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Video/Q&A: 'Gimme Shelter' star Vanessa Hudgens

January 20, 2014|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

Yeah. The stealing the car was really traumatic for me for some reason because the guy who tells me to get in the car, his name was Jeff, he was kind of my bodyguard, he was looking out for me the whole time. And they wanted me to drive the car really close to him and he bangs on it and he yells at me, and it was so much to take all at the same time that I just had a panic attack and I kind of lost it for a second ‘cause it was really overwhelming. And then eating out of the garbage was horrible as well because there was a paparazzi there that day so pictures are out of “Vanessa eating out of the trash,” and I’m like, “No, it’s Apple.” [Laughs]

Do you remember what you were eating?

A peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich.

How was it?

It was great! I made sure it was going to be safe and clean when I got to it, but it was still uncomfortable. It’s a very real moment I think too for the character ‘cause that’s something that really does happen when you’re homeless. It’s such a low point for anyone. It just doesn’t feel good.

What do you think about shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant,” and when you were with the girls at the shelter did you get any sense if they watch those shows or have an opinion about them?

Oh, no. They could care less about any reality, celebrity, nothing. Honestly. They don’t care ‘cause it doesn’t really feed into their survival, and that’s what life is for them at that moment. It’s survival. For themselves and for their children. They didn’t care that I had been in movies. It didn’t mean anything to them. It’s survival. TV and reality is just whatever for them.

Is there any of that stuff that you enjoy?

I don’t really watch a lot of TV. I’d rather take a walk outside or go on a hike or something. And I live in L.A. so I can actually do it. [Laughs]

You mentioned stuff you watched when you were younger, “Labyrinth” and “The Neverending Story” being a couple of them. What’s your favorite part of one of those?

[Laughs] “Atreyu! Say my name!” [Laughs] She’s actually a yoga instructor now, and I took a class because she was friends with one of my girlfriends and the entire time I was just like, “You are the childlike empress.” So good.

You were quoting the movie during the whole class?

Kind of. I thought that she put on the theme song during the class. It was a different song, but I got really excited. [Laughs]
How she’s doing today: “Just trying to keep my sanity in this weather. We lost it a long time ago.”
On being willing to walk around barefoot at music festivals, even, say, on the third day of Lollapalooza: “I don’t care. It’s dirt. It’s natural. It’s earth. I mean, when you step in something mushy, it’s definitely [not good]. I haven’t really luckily yet. At Coachella I always run around barefoot. And I’ve been clear of the mushy steppage so far. [Laughs]”
The point at which she’ll have to stop playing teenagers: “When I don’t look like one! I don’t know. It’s awesome being able to still play a teenager because no matter what you’re playing a human being and it takes a lot of work to dive into the character and figure out that person’s past. So age is kind of irrelevant, it’s just where you look like you sit.”
If it would be awesome for her to be in her late 30s and still play a 17-year-old: “Yeah! That’d be like the best thing ever. Right? [Laughs] When you’re 50, people say you look like you’re 30. That’s amazing. That’s every woman’s dream. [Laughs]”

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

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