from the Beatles to Christina Aguilera, she made it all the way to the final three — and walked away with a valuable prize. "That's where my first fan base ever came from," she told The Morning Call.

Carpenter also evolved as a performer during the competition. "In my first video I sounded like a chipmunk and I was the shyest thing. Then in the last video, I was dancing all over the place," she told Bucks Happening. Her father helped her stand out from the competition by editing her videos — a skill he learned just for her benefit — and by the time it was over, Carpenter was hungry for more. "I found out that I'm just dead in love with performing," she told ET Canada.

The songwriter earned total creative control early in her career

Sabrina Carpenter has been writing some of her own songs since the beginning of her career, and she developed such a talent for it that she achieved something remarkable for a 16-year-old singer: She was given full creative control over her debut album, "Eyes Wide Open." She told Zimbio, "I took inspiration from whatever I wanted. I was the captain of that ship. There was no overall theme besides me telling stories I wanted to tell."

Carpenter's songs would become a time capsule of what she was experiencing at different stages in her career, and she would continue tightening her grip on the reins as she churned out subsequent albums. After she dropped her second effort, "Evolution," in 2016, she told Live-Manchester, "I think we might have created a monster because now I just want to be a part of everything! But I think that's the best way to do it if you're planning on doing it for the rest of your life."

When Carpenter released her third album, "Singular: Act I," in 2018, it was the first time she could boast a co-writing credit on every song on one of her records, per PopBuzz. She also contributed a little something extra on her 2022 album, "Emails I Can't Send," telling Teen Vogue that she shows off one of her lesser-known talents on one track — playing percussion. For the record, she also plays guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass, per Wired.

The first acting role she landed came as a surprise

Sabrina Carpenter wasn't expecting her first acting role to be in a gritty drama. "I always thought that I would start with comedy, or I'd do musical, or something in that world," she told Teen Vogue. However, at age 10, she was cast in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" as the victim of a rapist. 

Exploring such traumatic subject matter was a lot to ask of a young star, especially one just starting out in the industry, but the challenge became a learning experience for Carpenter. "After that I was like, 'Oh wow, there's so much more to this than just knee-slap jokes,'" she said in an interview with Hero. She told Teen Vogue that the role is what made her passionate about acting, but what she didn't like about it is how she looked onscreen. "They put no makeup on me — I was like a tomato!" she told Live-Manchester.

The following year, Carpenter landed her first Disney gig: A small role voicing an unnamed character on the animated series "Phineas and Ferb." Voiceover talent actually runs in her family — her aunt, Nancy Cartwright, has voiced Bart Simpson for decades. Speaking to Capital FM, Carpenter revealed that "The Simpsons" star would occasionally whip out the mischievous character's voice at restaurants when their family was having trouble getting a table. But these days, Carpenter is probably getting recognized and getting seated sooner herself — no voice change required.

She originally auditioned for a different Girl Meets World role

At age 13, Sabrina Carpenter scored a role on the Disney Channel series "Girl Meets World," a spinoff of the beloved TGIF classic "Boy Meets World." She played Maya Hart, a lovable troublemaker from a troubled family. Per Cliché Mag, Carpenter originally auditioned for the role of Riley Matthews, but it went to Rowan Blanchard. It looked like Carpenter was out of the running for Maya as well when producers started looking for someone younger to play the character, but Carpenter was tenacious — she returned for another audition, something she would find herself doing multiple times. "That was one that I just couldn't quite give up on," she told The Buffalo News. "I guess there are situations ... where it's actually meant for you."

"Something about reading for Maya just came so naturally to me," Carpenter told Cliché Mag. "She's definitely a force to be reckoned with, but I think that's the great thing about her." Unlike her multi-hyphenate Disney predecessor Miley Cyrus, Carpenter didn't play a singer on the series. However, she and Blanchard did get to record the opening song, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"Girl Meets World" was canceled in 2017, but there was a lot more world out there for Carpenter to conquer. "I'm grateful we have had three seasons," she told The Morning Call. "I hope it's one of those shows people will look back on when they're an adult, like 'Boy Meets World.'"

