By People Staff
July 11, 2008 12:00 AM
MGM Television

She just turned 23, but actress Ashley Tisdale tells PEOPLE she’s still Daddy’s little girl. That’s why the story line for her ABC Family original movie Picture This, struck a chord with her.

In the movie semi-awkward high school senior Mandy Gilbert, a complete opposite of Tisdale’s signature Sharpay Evans in High School Musical, is on a short leash to her overprotective father thanks to her video cell phone. That makes venturing out with the hottest guy in school, whom she met when he saved her from drowning, a bit of a challenge.

“Mandy’s relationship to her dad (played by Kevin Pollack) reminded me of my relationship with my dad,” Tisdale says. “My dad is very protective of me. He bought me a cell phone in high school just so he’d know just where I was.”

Even though she lives on her own, Tisdale says her father still keeps tabs on her.

“I still call him and tell him when I’m inside my house. He likes knowing that I’m safe and at home,” Tisdale says, laughing, noting that the paparazzi tend to allay her father’s concerns.

“It’s funny, actually. He thinks it’s annoying that I’m followed around but then he jokes that ‘on the other hand we know where you are at all times,'” Tisdale says.

Tisdale wrapped filming High School Musical 3 last month in Utah. The film is slated for an early October release.

Picture This airs Sunday, July 13 (8 p.m. ET) on ABC Family and the DVD will be released July 22. — Monica RizzoMGM Television