'Sons of Anarchy': Ashley Tisdale explains how she was cast as a high-priced escort

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Image Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

On Tuesday, Ashley Tisdale’s arc as innocent-looking call girl Emma Jean on Sons of Anarchy continues. Emma Jean was last seen taking a beating from Gemma (Katey Sagal) after being discovered in a back room with Clay (Ron Perlman) at Nero’s. She may or may not have phoned the cops, who raided the brothel and arrested everyone — including Gemma. On her lunch break today from the set of Scary Movie 5 in Atlanta, Tisdale, 27, best known for Disney’s High School Musical movies, participated in a conference call with reporters. “I’m so grateful for what Disney gave me and the experiences that I got,” she said, “but at the end of the day, it’s like, I can do so much more than what I did on that channel and what I did in those movies. And it takes just one person to kind of give you that chance. And for me it was Kurt Sutter….” The highlights:

On how she got cast: “I didn’t audition for the role. I actually was just a really big fan of the show. It’s kind of a funny story. My dad, who built my house, also actually builds for Kurt Sutter and Katey Sagal, and he has for years. And I’ve been in love with the show and I’ve always been like, ‘Dad, you gotta tell Kurt…. I want to be on the show.’ My dad’s so quiet and shy. He’s like, ‘No, no, no. I can’t do that.’ And so it just so happened that Kurt was writing Emma Jean and came upstairs to the kitchen and actually asked my dad. He’s like, ‘I’ve got a favor to ask you. I would love for Ashley to be on the show.’ And my dad was like, ‘Ohmygod, she’s gonna die.’ And so he definitely thought of me for the character. But of course, my agents, at first, were like, ‘I don’t know. We have to read it.’ I’m like, ‘I gotta do it! I gotta do it!’ Because like I said, it is one of my favorite shows.”

On filming: “It was actually my first time ever being on a motorcycle, and Charlie Hunnam was the first person to give me a ride. And I thought that was amazing, because I am a big fan of his…. Like, I don’t get starstruck because I’ve met Angelina Jolie, I’ve met tons of people. For some reason, because I watch the show religiously, I just was so starstruck every single time. I’d be sitting in hair and makeup and somebody else would come into the room. The worst was when I had to do the table read for [my] second episode because everybody in the show was there, and I was like shaking. I was so nervous. But it was the coolest thing ever.”

On her reaction to Opie’s death: “I had only [been] emailed my part, and then I was reading the script [in my trailer], and just being a big fan of [the show], I was completely shocked. Like I was sad. And I was like, this is crazy. I could not believe it. The worst part was I couldn’t even talk to anybody about it because you can’t say anything.”

On Emma Jean’s fate: SPOILER ALERT! “She doesn’t just trust everybody, however, [Jax] comes through in a way for her,” she says. “She does bond with [Jax], and I’d love to see more bonding in the future,” she adds with a laugh. “She doesn’t die. So I think that maybe there could be a chance that I do come back, I guess. I think that that’s definitely a possibility.”

Read more:
‘Sons of Anarchy': Kurt Sutter explains [SPOILER'S] death
‘Sons of Anarchy’ Week 3 recap: The death of [SPOILER] is series’ saddest moment
‘Sons of Anarchy’ Week 2 recap: Who got a little misty?
‘Sons of Anarchy’ season premiere: Kim Coates takes us inside THAT scene

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