Talia Ryder Went From Loving "High School Musical" to Costarring With Olivia Rodrigo

Talia Ryder stars alongside Jordan Fisher in Netflix's YA rom-com "Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between," which premiered on July 6. She plays Clare, a high school senior planning to break up with her boyfriend, Aidan, the night before they both leave for college — but the pair decide to go on one last date before the end of their relationship, and of course, complications ensue.

Ryder, 19, got her start as Hortensia in Broadway's "Matilda the Musical" and starred in the 2020 indie film "Never Rarely Sometimes Always." She also starred in Steven Spielberg's 2021 "West Side Story" remake as Tessa. You might also recognize her from her starring role in Olivia Rodrigo's music video for "Deja Vu."

Now is as good a time as any to get better acquainted with this multitalented woman whose star is definitely on the rise. Here are some fun facts about Ryder.


She Got Her Start on Broadway — Alongside Her Sister

As a kid, Ryder had always been drawn to dance, but it was watching a Broadway show that gave her an aha moment to transition into acting. "When I was younger, I wanted to be a dancer and a marine biologist, and it wasn't until I saw "Matilda" on Broadway that I considered performing," Ryder told W Magazine.

Despite having little to no experience with acting or singing, Ryder and her sister both auditioned for "Matilda the Musical" shortly after they saw the production, and amazingly they both landed roles! Ryder described her role as "dance-heavy," which she says helped as she transitioned from strictly dance to theater. "And having my sister backstage with me really made it feel like home," she said.


Her First Film Premiered at Sundance

Ryder made quite a splash in her first ever silver screen role. The actor took on the role of Skyler, the cousin, friend, and companion of Autumn, a young woman who travels to New York City to get an abortion in 2020's "Never Rarely Sometimes Always." The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and garnered a bunch of attention.

Ryder's masterful portrayal of Skyler earned her four different award nominations including the Critics' Choice Award for best young performer and Independent Spirit Award for best supporting female.


Her Favorite Dance Movie Is "High School Musical"

Gather round, Wildcats, this one's for you! If you spent your childhood stationed in front of the TV trying to figure out the choreo for the big gymnasium dance number at the end of "High School Musical," you're not alone. Ryder loved "HSM," too. "I remember being in kindergarten, learning all the dances, and loving everyone in the movie," she told W Magazine.


Dance Is at the Center of Her Life

Ryder might be making the move to the silver screen, but she hasn't forgotten her dance roots. She began dancing when she was 3, and often credits her dancing abilities as what landed her the role in "Matilda the Musical."

In an interview, Ryder described dancing as "one of the most vulnerable things you can do because you're literally moving your body for other people to watch and appreciate." She also said that dance is a form of storytelling, and that her love of dance has helped her feel confident in other aspects of her life.


She Took a Stand Against Bullying

In 2016, Ryder performed with over 70 other Broadway performers in "Broadway Kids Against Bullying: I Have a Voice" to raise money for the No Bully charity organization. As the name suggests, this organization centers around teaching children the importance of standing up to bullies and being kind to others.

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She Starred in an Olivia Rodrigo Music Video

Ryder played Olivia Rodrigo's doppelganger (and the object of Rodrigo's obsession) in the video for Rodrigo's hit single "Deja Vu," which premiered in April 2021. Rodrigo later told MTV News that the video was inspired by "Killing Eve."

"For the music video, we kind of didn't want it to be super on the nose, like relationship-y," Rodrigo said. "So I thought it would be really fun to do a female-stalker-type music video. Because I'm obsessed with 'Killing Eve.' That's my favorite show of all time."