Vanessa Hudgens, now at 29 years old, has had a longstanding career and for many of her fans, it’s as if she’s grown up alongside them. Her big breakout role came as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical franchise and while she’s fully aware that she’ll forever hold a special place in many people’s hearts thanks to the Disney Channel movies, the starlet knew she was always meant to be more than just Gabriella.

Opening up to Access, the actress admitted that she is always so grateful to be an OG Wildcat but once the movies were all done, she really was just so ready to be known for more than that one role, as career-defining as it was.

“In my career after High School Musical, I was so thrilled and honored to be a part of something that’s kind of iconic for so many people. It’s a part of their childhood and children are still coming up to me and saying that they love it which means they’re still watching it, which is amazing,” Vanessa said. “But it wasn’t all that I wanted to do. I had high hopes for me going into so many different directions and I feel like I got to have a second act by doing really dark independent films and that’s kind of how I want to continue to live my life and pursue my career: by constantly keeping myself, as well as everyone else, guessing.”

And she’s been steadily starring in tons of different movies, TV series, and musicals over the years, so girl really has kept her fans guessing as to what she’s going to do next. While we may look at her and immediately think of Gabriella, V is all about challenging herself and we have a feeling she’s just going to keep going. And hey, if she ever wants to return to her HSM roots, we wouldn’t be all that mad at her either. Just saying.


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