Vanessa Hudgens is best known for playing Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical movies, but now she's now taking on deeper roles like playing Lindy Owens in Beastly. She dishes exclusively to J-14 all about the movie from her first reaction to seeing Alex Pettyfer as "the beast" to working with Mary-Kate Olsen. Beastly hits theaters on March 4.
J-14: What was it like playing the role of Lindy?
Vanessa Hudgens: It was so much fun. I definitely challenged myself and it was surprisingly harder then I thought when playing all my awkward moments. I wasn't particularly an awkward kid, I was more of a shy kid, so playing with that was a lot of fun. One thing I love about acting is playing characters that I'm not, so it's a blast.
J-14: What was it like the first time you saw Alex dressed up as "the beast?"
Vanessa: It was so weird. I was used to his long blond hair and then it was all gone, and I was like, "Oh, hi," like I was meeting a person all over again for the first time, just like it would be in the movie. But it was interesting --Â he really embraced the character and it kind of transformed the way he carried himself.
J-14: What was the transformation process like for Alex going from handsome to beastly?
Vanessa: It was really weird. It was really interesting. It was kind of fascinating at the same time because it was so real. It was amazing. It really is beautiful to see a person like that because they really do reveal their true colors.
J-14: Was it hard to get in to the romantic scenes with him dressed up like that?
Vanessa: No. It really was beautiful and it filmed right, stripping a person of everything they rely on and having them find themselves is a really interesting thing so I quite enjoyed it. I thought it was really sweet.
J-14: How was it working with Mary-Kate Olsen?
Vanessa: It's so much fun. She was so amazing, such a sweet girl, totally go with the flow and she was awesome. I was watching her in the scenes that she was doing and she totally freaked me out which was what she was supposed to be doing. She really embraced it and we had a lot of fun together.
Photo: Courtesy of THA.i