Former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens has been hard at work this year, making her Broadway debut in the revival of the musical Gigi. The 26-year-old star recently spoke with IN New York, where she opened up about her new life in New York and the thrill of headlining her own Broadway show.
“It does not feel real.” Vanessa says of her new role as Gigi. “Driving past the theater and seeing my name under the Gigi awning: It feels like an out-of-body experience. Maybe I’ll wake up soon and it’ll all be a dream. I’m just having the time of my life and I’m so happy I’ve had this opportunity.”
The musical is set in Paris in the 1900s, where Vanessa plays the title character of Gigi. “Gigi is a young, kind of bratty girl who is just living her life the way she wants to, and she’s forced into a world that she’s not very keen on and ends up breaking the rules and setting a new course for the generations to come.” Vanessa says of her character.
“She’s very inspirational,” Vanessa adds. “She is in a world where class and society are up on a pedestal, and there’s only really one way to go about dating and that’s to be a courtesan. To go against the rules was a very ballsy thing to do in the 1900s. She really stands up for herself, and I find that really empowering.”
While her Broadway role keeps her busy most of the time, Vanessa did reveal how she likes to relax after a long day on the stage.
“There’s nothing a good glass of wine can’t cure,” She says.”I’m running on such adrenaline, it takes a minute to decompress. So I’ll put on a TV show—I just started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is hysterical—and pour myself a glass of wine, hang out with my pup, tidy up, which I find quite meditational, slowly ease my way to sleep, and then do it all over again.”
As for what she has planned after her Broadway run, Vanessa says: “I’m doing Grease for FOX, a live broadcast version [on Jan. 31, 2016]. Playing Rizzo will be a lot of fun because it’s such a different character. After that, I’ll probably travel. I love going to tropical places, so maybe I’ll get a good nature fix after being in New York. After that, I don’t know. I’ve really fallen in love with theater again. I’ll definitely have my eye out for another show to do.”
Be sure to check out Vanessa’s full interview here!