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'Disney Prepared Me To Live The Life I'm Living': Ashley Tisdale On 'Merry Happy Whatever' & 'Carol's Second Act'

(CBS Local)-- Television audiences will be seeing a lot of Ashley Tisdale this winter.

The former Disney Channel star plays Jenny Kenny on CBS's hit drama "Carol's Second Act" with Patricia Heaton and Kayla alongside Dennis Quaid in the new Netflix series "Merry Happy Whatever." Tisdale thoroughly enjoyed working with Quaid and loved the challenge of trying new things as an actor.

"I didn't expect that it would be so fulfilling, but it was really fulfilling for me as an actor," said Tisdale in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "I got to do things that I really haven't done in my career yet. I felt really good about it. He [Dennis] is awesome and I was obviously a huge fan of his since The Parent Trap. When I first met him, I was really intimidated because I was nervous, but then he talks to you and he is the nicest guy ever. He's such a great guy and he's like my dad pretty much."

While Tisdale has worked with a lot of talented actors like Quaid, her time with Heaton on the new CBS series stands out as one of the best experiences of her career.

"Just working with Patricia Heaton, she's amazing," said Tisdale. "Sometimes we have in our mind experiences that weren't the best experiences and you get nervous when you're working on a new project. With her, it's refreshing to know that she's won three Emmys and has always been on TV consistently and is a really grounded and nice person. She's a big family person and also she carries that show. Our writing gets changed a lot and constantly in front of the live audience she is adding things we didn't do in rehearsal and you're really inspired by that. She's pretty awesome and the whole cast is great."

In addition to acting, Tisdale also released an album called "Symptoms" earlier this year and runs her own production company. The actor has become much more vulnerable in her work and life in speaking publicly about her battles with anxiety and depression and reflected on her time at Disney in "High School Musical" and "The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody."

"I think Disney and all of the different projects I did there really prepared me to live the life that I'm living," said Tisdale. "I do a lot of stuff. Being on Disney, I was doing High School Musical, Suite Life Of Zack and Cody, recording my first album, and also doing Phineas and Ferb. I had a lot going on and I think that really prepared me to move on from that and have my hands in a lot of different things."

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