And her recent roles are ones that’d make Gabriella Montez blush: She plays the daughter of a drug addict in next year’s Beastly and a tough, edgy girl in the action fantasy Sucker Punch…
Glamour Magazine: You were a Disney girl. Do you feel pressured to behave a certain way?
It’s funny because before High School Musical, I wanted to be a nitty-gritty actress. And High School Musical came along, and, I was like, “Oh my god, fun!” But the more we did it, the more prude I became… When I am around kids and they come up to me, of course I am going to act a certain way, but at the end of the day, I’m doing this for myself. I’m going to be doing movies kids can’t watch.
Glamour Magazine: Where do you see yourself either in work or in life in five years? Will you be married? Will you have kids?
Oh my goodness! [Laughs.] I’m becoming more adventurous. When I was younger, I used to be super, super shy. I still find myself being scared of things. I want to try doing sportier things, kite surfing and paddle surfing – I think it would give me extra confidence.
Glamour Magazine: When is the last time you felt awkward?
Last night, actually. Going to events gives me such anxiety. [Laughs.]
Glamour Magazine: How so?
I get hot flashes! [Laughs.] I can’t breathe, and I get claustrophobic. It’s a very odd business. I do it because I love acting, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it.
Glamour Magazine: The rumor mill says that you and your cute boyfriend are house-hunting.
Glamour Magazine: No truth to that?
I mean, maybe…maybe house-hunting for houses on our own. I mean…which, I’m not. And he’s not, at the moment. So no. No. I just bought my house two years ago, and I adore it. I have this Moroccan-y room on the top floor. It’s the sexy cool room that I’ve always wanted.
Glamour Magazine: I feel like a lot of fans adore that you’re going out with Zac, and there’s probably some girls who hate it. How do you deal with that?
We got lucky because we started off together, so I think people like us because they fell in love with the characters.
Glamour Magazine: Was it love at first sight?
Right off the bat, we had a connection. I think everybody could see it. When we had our audition, they paired us together. And he was adorable. I mean, he wasn’t the guy that he is today. Like, he had a gap in his teeth. Yeah! You wanna see? He was a whole different person. Hold on! [Hudgens reaches for her iPhone to find a photo of Zac on it. ] You’ll laugh!
Glamour Magazine: You were saying he’s different now. How?
He’s just grown up. He doesn’t have his gap anymore. I look at him, and I see a man.
Glamour Magazine: So you have a mature relationship?
I guess. I think that we inspire each other. [I love] having someone to grow with.
Glamour Magazine: Ever have moments of jealousy?
Every relationship’s all about trust. I think I used to. But now, not really.
Glamour Magazine: You probably hate this question, but topless photos of you have appeared on the Web. How do you bounce back? Or have you bounced back?
I think it has made me stronger. But it still hurts. It sucks because [the photos were] supposed to be private, but at the same time a lot of actresses do it [in movies]. Eventually, I’m sure that I will [too]. But I don’t know if I would be able to do it now.
Glamour Magazine: You were photographed for Glamour with kittens. Do you like animals?
I love animals. Love, love, love, love animals. I have a toy poodle, Shadow. She’s a little whippersnapper! And I love little monkeys.
Glamour Magazine: You’re 21 now. What’s the most recent grown-up thing you did?
I wrote a check today! For my dialect coach. But I have such a carefree spirit that I will be a kid at 80. I go to the doctor’s office and sometimes write that I’m 18.
Glamour Magazine: But it seems like you’ve grown up earlier and faster than so many girls do.
It’s true. You can’t be a kid in this business. You will not survive.
Glamour Magazine: Do you feel like you grew up too fast?
Maybe. And maybe that’s the reason why I am silly at 21. But I don’t regret it. And if I wasn’t how I was when I was younger, I wouldn’t be how I am today? You know. And I love the way I am today.
Glamour Magazine: It’s our Jeans Issue, so I have to ask: How many pairs of jeans do you have?
Oh my god, probably 100.
Glamour Magazine: You’re the Imelda Marcos of jeans! What’s your go-to brand?
Current/Elliot or J Brand.
Glamour Magazine: What’s your favorite pair of jeans?
My J Brand 10-inch skinny leg. They are cropped, but because I’m so short, they fit me perfectly.