The starlet, 20, on life after high school musical, her mad tweenie fans, boyfriend Zac efron and how she’s an old romantic
Vanessa Hudgens was once just another drama and music student, dreaming of someday wowing Simon Cowell on America Idol. n Then, after graduating, she did a little made-for-TV movie called High School Musical and, well, you know the rest.
An overnight sensation, she is now adored by millions of tweenies as the sweeter-than-sweet Gabriella and everyone, including co-star Zac Efron, has fallen for her charms. Celebs was granted an audience with the (very charming) superstar in a suite at swanky W hotel in Los Angeles.
In the flesh, she is even tinier than she looks on film, a mere 5ft 1in, and looks super cute in a purple floaty vintage top and capri jeans (worn as full-length trews, thanks to her minature proportions). We got the lowdown on her shopping obsession, life after High School Musical and how all those crazy kids have put her off having children of her own…
My lifestyle is so crazy, my perfect day would be hanging out at my house, by my pool, doing absolutely nothing, and switching my phone off. In a perfect world I’d wake up, call my girlfriends over like Ashley Tisdale (HSM’s Sharpay) and (Gossip Girl’s) Brittany Snow and we’d all sit by the pool talking and eating. I love making waffles with my new waffle machine because they’re yummy and they’re multi-grain. I‘d rather do that than go partying.
All this exposure to young children does put me off having them. I love kids, don’t get me wrong, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am today, but they do follow me around to the most peculiar places. And they’re very loud! When they start screaming it’s sweet to see how enthusiastic they are, but I’m going to go deaf sooner than most people. It’s impossible to calm them down when they start, I just cover my ears.
High School Musical changed my life in the best way possible. We had such a great time and I made amazing friends. I miss hanging out with them all. We stay in touch and try to reunite, but it’s not the same. It’s sad, but you grow up. And I have great opportunities now that I wouldn’t have had without it.
I’d like to work with Zac again, for sure. Not right now, but it’d be nice to do something in the future. I’m a romantic person. I think every girl has a bit of hopeless romantic in them. I’m all about the cute little things. Just a simple smile is sweet for me. I like Zac to wear just a T-shirt and jeans, it doesn’t have to be designer. I just prefer the California laid-back look, but it depends on the mood.
I’ve had a few fashion disasters. I went through a phase where I liked short skirts, and it was bad. I look back at pictures now, and how on earth did I think I looked good? But everybody has those moments.
Lady GaGa is great, but her outfits are crazy! I think she is amazing, and I don’t want to diss anybody but I would feel so uncomfortable wearing what she wears.
I’m a shopaholic and I think Topshop in London is amazing. It’s a massive treasure chest to look through. I love UK fashion. I remember the first time I was in England. I was like, ‘Wow! I need to dress like everybody here because it’s incredible.’ It’s so much more over-the-top and I feel everyone takes a lot more risks than people do in LA.
My workout combines Pilates and boxing together and it’s amazing. There is only one woman in LA who does it at the moment, so it’s special. I go with Ashley, and Haylie Duff and I love taking a class with my girlfriends because we keep each other going.
I trained in musical theatre, so I’d love to do Broadway। You hear the applause right then and there, and if you mess up, you’re screwed, unlike film. I actually fell once during The Wizard of Oz when I was a kid. There was a bunch of us munchkins running around the stage when I slid. It was disastrous.
Celine Dion is my idol. When I was little I’d steal my parents’ Celine CD, and I would take out the lyric sheet and sing all the songs like The Power of Love just to try to build my range. I was lucky enough to meet her once and when she left she said, ‘Goodbye Vanessa!’ I thought, ‘Wow, she knows my name! My life is complete.’
I’ve just bought my first house and it’s scary because I’ve never lived alone before, but I love that it’s all mine. Sometimes I’ll dress up and walk around the house wearing a fabulous gown, just because I can. It’s my home, I can do whatever I want.
Reading gossip about myself is so weird. Sometimes I’ll laugh because it will be a hysterical picture. There’s nothing you can do to control it, it’s out of my hands so I might as well just giggle about it.
Travel is one of my favourite things to do and I love going anywhere tropical. It’s just nice being able to get in the ocean when it’s warm and I like hiking in the jungle. I know I don’t seem like an outdoor person, but I just love nature and being outside and I’d like to take a trip camping.
Life after High School Musical
I feel like I’m ready to take the next step in my career. I want to learn and grow as an actor, and I’m excited about working with new directors and trying to improve. Right now I’m shooting Beastly, a modern-day grittier version of the Beauty & The Beast love story.
My character in my new film Bandslam is so rock ’n’ roll, it really shows a different side of me. David Bowie is in the film and when I met him I was so starstruck. I just freaked out. I love him.
I have to get in training for my next role in Sucker Punch, a risqué film about girls in a mental institution, who think it’s a brothel and end up fighting or killing people. It’s pretty out-there. But it’s an empowering role, so I’m looking forward to surprising people and really kicking some butt.
What do you always carry in your purse?
Chapstick for dry lips. Water, because it’s good for your skin. It’s not very exciting in there – it’s kind of messy if anything.
What is your beauty tip?
I’m blessed with long, dark eyelashes, but I love Givenchy’s Pheno-men’eyes mascara. It gives you the fullest lashes.
What do you never leave home without?
I’m a jewellery addict. I love it and could load it on all day. I’m Catholic, so that’s why I have two crosses on.
Bandslam is out in cinemas on 12 August