(March 11) - Riding high on the success of 'High School Musical 3,' the powerhouse known as Ashley Tisdale is hard at work on her rock-oriented second album, 'Guilty Pleasure,' and throwing herself full-force into her new production company, creating and launching two new shows. But what is the Internet a-buzz over? Her new 'do. Tisdale took some time out of her busy day to talk to PopEater about her new projects, her new hair and ... Queen.
Ashley Tisdale unveils a brand-new, honey-haired look on PopEater.com. March 2009
Ashley Tisdale goes for a casual look during a shopping spree in Valencia, Calif. January 22, 2009
Nathanael Jones, PacificCoastNews.com
Ashley Tisdale looks chic in a pulled-back 'do as she arrives at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. November 23, 2008
Evan Agostini, AP
Ashley Tisdale rocks a short dress and raven tresses at the 'High School Musical 3' premiere during the 3rd Rome International Film Festival. October 26, 2008
Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale mixed sophisticated, glam eye makeup with a sweet-but-sexy dress at the London premiere of 'High School Musical 3'. October 7, 2008
Fred Duval/FilmMagic, Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale spotted in breezy white dress and relaxed hair on August 18, 2008 in Toluca Lake, Calif.
Roberto Roque/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic, Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale looked sunny and skinny in this bright yellow frock at the 2008 ALMA Awards. August 17, 2008 Pasadena, Calif.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, Getty Images
A platinum-blond Ashley Tisdale attends a benefit for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation on June 10, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Chad Buchanan, Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale rocks warm blond tones (and outfit) at MTV's taping of 'TRL' at the MTV Studios. November 27, 2007 New York
Ray Tamarra, Getty Images
Teen queen Ashley Tisdale sports super-straight locks and trendy ensemble at a breakfast with the cast and director of 'High School Musical'. December 16, 2005 Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Mark Mainz, Getty Images
Last time we talked, 'High School Musical 3' was just coming out, and now it?s about to hit stores on DVD. How was that whole experience for you?
It was amazing! All of us didn?t know what to expect. I mean, we didn?t expect anything from the first one -- we thought it would be great fun, but didn?t think it would become a phenomenon. So with each one, I would go in with the same feeling: that doing them was so much fun, that I love this cast and who knows what it will do? I just wanted to have a great time. But knowing the fans like it makes it so very rewarding.
And now you?re working on another album?
This has really been a long time coming. I?ve been working on the second album for a year, and it?s something completely different from the first album. Doing the first album is a lot of learning about yourself -- I had to get to know what I like, even though I knew I wanted to do something pop and R&B. I loved it, but with this one I wanted to really focus. I went for more of a rock sound. I?m 23 now, so I?m growing up, and I wanted something more mature and edgier. I?m starting to show a side of myself that people don?t know. People know me as characters, they think of me as being blonde, so now they?re seeing another part of me.
Hence the new hair.
[Laughs] The first time that happened, I was at the house and I had the E! Channel on. I had just taken out my extensions -- my hair wasn?t even dark yet, and they?re like, ?'High School Musical' star has a new 'do!? I?m like, ?New 'do? What is this?? It?s so weird that this is news. But I knew going back to my dark color would raise eyebrows. I went to a 'High School Musical 3' premiere with my dark hair, and people were asking me, ?Is this your way of saying goodbye to Sharpay?? But that?s not it at all. My hair has been through a lot these last three years, so I wanted to give it a rest, get it healthy and go back to my natural roots.
Do they inspire you when you?re working in the studio?
Yeah, definitely. I?ve been a big fan of Pink ever since she started. I love Katy?s sense of humor and her pop/rock feel. Pat Benatar is also an inspiration -- I love her music. I?m inspired by all these women when I?m going into the studio, but almost anything inspires me.
You?re working on a new reality show, and also producing a show for the Disney Channel. What can you tell me about those?
The Disney channel show is in the beginning stages, and it?s about my life when I was working at the mall. This whole side of entertainment -- producing -- is really amazing and so new to me. I have my own office at the Freemantle building. I have a partner that I work with, and we come up with tons of ideas. I?m always there pitching, whether it?s MTV or the CW. But at the moment I?m not pitching anything with me in it.
Does this mean we?re not going to see you in front of the camera anymore?
Oh no, definitely not! I love being in front of the camera. Producing is a hobby, and a new way for me to get to be part of the creative process. I?m always going to do movies and music. I?m the type who can take maybe a week off, and then I?ve got to get back to work. I love to be creative and have challenges and do something new and different.
Who are your favorite castmates to work with and why?
I love all of them, but I have to say Vanessa [Hudgens] is one of my best friends. So is Zac [Efron], but I had so much fun with Dylan and Cole Sprouse on 'The Suite Life' -- I still hang out with them even though I?m not on the show. They were my first family beside 'High School Musical' and were such a joy to work with, so we keep up our relationship. And Brenda Song is like my other sister. I?m really lucky to have great experiences with the casts I?ve been a part of. I don?t think that always happens.
Have you ever had any embarrassing on-set moments?
I?ve definitely had a lot! [laughs] One of the good ones was on the set of 'The Suite Life.' I was really into flat shoes -- I couldn?t walk in heels. We were running to set and my heel broke off, and I totally ate it. I don?t get embarrassed easily, but when I eat it in front of people, I get totally embarrassed.
What's your trick to maintaining a lasting relationship while in the public eye?
The best way is to not talk about it. If you want the relationship and care about it, you?ll put your time into it and work hard at it, just like you work hard at work. Yeah there?s paparazzi, but there are private moments that you don?t share. I mean, I go to extremes to get into my house in a way that makes it impossible for them to follow me. It?s hard, but if the other person is worth it, you make it work.
What?s the most absurd rumor you've heard about yourself?
There was one really serious rumor out there, but I don?t talk about it. It was so absurd and stupid. But people come up with the craziest stuff! I know who I am and I know what?s true. I?m honest with my fans and they would know what?s real and what?s not. It?s just that in this day and age with the internet ... it?s crazy. Anyone can say anything. I?ve definitely gotten a thicker skin over the last few years. It?s hard being in the public eye, so I just keep light and have a sense of humor. All that other B.S., I don?t get involved in.