Meet East High’s newest student: Olivia Rose Keegan! The actress stars in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2 as “scary girl” Lily and joins the Wildcats as they gear up for their performance of Beauty and the Beast.

“She’s sweet and goofy and, obviously, good at heart, but is often overtaken by her competitive nature — her violently competitive nature,” the 21-year-old actress tells J-14 exclusively. “Lily is a human, and you can draw up and make as many layers to that as you want and I think, hopefully, through the season, people will see different twists and turns and different sides to her personality that show through.”

Disney+ first announced in Mach 2020 that the soap opera alum would be joining the HSMTMTS cast in season 2 as the “energetic East High student whose sweetness masks her highly competitive nature.” According to Olivia, her character is a total “mean girl” who’s “just insecure deep down.”

“Everyone has a reason they are the way they are,” the actress explained. “It’s not an excuse for going around and manipulating people but it’s a reason, and hopefully it will be interesting for people to see into that a little bit.”

Before nabbing her role on the fan-favorite series, the actress tells J-14 that she already loved the High School Musical franchise. “I don’t even remember a particular moment it came into my life — it was always there. It was just ingrained into the culture at that point, so everywhere I looked, it was just part of life,” she says.

So, finding out that she was going to star in HSMTMTS was a pretty big deal to Olivia.

“I was actually at the orthodontist getting work done on my teeth,” she recalls. “It was after the callback, I was antsy, didn’t know if I had gotten it yet, and then all of a sudden, my manager FaceTimes me and I’m just sitting there and he’s like, ‘You booked the job!’ And I start crying tears of joy … but it just felt like a beautiful fever dream.”

The Days of Our Lives star also remembered her first day on set, calling it “magical.”

“It can be an intimidating situation because everyone’s filmed season 1 together, but any of those feelings melted away in two seconds because every single human in the cast and crew on High School Musical could not have been more warm and welcoming and personable and just so kind,” Olivia says. “So truly, what you see on your screen when you watch the show and feel that warmth, I truly do believe that comes from the actual warmth that’s there on set and off set. It’s an incredible place to be.”

As for her bond with her costars, the blonde beauty hit it off with fellow newcomers Andrew Barth Feldman and Roman Banks right away. Olivia also says she and Olivia Rodrigo “got pretty close” and shares that the “Drivers License” songstress is “just the most wonderful human I’ve met.”

“She is just such a beautiful person inside and out and so that really helped me become more comfortable around everyone,” Olivia adds. “[I] just feel like it was my home.”

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2 is streaming on Disney+.

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