Vanessa Hudgens’ latest serious drama headed to theaters in 2014


Of all the onetime Disney stars, Vanessa Hudgens has always seemed particularly eager to shed her squeaky-clean image.

While Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez were still trying to appease their tween fanbases, Hudgens was dealing with blowback from an infamous nude-photo scandal. And following the conclusion of the “High School Musical” franchise, she almost immediately began taking on dark film roles instead of sticking with more PG-fare. This year alone, she’s been seen as a concubine, a bikini-clad party animal and a runaway stipper.

Up next? A pregnant teenager. On Thursday, Roadside Attractions announced that it had acquired “Gimme Shelter,” based on the true story on a 16-year-old homeless teen who finds refuge at a women’s shelter. The film is set to premiere at Indiana’s Heartland Film Festival next month, and Roadside plans to release it in January.


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Hudgens, 24, physically transformed herself for the movie, chopping off her long locks and spending two weeks living in a shelter for research.

“We were quite impressed with Vanessa Hudgens, who delivered a terrific, and transformative, performance,” Roadside co-president Howard Cohen said in a statement.

Hudgens seemed at home as a gun-toting college girl in “Spring Breakers” earlier this year, but her turn as a pole dancer in the crime thriller “The Frozen Ground” was not embraced by audiences in August.

Clearly, Hudgens has lofty aspirations: In the October issue of Marie Claire, she said she aspires to have a career like Meryl Streep’s and wants to win an Oscar.

“That’s what my goal is,” she told the magazine, “which is why I’m very picky about what I do, and I make sure I’m not doing the same thing over and over.”



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