Despite playing countless roles in the entertainment industry, American actress Vanessa Hudgens is still eyeing one dream project – to have the immigrant story of her Filipina mother, Gina, made into a movie.
In an interview with Glamour UK, Hudgens, who rose to fame with Disney Channel’s “High School Musical,” stressed the importance of telling different stories in the US -- like her mother who came to the America without knowing anyone.
“My mom is from the Philippines, and growing up, there weren’t really that many women who looked like me and my mom and my family on screen. It’s so important to share all the different stories because America is a massive melting pot, [just like the] world,” the actress said.
“There are so many different stories that need to be told so that we are exposed to them and can have more empathy towards different people,” she added.
According to Hudgens, she hopes her mother would soon write a book about her life story which eventually can be adapted into a film.
“As an immigrant, coming into the States and not knowing anyone, I can’t even imagine how difficult and challenging that is and what challenges she faced as a woman. And my father was a firefighter, so he was gone for a week and home for a week,” Hudgens narrated.
“I feel like that’s such a relatable story to so many women all over the world. The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up.”
Hudgens’ role as Gabriella Montez opposite Zac Efron’s Troy Bolton made a tremendous impact on Gen-Zs and millennials, who still use “High School Musical” references up to this day.
“I hear a ‘High School Musical’ reference multiple times a week!” Hudgens told ABS-CBN News via e-mail in January last year.
“However, it is something I find joy in. It allows me to reminisce a bit and connect to my younger self. That project opened up so many doors for me and I’ll always be grateful for that,” she added.
Since her breakthrough role in the 2006 film, Hudgens has had no shortage of big-screen projects, often juggling disparate genres from drama, comedy, musical, to action.
“Something I really pride myself in is breaking out of my comfort zone and I’m always up for a challenge,” she said of her choice of roles.
She currently stars in the Netflix trilogy “The Princess Switch” and the musical “Tick Tick…Boom!”