Her first post-Disney project tackled tough subject matter

When it was time to move on from "Girl Meets World," Sabrina Carpenter decided to make a potentially risky move with her next big role. In "The Hate U Give," she was cast as an admittedly unlikeable character named Hailey, a spoiled, selfish student at a prestigious prep school. At the beginning of the film, she's friends with the protagonist Starr (Amandla Stenberg), a Black student who witnesses a police shooting. Hailey is unaware of her white privilege and oblivious to how her ignorance and insensitivity are harmful to her friend, and Starr eventually realizes just how racist Hailey is.

Carpenter told Hero that she read the book the movie was based on before it was adapted for the screen and knew she wanted to be involved with the film. "I wish there were things like this when I was young, and things to describe the way that the world was working at that time," she told W magazine. Speaking to Teen Vogue, she expressed hope that viewers who might be a little too much like her character would learn something from the movie. 

But while she felt like the project was an important one, she had some trepidation about playing a villain inspired by the cruel realities of our world. "I was like, 'Okay, I hope people separate me from the character.' It's a touchy subject, and you don't want to get it wrong," she explained to Seventeen.

Sabrina Carpenter put her dance experience to use

Sabrina Carpenter started dancing at age 2 and spent a decade learning various styles, per UPI. She also became obsessed with movies like "Dirty Dancing" and "Step Up," telling Teen Vogue, "I grew up wishing that I was in them and wishing that Channing Tatum was dipping me." But when her singing and acting careers took off, she shifted her focus to the passions that were helping her get jobs in the entertainment biz.

Her somewhat rusty dance skills would come in handy when she was cast in the 2020 Netflix film "Work It," but her character is no Julianne Hough. Carpenter plays a high school student who lies about her dance experience in hopes of getting accepted into her college of choice, Duke University. "I've always wanted to be in a dance movie," Carpenter told UPI. "[I] never thought I'd play the character who couldn't dance to save her life and then learns how."

Pretending to have two left feet was actually somewhat challenging for Carpenter, who had to come up with a few tricks to make it look like she had no idea what she was doing. "A lot of the times, I would half-learn the choreography," she told Elle. "We would do freestyle circles with our choreographer and I'd always do the worst thing I could think of and make myself look really embarrassing." She also confessed to being jealous of her co-stars who didn't have to feign ineptitude.

Inside the actor's close relationship with her talented sister

From the start of her career, Sabrina Carpenter's older sister, Sarah Carpenter, has been hovering around in the background like a loving, talented shadow. Sarah often provides backup vocals for Sabrina, a gig she earned by being a supportive sibling. In a 2015 behind-the-scenes video on Sabrina's YouTube channel, Sarah recalled how her younger sister would come to her when she needed someone to harmonize with for her YouTube content. "I started doing the performances with her, and we just clicked," Sarah recalled. "We were really in sync."

"She's my pocket harmonizer," Sabrina said of her sibling. However, Sarah would become so much more to her than that. "You know that person in your life that does just about everything you can think of?" Sabrina told Refinery29 in 2019. "I don't know how long she's going to want to hang around me — I'm quite annoying — but for now it's working." Sarah even got to work with her sister on "Girl Meets World" — if you look closely, you'll see her as an extra in a number of episodes.

Sarah is also a gifted photographer, and a glance at her photography account on Instagram, Don't Shake the Polaroid, reveals that Sabrina is one of her favorite subjects. Sarah is credited as the creative director for Sabrina's music video for "Because I Liked a Boy," and she co-directed a music video with Sabrina's rumored ex, Joshua Bassett.

Her list of career achievements includes producing credits

Sabrina Carpenter likes being the boss. "I think I came out of the womb with this mentality of acting a little older already. I've always had this kind of 'take charge' mentality," she told Bakchormeeboy in 2019. From the start, her songwriting skills allowed her to exercise a great deal of creative control over her music career, and the proud Taurus eventually found a way to plant herself in the driver's seat with regard to her work onscreen as well. In addition to starring in the 2020 movie "Work It," she executive produced the film. "I like to be involved in things," Carpenter told Teen Vogue of her hands-on producing style.

