'Hellcats': Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale graduate from Disney to college cheerleading

aly-ashley-hellcats-play.jpgWhen "Hellcats" premieres Tuesday, Sept. 8, Ashley Tisdale hopes that fans of "High School Musical" will make the move to The CW with her. In choosing her first post-Disney television show, Tisdale says she was careful not to get too racy.

"It was really important, what was my next move," she told Zap2it during our exclusive visit to the Vancouver set of "Hellcats." "My audience from 'High School Musical' - that was four years ago, so they're now probably in college right now, so it kind of just made sense. I like to take baby steps. I think that if you go too far, you can lose an audience. I feel like I want to grow with my audience and keep growing."

Tisdale felt that "Hellcats" was such a good fit that the role of Savannah was the only one Tisdale went out for this pilot season.

Aly Michalka, who plays the show's protagonist, Marti, shares a similar background. Both have done their time at Disney and are best known for their musical endeavors. Like Ashley, Aly isn't straying too far from her roots. She and her sister, AJ, are the band 78Violet, previously known simply as Aly & AJ.

Michalka is never far from the microphone. "We're going to see my character singing on the show," she says. "Which is really cool because it kind of makes sense for Marti. I think she's such a diverse character and there are so many different things about her that would inspire her to probably write music or play an instrument."

"Music is a big part of this show," Tisdale adds. "After being a part of a musical I feel like music is supposed to be in my life. For me, music is something that I absolutely love. It just makes me happy and being a part of something that has music, like 'Hellcats,' the show's great, but the music element to it is just awesome."

Despite the actress's shared interests, their characters aren't the most obvious match as friends. "Savannah, my character, is the captain of the Hellcats. She's very driven," Tisdale says. "She's someone who is very complicated in a way, where she's not so open to everybody. She's a little bit closed off."

When Savannah meets Marti, who is filled with cheerleader disdain, they have what Michalka refers to as an "abrupt standoff." Let's just say it isn't a friendly altercation.

"You'd think that they'd be enemies," Michalka says, but she adds that the fight helps the girls set their boundaries. "[Savannah says] 'Just so you know, cheerleading is legit,' and I'm like 'Well, just so you know, I'm not a cheerleader, and this is crazy that they give out free scholarships.' They set their boundaries and there's a certain respect level from that moment on between the two of them.

For more dish on Marti's love triangle dilemma and Savannah's family drama, don't miss the video from our exclusive set visit.






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