In 'tick, tick... BOOM!,' Vanessa Hudgens plays Karessa, a Broadway performer much like herself. The movie is an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by the late Jonathan Larson, the creator of the hit Broadway show 'Rent.'
"Karessa is a fan and supporter of Jonathan throughout the movie and is a voice throughout the film. And being onstage and performing and singing live is my favorite thing to do. It's the thing I'm most impassioned by and to do it rubbing shoulders with such phenomenal talent was just so, so humbling," Hudgens says. "If I could look back and tell my 8-year-old self that I would be doing this years later, I would just be in disbelief because it is literally the dream."
The Fil-Am's talent as a singer was already apparent in her breakout role in 'High School Musical' but starring in Broadway's 'Gigi' in 2015 and her critically applauded performance in TV's 'Grease: Live' widened her fanbase.
Hudgens asserts she has continued to hone her skills. "Singing is something that I've done ever since I can remember. I've always been such a performer and it has come naturally to me and I've worked very hard on it throughout the years. But I didn't work as hard then as I do now, and I think that when you put in the work, it shows."
Hudgens is thriving in both her career and her personal life. She says she gets her strength and inspiration from her Filipina mother Gina. "She's the strongest woman I know. To come out to the United States with my father, not know a soul here, and to build a new life for herself, it's terrifying and it takes great courage. To see her now as an adult, and to be able to admire her, her journey, and the light and the spirit that she brings to every place that she goes to is just contagious. They always say you turn into your parents and the older that I get, the more that I see my mother and myself. In the beginning, it was a little alarming, but now I embrace it with open arms because she's incredible and I aspire to be like her," Hudgens shares.
Tick, tick... BOOM! is a reunion of sorts for Hudgens and its director Lin-Manuel Miranda as she also starred in the Kennedy Center performances of the latter's musical 'In the Heights' in 2018.