A year before the film's release, Deadline had reported that Carpenter and her "Girl Meets World" co-star Danielle Fishel were co-producing a movie based on the young adult novel "The Distance From Me to You," in which Carpenter would also star. 

After Carpenter created her own production company called At Last Productions, she spoke to Forbes about what she hoped to accomplish in her new role. "I would love to just be able to create what I'm feeling and what I know so many people are feeling," she said. For one project, she cast herself as the lead in a modern-day take on "Alice in Wonderland." She told Flaunt, "My hopes are to bring to life a version of the story no one has ever seen before."

Actor Joey King is her BFF

Sabrina Carpenter and Joey King are BFFs, but as of this writing, the two Netflix stars shockingly have not starred together in a movie or TV series. "I've actually been talking to so many people about this recently because we could totally do a Tina Fey Amy Poehler style comedy," Carpenter told PopBuzz in 2018, before she launched her own production company and gained the ability to helm such a project herself.

King did appear in the 2018 music video for Carpenter's song "Sue Me," playing a supportive pal who forces Carpenter to get out of bed. The two met for the first time when Carpenter introduced herself to King at an event, but King told Wired that they only hung out sporadically for years before becoming inseparable. "It's just so funny for both of us because we feel like we're constantly living parallel lives," Carpenter told Teen Vogue of "The Kissing Booth" star. "To have a friend that really knows exactly what you're doing and is going through the same things as you at the same time is really special. So yeah, I like her and whatever."

The famous friends are so tight that their relationship survived Carpenter sharing some rather embarrassing photos of King on her Instagram page in 2020. Per The Blast, King was sitting on the toilet with her pants down in the since-deleted snapshots. "Don't let your friends take photos of you having stomach issues," King quipped in response.

Her Broadway run was cut short

In a 2018 interview with Kate Waterhouse, Sabrina Carpenter shared her dream of combining her love of acting and singing by starring in a musical. However, she pointed out, "There's not a lot [of roles] for girls my age." But in 2020, a musical was looking for a new lead in her age range: The Broadway production based on the movie "Mean Girls." Carpenter replaced actor Erika Henningsen as Cady Heron, the character immortalized by Lindsay Lohan in the popular film.

"You only get these opportunities so many times in life. ... I can't put it into words; it's just going to be so thrilling," Carpenter told People. She also revealed that she was brainstorming ideas to make the role her own. She took the stage for the first time in March 2020 for what was supposed to be a run of 14 weeks, per Broadway World — and then the pandemic hit. Due to the Broadway shut down, Carpenter only got the chance to perform twice. 

She told AP Entertainment that she'd spent two months prepping for the show, so it was definitely heartbreaking for it to end so soon. However, she added, "I was just so grateful that I even got to accomplish two shows before that all happened because that was a really big dream of mine." She expressed hope that the show would go on when Broadway reopened, but the curtain closed on Santa's Helpers for good in January 2021.

A number of income streams have boosted her net worth

Sabrina Carpenter has earned a substantial sum after years of acting, touring, and recording music, with Celebrity Net Worth reporting her total worth to be around $4 million. She told Teen Vogue that she got her first check at age 11 but wasn't sure how many zeroes were on it because her mom and dad handled her finances at the time. "As long as my parents promised me gallons of ice cream, which I would never eat," she said.

While we don't know what the actor earned for "Girl Meets World," TMZ reports that her co-star Rowan Blanchard got paid over $200,000 for Season 1 alone, so Carpenter was likely receiving a tidy sum herself. According to Forbes, she pitched a movie idea to Netflix that the company paid at minimum $1 million for, and she's partnered with brands including Converse, Fendi, and Aéropostale.

