Just a Minute With: Vanessa Hudgens

Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:09pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "High School Musical" actress Vanessa Hudgens embodies the dreams of millions of girls around the world in her role as the brainy but beautiful math whiz Gabriella Montez, who also wins the heart of star basketball player Troy Bolton.

Hudgens, 19, who stars in this week's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," has been acting since she was three years-old, and made her first movie, "Thirteen", in 2003.

The petite Filipina/Chinese/Spanish/Irish and American Indian actress with tumbling black hair talked to Reuters about the success of the three Disney films and how they gave her the high school experience that, as a home-schooled teenager, she never had for herself.

Q: Do you feel you missed out on the American high school life portrayed in "High School Musical."?

A: "This series was definitely my high school experience. It's been three years, almost four. I've made the most amazing friends through this project, people I know I will always be able to call. I have grown up with them."

Q: The prom scene in "High School Musical 3; Senior Year" is very romantic. But you never had a prom or a graduation ceremony.

A: "My prom in the movie was a lot better I think than the normal prom! There was no drama. I got to wear the most beautiful gown and it was a total fantasy. I got waltzed around. And I got to wear a graduation cap and gown for the first time."

Q: How have you been dealing with fans and the success of the movies?   Continued...

<p>Cast member Vanessa Hudgens poses at the premiere of the movie "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" at Galen Center in Los Angeles October 16, 2008. The movie opens in the U.S. on October 24. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>