Vanessa Anne Hudgens (born December 14, 1988) is an American actress and singer. After working in local theater plays and television commercials in her childhood, Hudgens made her screen debut in the 2003 drama film Thirteen. Hudgens starred in the 2004 science-fiction-adventure film Thunderbirds as Noel. But her most prominent role was as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical series. The film's third installment, High School Musical 3: Senior Year was both critically and commercially successful and became her most commercially successful film.
She pursued a solo music career and released her debut album V on September 26, 2006. The album debuted at number twenty four in the U.S. and was later certified Gold. Hudgens released her second album, Identified, on July 1, 2008 in the U.S and has since released only one single, "Sneakernight". She has since acted in the critically-acclaimed 2009 film Bandslam which released on August 14, 2009.
Early life and career
Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, and lived all over the West Coast ? from Oregon to Southern California ? with her parents, Gina (n?e Guangco) who held a succession of office jobs, and Gregory Hudgens, a firefighter, and a younger sister, Stella Hudgens. Hudgens and her family moved to Los Angeles after she won a role in a television commercial. Hudgens is of mixed cultural descents, as her father is of Irish and Native American descent, and her mother, a native of Manila, is of Chinese-Filipino-Spanish descent. Both sets of Hudgens' grandparents were musicians.
Starting at the age of eight, Hudgens performed in musical theater as a singer, and appeared in local productions of Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, The Music Man, and Cinderella, among others. Two years after her career in stage plays and musicals, she started auditioning for commercials and TV shows. Her acting career started at the age of 15, and she was not able to finish her high school in Orange County High School of the Arts after being home schooled by tutors.
2003-2005: Early work
In 2003, Hudgens played a minor role in the independent drama film Thirteen, where she plays Noel, a friend of Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood's character). The film received general favorable reviews, critically successful, and surpassed its $4 million budget, grossing $10,128,960 worldwide. She landed a role, eventually, in the 2004 science fiction-adventure film as Tintin. Unfortunately, the film was commercially and critically unsuccessful, and received heavy criticism through the Internet prior to its release. Since then, Hudgens has already appeared in several TV shows and commercials. In late 2005, she landed the role of shy and meek Gabriella Montez in High School Musical, opposite to Zac Efron.
2006-2008: High School Musical and career development
Hudgens during the High School Musical: The Concert tour.
Before she played her breakout role as Gabriella Montez in High School Musical, Hudgens has already appeared in television shows such as Quintuplets, Still Standing, The Brothers Garc?a, Drake & Josh and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Her performance in High School Musical received numerous nominations and awards. With the success of the film, BBC UK noted that Hudgens will be a "household name" in the US.
Hudgens at the Melbourne premiere of High School Musical 3: Senior Year which was both critically, and commercially successful.
Hudgens received a recording contract with Hollywood Records. On September 2006, the release of her debut album entitled V, charted on the Billboard 200 at number twenty-four on the chart and was certified Gold on February 27, 2007. Her first single, "Come Back to Me" became her highest-charting single, peaking at #55 while her second single, "Say OK" was less successful, only peaking at #61. Billboard readers chose "V" as the seventh best album of the year. Hudgens was named Female Breakout Singer of the year at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. Hudgens toured as the opening act for The Cheetah Girls during their The Party's Just Begun Tour.
Hudgens also participated in the nationwide High School Musical: The Concert tour in fall 2006, performing the songs from the soundtrack album as well as the three songs from her debut album. She sang the duet "Still There For Me" with Corbin Bleu for his debut album. In 2007, Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella Montez in the sequel of High School Musical, High School Musical 2. In December 2007, she sang to the president at at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. with other singers.
Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella Montez in the third installment of the High School Musical series, High School Musical 3: Senior Year. The movie was both critically and commercially successful, grossing $252,909,177. Her performance in the film made her win favorite movie actress in the 2009 Kids Choice Awards. Her sophomore album, Identified, which received generally favorable reviews, was released on July 1, 2008, debuting at #23 on the Billboard 200.
The album's lead single, "Sneakernight" was less-successful in the charts, only peaking at #88 months after its first release in the Billboard Hot 100. Hudgens's Identified Summer Tour began on , 2008 and ended in early of the same year.
2009-present: Career transition
Hudgens at the premiere night of the critically-acclaimed film Bandslam.
Hudgens played a supporting role in a musical comedy Bandslam, which was released theatrically on August 14, 2009. Hudgens plays "Sa5m", a 15-year-old awkward freshman with untapped talents. Although Bandslam was commercially unsuccessful, Hudgens' performance received praise from critics. David Waddington noted that Hudgens "outshines the rest of the cast, failing to fit in with the outcast narrative and making the inevitable climactic ending all the more expected." In the film, Philip French of The Guardian compared her acting to Thandie Newton and Dorothy Parker. The Broadcast Film Critics Association gave Bandslam an 85 rating score and a 4/5 stars rating.
