Vanessa Hudgens thrives on spontaneity and the thrill of the unexpected. “There’s nothing like going on a spontaneous road trip with my buddies,” she says. “We don’t even plan it; we just do it.”
Hudgens, who gained fame for her role in High School Musical, sees challenges as a way to discover herself. “Taking on challenges has helped me understand myself better,” she remarks. “Accepting every aspect of yourself is empowering. Now, I’m not ashamed to be who I am—quirks and all.”
Vanessa believes that embracing one’s self allows an individual to conquer whatever life throws at them. “I cherish my quirks; they make me unique,” she says. “Even when others might have considered them excessive, I now let them shine.”
The actress has been focusing her energies on projects that flex her artistic abilities. She’s particularly excited about her upcoming role in the film Tick, Tick…Boom!, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which is set to hit select theaters and Netflix this November. “Participating in this project is an honor; it’s like paying tribute to Jonathan Larson’s legacy,” Vanessa says.
Vanessa, who has a deep-rooted connection with musical theater, says, “I was always the girl in the corner, harmonizing with the lead singer. This is where I come from, and I adore singing. I grab every opportunity to sing.”
Recently, Vanessa also lent her voice to the animated feature My Little Pony. “When I watched it, tears flowed,” she shares. “It’s a keepsake for my future kids.” She’ll also be reprising her role in Netflix’s The Princess Switch 3 this holiday season.
But acting isn’t Vanessa’s only focus. She’s also ventured into business. Alongside a friend, she launched Caliwater, a cactus-based hydrating drink. She’s also co-founded Know Beauty, a skincare line, with singer Madison Beer. “These are passion projects for me,” she says. “They give me a creative outlet beyond acting.”
Juggling multiple roles can be tough, but Vanessa makes it work. “My secret is a well-rounded approach to well-being,” she says.
For instance, her fitness regime is about balance and mental well-being. “During the lockdown, I used Zoom workouts to build a community of friends,” she says. “Now I’m hooked on Dogpound workouts; they’re intense and fun.”
Celebrating little wins is a mantra for Vanessa. “Small victories bring happiness and empowerment,” she notes.
When it comes to her diet, Vanessa’s philosophy is simple: “Eat real food. Avoid processed junk,” she says. “I’m a pescatarian, and I focus on real, natural foods.”
Her friendships provide the emotional support she needs. “My friends are my go-to stress busters,” she says. “Talking to them clears my mind.”
Vanessa finds serenity in nature. “Nature has its own rhythm, and it helps me to find my own flow,” she says.
As for her home, she loves it to be a sanctuary for creativity. “My home is a haven for everyone; a place to be free,” she says.
Reflecting on her journey, Vanessa adds, “I couldn’t have imagined being where I am today, but I couldn’t be happier. I’m grateful for my present, even when it’s unexpected.”