Olivia Rodrigo and How Her Time on High School Musical: The Series Helped Her Career
Among the various actors who became household names from the hit TV series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, OIivia Rodrigo was a favorite. Playing the character Nini, and regularly matched to Ricky played by Joshua Bassett, Olivia’s character had a solid presence in Season 1 of the TV show, but by the final season she had disappeared in the first episode of season 4. She was partnered with Ricky during the previous three seasons, which came as a bit of a frustration to fans in the last season when the change-up occurred.
However, close attention will note that the show produced by Tim Federle had its ups and downs with Nini’s character. Notably, season 2 had less of a presence before picking up again in Season 3.
How Nini Was Handled as Rodrigo’s Career Took Off
Season 2 may have been the flag that changes were coming in Nini’s character. Shifted off to boarding school, her presence became a bit of a reference rather than a full-blown character involvement with the East High ensemble. That said, her character still had some level of presence from one episode to the next. The same can’t be said for season 3 and by 4, of course, she was gone.
The write-off basically explained Nini’s disappearance with a relocation to her birth father out west in California. That would, naturally, explain why she wasn’t at East High any more back in Utah. Some TV shows have tried to still keep a connection, with cast characters being shown at a beach or Los Angeles location, but for Nini she was gone.
However, in real life, this was due to Rodrigo’s booming career, in part because of her role on HSM:TS. She had landed a record deal around the same time that the second season of High School Musical premiered. It was around this time that she began work on her future hit singles “Driver’s License” and “Good 4 U”.
Did We Hear of Nini in Season 4?
As season 4 wrapped up, there was no reference to Nini or the characters she played in the high school’s musical project, and where there were opportunities to reference back, Nini simply wasn’t on the bookshelf anymore. It’s an odd treatment for a Disney production; most of its big hit actors usually launch onto something else, but that wasn’t the case for Rodrigo after the Nini character was phased out.
What’s Next for Olivia Rodrigo?
Again, the absence of Rodrigo was compounded by a lack of following activities with Disney support. So, it raised a big question mark for the show’s fans. The actress is multi-talented, as proven both by her screen presence and singing ability. And, Rodrigo continued to keep producing new music after the TV show’s exit. It also gave her freedom to be a bit more adult-like in her career versus the Disney-clean character profile expected on so many of their productions from related actors. High School Musical clearly scored a lot of successes, and as Rodrigo has proven, it has happened very differently than the tried and true path of the post-Disney actor success model.