Ashley Tisdale is on a mission. While she's proud of her work in the three editions of "High School Musical," she's 24 and more than ready to show that she's a woman, not a girl perpetually trapped in a Disney dance number.
On "Guilty Pleasure," which came out July 28, Tisdale wants to show fans "where I am in my life right now. It's a little bit edgier, a little bit more mature" than 2007's "Headstrong." "Everybody really knows me as Sharpay from 'High School Musical,' but it's a different side of Ashley that you haven't really seen before."
I recently talked to Tisdale for AOL's Sessions about the new album, her new movie "Aliens in the Attic" and life post-"HSM." First single "It's Alright, It's OK," is about getting cheated on, but she hopes her fans get the message of strength in the song. "I really like breakup songs...I think that you'll always feel like it's the end of the world when something like that is happening...I just feel that there's a very strong message in the song and that I'm a strong person and that's something that I really want to share with my fans: stick up for yourself and don't let somebody walk all over you. It's not the end of the world."
After being famous for much of her life, she's gotten used to the paparazzi following her around, but admits, "It's weird because you have people outside your door at your house that just want to follow you around and take pictures of you going to get coffee and doing random things that I don't find interesting, but they do. So it's weird, but I think that being in this business you're going to know eventually that that might happen. Nobody prepares you for it...I try to just ignore it."
Even though she and her "HSM" co-stars declined to take part in "HSM4," they remain close. "Zac [Efron] was just over at my house last night. Vanessa [Hudgens] doing a movie right now in Montreal, but we talk all the time. I just saw Monique [Coleman] recently, we twitter each other. They're my family. I love them."
And by the way. As far as Tisdale's guilty pleasure? The only ones she'd cop to during the interview were designer bags and coffee.