Carpenter's multiple income streams have made it possible for her to purchase some swanky digs. She gave Vogue a tour of her Los Angeles home, revealing that she has a pool table, basketball court, trampoline, backyard pool, and soundproof closet recording studio. She also owns a Baldwin baby grand piano and a Yamaha portable grand piano, the latter of which retails for over $500, per The Strategist. One feature of her home that's popular with her houseguests is an indoor rope swing. "It's something I ordered from Urban Outfitters for, like, $50," she told Cosmopolitan.

Inside her struggle with anxiety

Sabrina Carpenter opened up about her experience with anxiety in a 2018 interview with Seventeen. "It's probably my biggest struggle, and something I don't really talk about. ... It's scary when you don't know how to describe what you're feeling," she stated. But in her music, she found an outlet for her feelings, and she used her songwriting skills to paint a picture of what her anxiety is like. Her songs "Exhale" and "In My Bed" both tackle the topic. "Sometimes it feels like you can't breathe; you don't know where to start, you don't know where to begin to start feeling better and to start healing yourself," Carpenter told MTV News.

"It comes in waves," the singer said in an interview with Marie Claire. But she told Seventeen that the ebb and flow eventually became too overwhelming. "When it becomes more serious, you have to take care of yourself. So I did," she said. "I got to that point in the past two years. And I'm working through it."

Carpenter told The Strategist that she's discovered some CBD gummies that have a calming effect when she's feeling anxious, but she also became a believer in therapy after coming to the realization that she can't unload all of her problems on her friends. "It's not their responsibility — it's your responsibility to take care of yourself and your mental state, which I'm still learning," she revealed on the "Smallzy's Surgery" podcast.

The Skin singer revisited the Driver's License drama

When Olivia Rodrigo's song "Driver's License" blew up, speculation about its inspiration soon followed. As noted by Billboard, the prevailing theory became that Rodrigo was singing about the heartbreak she experienced when her rumored former flame, Joshua Bassett, moved on with Sabrina Carpenter after their breakup. Carpenter is thought to be the older blond girl that Rodrigo references. 

Carpenter's 2021 song "Skin" seemed to be a response to "Driver's License," and Carpenter all but confirmed this during an appearance on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest." She explained why she couldn't stay silent about the drama, saying, "I couldn't force myself to write about something else. I couldn't force myself to write a song that didn't make sense or and didn't align with how I was feeling." The court of public opinion didn't have all the facts, but based on the lyrical evidence, Carpenter was found guilty of being spiteful and vindictive for gloating about her romantic bliss.

"Because I Liked a Boy," one of the tracks on Carpenter's 2022 album "Emails I Can't Send," deals with the fallout from the situation and all the hateful comments that were hurled at her. "My favorite lyric in the song is 'Tell me who I am, because I don't have a choice,'" she told Rolling Stone. "It's obviously sarcastic, but in the way that people can't tell you who you are. Only if you allow them to, like really get under your skin."

Sabrina Carpenter dreams big

Sabrina Carpenter has accomplished so much already, but she never stops setting goals for herself and reaching for the stars, no matter how vicious her haters can be. She told Cosmopolitan UK that she'd love to star in an action flick and a period film someday, and she listed Yebba, Griff, and Doja Cat as some of her dream collaborators.

In a 2020 interview with Elle, Carpenter mentioned another goal she wanted to accomplish at the time, saying, "It's sad when you're on Broadway before you have your driver's license." If she ever did get that driver's license, she's at risk of having it revoked because she's not slowing down anytime soon. "I'm never not thinking about what that next thing is going to be," she told Teen Vogue.

Because Carpenter is so driven and has her fingers in so many pies, she's the rare entertainer who might someday have in her possession an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. "I think that if [an EGOT] comes with the projects I put out with heart and passion, that'd be lit," she told Refinery29. But she doesn't just act and make music in hopes of winning awards and ticking off the letters of an acronym that might someday appear on her Wikipedia page; she wants what she creates to resonate with her fans. The singer told Billboard, "I just hope that I feel confident and comfortable in what I'm making, and that it finds whoever it needs to."