Olivia Rodrigo Demanded Her Producer Not Watch 'High School Musical' — She 'Wanted to Be Taken Seriously'

Olivia Rodrigo is an actor, but she is most well-known for her music. She has looked up to other musicians and felt inspired by Lorde’s work enough to make songs like hers. Rodrigo has created multiple hits throughout her career so far. Fans of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series may recognize the singer from her performance in the TV series — and it seems like Olivia Rodrigo may be embarrassed by her role, considering she asked her producer not to watch the show. 

Olivia Rodrigo was a successful actor before she hit it big in the music industry

Rodrigo is an actor as well as a singer, and she started her acting career as a child. The star played a guitarist named Paige in a Disney Channel series titled Bizaardvark in addition to her role in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Rodrigo also appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live

Most of Rodrigo’s widely-known work, however, has been in the music industry. Her debut single was “Driver’s License.” She co-wrote the song with Dan Nigro, and it became highly successful within a week after its release. Several fans compared the single to a Taylor Swift song since it shared similar themes. While “Driver’s License” did not get a 2021 Grammy nomination, it reached No.1 on a number of charts.

Rodrigo followed the song up with “Deja Vu” and “Good 4 U.” The singer’s first studio album, Sour, was released in May 2021. Sour drew in many listeners after its release. At the age of 18, Rodrigo has established herself as a successful musician. Her music mainly falls under the pop genre, but it belongs to multiple sub-genres. 

Olivia Rodrigo asked her producer not to watch ‘High School Musical’

In 2006, the Disney Channel released High School Musical. The movie became popular enough to spawn two more sequels. Years later, the franchise got a spinoff show called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The story takes place in the same fictional school, and the characters host a stage performance of High School Musical: The Musical.  According to GQ, Rodrigo starred in the series and performed original songs for it. Even though some people enjoyed her performance, the star wanted to keep it separate from her music work. Rodrigo asked her producer not to watch the High School Musical show. 

“I’ve always just wanted to be taken seriously as a singer-songwriter — not that being an actor takes away from that at all. I wanted him to know me for me and not the side character that I was playing. I also just get really self-conscious about stuff like that, on a human level. I hate it when my friends listen to my songs or watch anything related,” Rodrigo explained. 

What was Olivia Rodrigo’s role in the Disney series?

In High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Rodrigo is part of the main cast. She portrays a musical theater enthusiast named Nini Salazar-Roberts. In the first season, Nina gets cast as Gabriella, but she plays various chorus roles in season two. 

Nini is Ricky’s ex-girlfriend, and she is dating E.J. in the first season. By the end, she and Ricky get back together. Nini also got accepted to a performing arts school, and she moves to Denver to attend. However, her experience at her new school is not what she expected it to be. Eventually, Nini returns to East High. Later, the character gets into music, and her songs become popular when she shares them online. She and Ricky also break up due to differences in ambitions. 

Season 2 recently ended in July 2021. As fans are waiting and hoping for more episodes via a season 3 of the series, they’re also expecting Rodrigo to return as Nini.

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