days olivia rose keegan claire high school musical
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (2); Courtesy of Disney

Get ready to see a side of the actress you’ve never seen before!

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It wasn’t all that long ago that Days of Our Lives‘ Claire was… well, a little on the cray-cray side. Before Isabel Durant took over the role (and introduced us to a more balanced, post-Bayview version of Ben’s gal pal), Olivia Rose Keegan took the character to some pretty dark places.

Now, the actress is putting what she learned in Salem to good use in her new role as Lily in the Disney+ show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. “She is a scary, scary girl,” laughs Keegan. “She can be goofy and sweet, but at times, she is taken over by her extremely violently competitive side.”

Sounds familiar, right? Both Lily and Claire, believes Keegan, “are looking for love and attention, the same as the rest of us. They just sometimes take things to the extreme.”

More: Claire, Ben, Ciara and Tripp are in for a hot summer!

But there comes a moment in HSMTMTS during which we get to see Keegan in a whole new light as Lily makes a play for the lead role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Because what you may not have realized is that Keegan has the kind of voice that was made not just for musicals but for show-stopping, spotlight-stealing, star-making roles in them.

“Obviously, a lot of little girls dream of being a Disney princess,” she enthuses, admitting that as a 4-year-old, “I would dress up in the Belle costume all the time and make my cousin do photo shoots with me.”

More: Check out Alison Sweeney’s next big project

As much as she’s loving her High School experience (a preview of which you can see in the trailer below), she can’t help missing Days of Our Lives… and getting to hang out every day with Ciara’s portrayer, Victoria Konefal. “She’s one of my best friends and just a wonderful human,” gushes Keegan. “I got to work with my best friend. That sentence doesn’t seem fair or real. Her talent is outrageous.”

Days Keegan Konefal Adams JJ

Although Claire and Ciara went through a rough patch thanks to Tripp, Keegan loved working with pals Konefal and Adams.

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

More: Days rolls out the Brady Bunch jokes

Upon hearing that Konefal recently raved to about how much she loved the Claire/Tripp/Ciara storyline, Keegan echoes her former co-star’s sentiments. “There was something very special about that time, working with her and Lucas Adams (Tripp),” she reflects. “It felt weirdly like that college experience that I never got to have, just a bunch of young adults getting to hang out in between scenes. It was so wonderful.”

That being the case, would she ever consider doing another soap? “I know everything I know because of my experience at Days,” she believes. “They do the impossible every single day. So I absolutely never say never. You just have to see where life takes you.”

For the moment, however, she’s enjoying her new role… even as she wonders why she keeps getting cast as the slightly unhinged type. “It might be time to look inward,” she laughs, “because that seems to be a common thread with some of these roles! What energy am I putting out in the world?”

You can check out Keegan and the rest of the High School crew when Season 2 of the popular not-just-for-teens series hits Disney+ on Friday, May 14. In the meantime, why not peruse this gallery of characters we’d love to see return to Salem!