We’re all forever grateful that Disney Channel introduced us to stars like Zac Efron, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato, to just name a few A-listers who got their big breaks over at the House of Mouse. And while they’ve each been able to thrive post-Disney life, there have been plenty of former Disney legends who have had their fair share of ~drama~ when it comes to reaching the point where they’re super appreciative of their roots. One starlet who always embraces that she’s forever known as a Disney Channel icon though is Ashley Tisdale.

The 33-year-old actress is forever known as over-the-top, pink obsessed theater diva Sharpay Evans from the High School Musical movies and as The Tipton’s very own Maddie Fitzpatrick from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It’s been more than a decade since we were first introduced to Ashley thanks to her many roles on the network and girl is forever happy to be a part of Disney Channel’s legacy.

“I’m so grateful for that experience. I’m so grateful for those roles. I was doing The Suite Life and High School Musical and recording an album and also doing Phineas and Ferb at the same time, which is a lot. At that time in my life, that was what I wanted to do, I was like, ‘I need to be on Disney’ so I was so down,” Ashley said to BUILD. “And the places we got to go and tour with High School Musical was so awesome, so I’m very grateful for that and I know I wouldn’t be where I am without that.”

Aww, how sweet is that? Ashley isn’t ever going to deny the fact that she’s from a golden era in Disney Channel history and the shows and movies she starred in are truly legendary. But she did explain that when it comes to acting, shaking the Sharpay/Maddie/Disney shadow hasn’t been as easy.

“It definitely has been hard coming out of it and people think of me as that character and so it’s hard with acting, I have to work extra hard to get the jobs that I get, but I still don’t resent it. I love what I did back then and I’m very proud of it,” she said.

It’s nice to know she embraces the past because those roles mean so much to many people.

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