Of all the onetime Disney stars, Vanessa Hudgens has always seemed particularly eager to shed her squeaky-clean image.
While Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez were still trying to appease their tween fanbases, Hudgens was dealing with blowback from an infamous nude-photo scandal. And following the conclusion of the "High School Musical" franchise, she almost immediately began taking on dark film roles instead of sticking with more PG-fare. This year alone, she's been seen as a concubine, a bikini-clad party animal and a runaway stipper.
Up next? A pregnant teenager. On Thursday, Roadside Attractions announced that it had acquired "Gimme Shelter," based on the true story on a 16-year-old homeless teen who finds refuge at a women's shelter. The film is set to premiere at Indiana's Heartland Film Festival next month, and Roadside plans to release it in January.
Hudgens, 24, physically transformed herself for the movie, chopping off her long locks and spending two weeks living in a shelter for research.
"We were quite impressed with Vanessa Hudgens, who delivered a terrific, and transformative, performance,” Roadside co-president Howard Cohen said in a statement.
Hudgens seemed at home as a gun-toting college girl in "Spring Breakers" earlier this year, but her turn as a pole dancer in the crime thriller "The Frozen Ground" was not embraced by audiences in August.
Clearly, Hudgens has lofty aspirations: In the October issue of Marie Claire, she said she aspires to have a career like Meryl Streep's and wants to win an Oscar.
"That's what my goal is," she told the magazine, "which is why I'm very picky about what I do, and I make sure I'm not doing the same thing over and over."
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun