EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Hudgens on her gritty new role as a prostitute and serial-killer survivor

You may know Vanessa Hudgens as all-singing, all-dancing Gabriella Montez from High School Musical, but the American sweetheart’s new role is no Disney princess…


by Rebecca Ashley |
Published on

Shooting the rape scene, was one of the hardest for me

In new film ‘The Frozen Ground,’ Vanessa brings to life to real-life story of Cindy Paulson - a prostitute who managed to escape Alaska's most notorious serial killer, Robert Hansen.

When Cindy escaped, her statement eventually led to the capture of the so-called ‘butcher baker’ who took the lives of 17 to 21 young girls in the eighties.

Cindy was just 17 years old when she was held captive and raped by Hansen – a scene that Vanessa had the hard task of re-creating.

‘Shooting the rape scene, was one of the hardest for me,’ Vanessa told the audience at a ‘meet the actor’ event yesterday.

‘We re-created Hansen’s basement down to a T, so all the animal heads in the movie are what he actually had in his basement.

‘It was just so disturbing to know that I was looking and feeling the same things that these girls were feeling when they were being held hostage,

‘It was intense.’

Vanessa speaking at a 'Meet the Actor' event in London yesterday
Vanessa speaking at a 'Meet the Actor' event in London yesterday

Her character’s harrowing story is not one the 24 year-old actress is likely to forget – and it’s one she has learnt a few valuable life lessons from.

‘Be aware of your surroundings and don’t be too trusting because there are some seriously disturbed people out there and they seem like your average Joe like your next door baker,’ she said.

Speaking to Closer at the film’s world premiere yesterday, Vanessa revealed that she got to meet the real-life Cindy.

The role is a far cry from Vanessa's Disney days

‘I got to hang out with the woman my character is based on for a whole weekend, so I know her earliest memories to where she’s at today,

‘She is really brave and courageous,’ Vanessa said.

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