In 2009, it was announced that Hudgens will play Linda Taylor in Beastly, a film based on the book by Alex Flinn. She stars alongside Alex Pettyfer, Neil Patrick Harris and Mary Kate Olsen. She plays a daughter of a drug addict who falls in love with "the beast". The movie was filmed during June 2009 until August in the same year in Montreal, Canada and is slated for a July 2010 release. Hudgens remarked that she accepted for the project from the moment she read the film's director and writer, Daniel Barnz's screenplay.
Hudgens was cast as Blondie in an action film directed and written by Zack Snyder, Sucker Punch, which will release in March 2011. The story follows a young girl in the 1950s about to be lobotomized and as she attempts to escape the asylum with her inmate friends.
In early 2008, Hudgens was offered with the role of Nara Kilday in a film adaptation of the comic series Dead@17 created by Josh Howard where Michael Dougherty will be writing the screenplay and will be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Howard confirmed in June 2009 that Hudgens is currently attached.
Personal life and public image
Hudgens poses with a fan after a guesting at a talk show.
In an October 2007 interview, Hudgens stated that she is dating her High School Musical series co-star Zac Efron and had been since the filming of High School Musical. The two were not paired together during the audition process and did not meet until the first early rehearsals before filming started. Hudgens is a Catholic. Her height is 5'3.
In 2006, Hudgens' earnings were estimated to be $2 million. Hudgens was included in Forbes richest list in early 2007, it was posted in Forbes website, that Hudgens was included in Young Hollywood's Top Earning-Stars. On December 12, 2008, Hudgens was ranked #20 in the list of Forbes "High Earners Under 30", having reported to have an estimated earnings of $3 million in 2008. She was number 62 at FHM's Sexiest Women in the World of 2008 and number 42 in the 2009 list. Hudgens is also featured in Maxim' lists. She was included in People's annual "100 Most Beautiful People" 2008 and 2009 lists.
Hudgens is represented by William Morris Agency. She is a spokesperson for Mark Ecko products. Hudgens also promotes Neutrogena and was the 2008 featured celebrity for Sears' back-to school campaign. Hudgens regularly volunteers for charitable activities, including those for Best Buddies International, Lollipop Theater Network and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
On September 6, 2007, photos of Hudgens appeared online, one showing her posing in lingerie and another showing her nude. A statement from her publicist claims that the photo was taken privately and it was unfortunate that they were released on the internet. Hudgens later apologized, saying that she was "embarrassed over the situation" and regretted having "taken photos." Hudgens has since released a statement that she doesn't want to talk about the scandal. OK! magazine speculated that Hudgens would be dropped from High School Musical 3 when naked photos of Hudgens surfaced the internet in late 2007. The Walt Disney Company denied the reports, saying, "Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she's learned a valuable lesson."
In August 2009, a new set of pictures showing Hudgens topless emerged on the internet. These pictures are said to have been taken before the first nude photo scandal. Hudgens's representatives have yet to make an official statement. Lawyers have requested the removal of the pictures from the internet.
Brian Schall sued Hudgens last 2007 for an alleged "breach of contract"; according to the suit, Schall claims he advanced costs and expenses on Hudgens?s behalf for her songwriting and recording career. Schall claims Hudgens owes him $150,000 after helping her earn more than $5 million for her music career. But Hudgens argues that she was underage to sign her contract on October 2005 as she was just 16 then. Hudgens subsequently disaffirmed it on October 9, 2008. Papers filed in court by her lawyer say California's Family Code "provides that the contract of a minor is voidable and may be disaffirmed before (age 18) or within a reasonable time afterward."
In 2008, Hudgens was sued by Johnny Vieira, who claims he is owed a share of the 19-year-old's advances, royalties and merchandising revenue in exchange for his management services. Vieira accuses Hudgens of abandoning her talent team as soon as she became a commercial name in the High School Musical era. In early May 2009, the case was settled.
First theatrical film
Second film to star with Brady Corbet
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Third time to reprise her role as Gabriella Montez
Films made for television
High School Musical
High School Musical 2
Television guest appearances
"Still Rocking" (Season 1, Episode 4)
Robbery Homicide Division
"Had" (Season 1, Episode 10)
The Brothers Garcia
"New Tunes" (Season 4, Episode 37)
"The Coconut Kapow" (Season 1, Episode 22)
Drake and Josh
"Little Sibling" (Season 3, Episode 13)
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
"Forever Plaid" (Season 2, Episode 6)
"Not So Suite 16" (Season 2, Episode 10)
"Neither a Borrower Nor a Speller Bee" (Season 2, Episode 12)
"Kept Man" (Season 2, Episode 14)
All Vanessa Hudgens lyrics
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.