Vanessa Hudgens: “I am Turning Into a Woman”

In spite of all the sexy corsets and badass gunplay on display “Sucker Punch,” if you still think of Vanessa Hudgens as her sweet “High School Musical” character, surprise: she’s OK with that.

“I was so infamously known for 'High School Musical' and playing Gabrielle and I think she was a really impacting character,” Hudgens tells PopcornBiz. “She was somebody that even I would look up to. So when you see someone like that and you get so used to it, that's all you can see. For some people, if that's how they want to keep thinking of me I'm totally OK with that because I think she's a great character. I feel like I am who I am. I am turning into a woman and people will see that with this movie, so I'm like, 'Just wait.'”

Hudgens, 22, also reveals that, despite her recent slate of non-musical acting gigs, singing and dancing will always be a key element in her career plans. “That's what made me interested in doing what I do to begin with,” she explains. “It's in my veins. It's who I am. I'm singing every day, constantly. It's just something that's comforting to me. I love the way that you can tell stories through music. It's just such an escape, and such a happy get away that I feel that I try to live through.”

Even as the celebrity weeklies track every up and down of her personal life, Hudgens says she enjoys a peaceful balance. “I would say that I'm very, very content and very, very happy,” she says. “I think that people can make problems for themselves regardless of where you are in your personal life or in your career. But I feel I've been working on trying to just be content and just trying to be happy. I think that yoga helps me a lot and kept sane physically and mentally, and I feel that through all the work that I've done and the people that I've met I've grown to be able to just be really comfortable in who I am. And I couldn't be happier about it.”

One would have to be comfortable with themselves to gear up in the often skimpy and skintight “Sucker Punch” costumes she sports. “My fighting costume was basically a leotard made of rubber that was so skin tight that every time I zipped it up I had to suck in everything that I had,” she laughs. “Before I came in to 'Sucker Punch,' I actually put on a little weight for the character before and then I realized that I had to wear these skimpy costumes and so I was like, 'It's hustle time! It's go time!' It's definitely bulked me, up but I love it. I love when a woman is cut up and you can tell that she's in shape.”

“The corsets, the whole wardrobe, was quite restricting,” she says. “But it's fun because I love fashion and it's a way of expressing yourself, and I got to express myself in ways that I could never do outside of the film.”

"Sucker Punch" opens everywhere today.

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