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Teen Vogue September 2008 Cover Girl Vanessa Hudgens



Like most recent graduates, Vanessa Hudgens has a heavy heart about leaving high school – the only difference is her graduation isn’t marked by a diploma, but rather a full-length feature film, High School Musical 3. But while her days as a Disney darling may be behind her, there’s a big wide world beyond high school, and for Vanessa Hudgens, it’s one filled with endless possibility.

In truth, making High School Musical was very much like high school for Vanessa – who traded her real educational experience to be part of Disney’s most famous class of kids. “It’s sad,” she says. “This is our last time doing a movie together, and we love each other so much.” “We really grew up together. We can be free when we’re around one another, and the amount of fun we have is ridiculous.”

Though Vanessa credits High School Musical with launching her career, she claims the relationships she’s formed with fellow cast mates has proven to be the most rewarding - including, of course, her real-live romance with on-screen love, Zac Efron. Their characters Troy and Gabriella may not be shy about their affections on-camera, but in Vanessa’s personal life love is something she prefers to keep behind the scenes. “I keep my relationship quiet,” she says. “I think that works.”

As for Vanessa’s success story, her trip to the top was all about fate. Filling in for a friend at a Travelodge commercial audition, she was shocked when the obliging favor resulted in her first official job. After her commercial debut Vanessa’s career took off - catapulting her dreams of becoming a solo recording artist, small screen starlet, and soon-to-be big screen sensation.

Born in Salinas and raised in San Diego, Vanessa’s style matches the ease of her California upbringing. “I like putting things together that you would not expect,” she notes. When prepping for events, she rarely strays from her innate sense of style. “It’s always me” she insists. Even when donning her most glamorous get-ups Vanessa’s looks are always “just an upped version” of her style sensibility.

Though she may have her pick of roles these days, Vanessa’s proceeding with extreme caution in choosing her next project. “I don’t want to do something that messes me up mentally,” she maintains. Citing extreme roles that can transport actors to frightening places, Vanessa knows that her next character will not inhabit her. “I think people just don’t realize that sometimes actors can really take it in and become that person.” Yet to many HSM devotees, Vanessa will always be Gabriella – a character that she is extremely proud of. I love that Gabriella is Hispanic,” she smiles. “It’s nice to be able to stand up for people who don’t have someone to look up to very often.”

For high school seniors everywhere, graduation is no-doubt an emotional milestone, but Vanessa Hudgens isn’t letting a heavy heart hold her back from a soaring career. With the recent release of her sophomore album Identified, and Rock On, her first flick not produced by Disney, there’s no doubt that all eyes will be on the resident high school sweetheart.

Look out for Vanessa in the Sears back to school campaign, and her summer concert tour, Identified. You can also catch Vanessa in Rock On, and High School Musical 3, hitting theatres October 24th, 2008.

he September 2008 issue of TEEN VOGUE is on sale nationwide August 5th, 2008













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