Ever since her breakout role as Sharpay Evans in Disney Channel’s High School Musical, the actress has felt misunderstood in the media. “I think people have a perspective of me that I’m this blonde and I just like to shop,” she tells Health‘s June issue, on newsstands Friday. “I’m deeper than what people expect.”
That misconception has haunted Tisdale in other areas, too. “Even with my production company, people think I have somebody else running it, but then they start to see, ‘Wow, she does do it.'” Tisdale didn’t start a production company just to prove people wrong, of course. “I feel like it’s so important to support other women and their dreams. My production company, Blondie Girl Productions, is me and my sister, and every time I meet a female producer, I’m like, ‘Yeah, let’ do this!’ Because usually it’s a lot of dudes!” explains Tisdale, who produces ABC Family’s Young & Hungry. “It’s a hard business to break into. It’s hard to tell women’s stories because they don’t know where the audience is for female-driven movies. But it’s like, look at Bridesmaids! We are there!”
“It’s always been about women. That’s what we’re interested in; that’s what the brand is. It’s cool,” the Clipped star says of staring her own production company. “That is so important to cheer on.”
The pop star explains that many years ago, Brittany Murphy offered her some life-changing advice. “I met her backstage at a Kids’ Choice Awards. I was doing pilots, but they weren’t getting picked up,” she recalls. “I was just like, ‘I am your biggest fan.’ She said, ‘Are you an actress? OK, you gotta keep going. Whatever you do, never give up.’ She pinkie-promised me, and it was such a boost of confidence.”
“I always want to be that person for others, but I am very shy.”
Is there anything else Tisdale dreams of doing?
“One of my main goals is to win an Emmy for Best Actress,” she tells Health.
Tisdale is determined to make her dreams a reality, and in order to do that, she is limiting the amount of time she spends on distractions like social media. In fact, she admits that it “scares” her “to think about how much time we’re on our phones and in front of the TV. When I was younger, we didn’t have Twitter. We didn’t have Instagram. I catch myself where I’ve been on it for way too long. It’s not OK.”
There are other benefits to taking a social media time-out. “In my past relationships, I used to passive-aggressively tweet. When I got out of one relationship, I said something like ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ I was like, ‘I probably shouldn’t have shared that with everybody.'”