The actress talks candidly in this Q&A
The actress, singer and general style star (did you see Vanessa Hudgens’ Coachella manicure!?) has been in the public eye since 2006’s High School Musical.
Now, aged 28, Vanessa has taken Hollywood by storm, starring as Rizzo in Grease Live!, becoming an ambassador for EcoTools make-up brushes and starring in DC Comics current comedy Powerless where she plays one of the insurers at Batman‘s Wayne Enterprises.
We caught up with the star to ask her the questions that apparently lead to love. (Watch what happened when we asked the same questions to in our Lily Collins interview.)
Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?
I’ve got to choose Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep is just everything. I got to meet her and she was everything I wanted her to be and more, I only had around five minutes with her so an entire dinner with her would be ideal.
When did you last sing to yourself?
I think it was one of Kendrick Lemar’s new songs from his new album DAMN, I think the song is called love. I was in the car driving to my indoor cycling class with my sister and my best friend.
When did you last sing to someone else?
Coachella! I actually think it was Kendrick Lemar again and me and my sister were singing and rapping to each other.
Tell us an embarrassing moment in your life…
I am trying to think when the last one was, I have them all the time because I’m very clumsy. When I was shopping probably, I shop a lot, but I can’t remember a specific one. It is probably so recent that I’m just trying to forget it…
What in your life do you feel most grateful for?
A lot of things. I love spending time with the feeling of gratitude because I feel like it elevates life. It just really allows you to appreciate things so much more like my family, my puppy, having a roof over my head and living in California. I love California; I was born and raised here so it’s just a special place to me. I love having free time so I can go to places like Coachella and create new memories and be inspired and pat myself on the back for working hard. I am a very grateful person.
What’s your puppy’s name?
Her name is Darla and she is actually sitting next to me now. My boyfriend’s mum rescued her from my neighbour’s balcony because she was out there for a few days in 100 degree heat with no water and no food and just so scared of the world so she ended up with us because his mum passed away so we now take care of her and she is our little angel. She’s so scrappy and she is like a little terrier mutt with the best personality in the world.
Can you tell us your life story in 30 seconds?
I was born in California my dad was a fire fighter and my mum kind of bounced around jobs because I would call her from my babysitter too many times that she actually got fired and became a mum full-time. From the age of three, I loved performing so my parents put me in classes and one thing let to another and I have been able to live my dreams and feel fulfilled and accomplished and above all happy.
If you could wake up tomorrow having claimed any quality or ability what would it be?
Oh my gosh, I think speak Italian. I don’t speak any other languages and Italian is my favourite. I love the culture in Italy and the people and the food and the country. I love Italian so if I could speak the language then that would be very ideal. Positano is like Disneyland for adults. It’s the most magical place ever.
If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else what would you want to know?
I don’t know, I feel like I wouldn’t want to know anything too specific and I think you would be constantly comparing yourself to something that hasn’t happened yet therefore taking you out of the present. I don’t even know if I want to know anything, I am super happy where I am in my life career wise and personally and I think I just have to keep on feeling my best and hope that is enough and if it’s not then, I’ll just pick myself back up and keep moving forward. If I could know anything, it’d be how we can end starvation, especially for children. I think that is one of the things that kills me most. I hate being hungry because I get very hangry and I am not fun to be around at all and I am a full grown woman but to think there are children all around the world that don’t have that accessibility to go and buy a meal is so devastating. There is just so much of it all around the world that haunts me.
What have you dreamed of doing for a long time and why haven’t you done it yet?
I need to play the piano. I tinker in it still to this day but to fully invest yourself in something it becomes a different story than just trying it.
What do you value most in a friendship?
I mean obviously honesty, not being judgemental, fun playfulness and just someone that is always down to be silly with me.
When did you last cry in front of another person?
It was at Coachella. I was watching Bon Iver and it was so beautiful and magical and it just really moved me. I looked over at my sister and my hand was on my heart and I was just crying.
When was the last time you cried by yourself?
I was watching a movie and I balled my eyes out watching that movie by myself I just thought it was so beautiful and Mark Rylance is just honestly one of the most majestic human beings around.
What is your most treasured memory?
Probably taking my last bow at my first Broadway show when I got to walk down this grand staircase and I had a very surreal moment where I was like I am here, I did this, I worked hard and I enjoyed every second of it.
What is your most terrible memory?
Probably my mum calling me and telling me my dad had passed away.
When did you first wear make-up?
I love doing eye make up I have been doing it on myself since I was like eight years old because colours are so fun to play with. I’m the kind of girl who needs like 10 million brushes and I like the EcoTools collection because they’re made of bamboo and recycled aluminium and are cruelty-free.
If your house caught fire but everyone is safe your family is safe your pets are safe, what would you go back to get?
I don’t have a photo album here but if I did I would grab it. Realistically, this may sound a little shallow but I have this dress from the 70s by Dior and it is so beautiful, it’s literally like a piece of art.
Vanessa was recently named the 2017 brand ambassador for leading beauty accessories brand EcoTools, and is the face of its global #MyTrueBeauty campaign, which aims to encourage women all around the world to have the confidence to unlock their best potential.