Vanessa Hudgens: Punching Beauty

Graduating from her High School Musical era with grown-up roles in Beastly and Sucker Punch, Vanessa Hudgens forgives gay haters for being jealous and wanting her ex.

BY Brandon Voss

March 04 2011 10:55 AM ET

VANESSA HUDGENS 2 X390 (CBS FILMS) | ADVOCATE.COMYou worked with another gay director, Camp’s Todd Graff, on the underrated 2009 teen comedy Bandslam.
Yeah, I’m a big fan of Todd’s. He’s an amazing guy, and we had such an incredible time together on and off set. He really allowed the space for me to be creative and explore this whole new character. I loved that she was also an outcast who didn’t try to please anyone and who just did things for herself. That film is where I learned to play the guitar, but the songs I learned are still the only songs I know how to play. I built up calluses on my fingers, though, and suffered through the pain.

Working with gay directors like Neil Patrick Harris, Daniel Barnz, and Todd Graff, have you noticed any common sensibility there that you appreciate?
Oh, definitely. Working with all of them, one thing I’ve really noticed is that they have — well, not necessarily a motherly instinct, but they are such caring people. They want to make sure you feel my most comfortable, they want you to be able to give your best performance, and they’re willing to do anything to let you do that. I have a very fond spot in my heart for those guys.

You also star in Sucker Punch, which is about a group of girls who break out of an insane asylum. Director Zack Snyder’s 300 and Watchmen both had their share of homoerotic moments. Is there any lesbian action or subtext in Sucker Punch?
Not really, but it is about five girls bonding together to escape reality, and our characters are strong, sexy, empowered women. There are also some awesome fighting sequences. My character, Blondie, is what I would call the fear in all the girls. When you do things out of fear, they aren’t always the smartest decisions, which is why her name is Blondie.

Before I let you go, I’d like to take this chance to apologize to you on behalf of gay guys everywhere. Some of us may have said some unkind things about you in the past, but it was mostly because we were jealous of you and wanted Zac on our team.
Aw. Seriously, thank you for saying that, because you’re the first person who’s ever said that to me. But, you know, it’s totally fine. Everybody’s got to have somebody that they want, right?

You definitely bore the brunt of Perez Hilton’s very public crush on his beloved “Zacquisha.” Did that ever upset you, or did you find it funny?
A little bit of both. I was like, Dude, you haven’t even met me and you’re making these snap judgments about me. But he seems to have simmered down now, which I’m very thankful for.

Tags: film

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