Hudgens: I love life!

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens wants to be known as someone “who loves life”.

The 24-year-old former Disney star, who’s dating The Carrie Diaries actor Austin Butler, is focusing on developing her career as a serious actress.

Seven years after the release of her first High School Musical movie, Vanessa says it’s also important for her to convey how content she is with the present.

When asked how she desires to be known, Vanessa gushed to America’s OK! magazine: “[As] someone who’s passionate about what they do, who loves life. It’s happy!”

Since leaving her Disney roots, Vanessa has been happy exploring alternative roles.

She starred in last year’s drug drama Spring Breakers with James Franco and Selena Gomez and will appear in Robert Rodriguez’s star-studded crime thriller Machete Kills later this month.

Vanessa, who is currently filming Robbie Pickering horror comedy Kitchen Sink, is pleased she’s able to identify with the characters she’s been cast to play.

“The roles are fun,” she said. “I’ve been passionate about all the projects I’ve done, and I’m very passionate about the characters. I connected to them in a way that I felt like I could really tackle them.”

The star admits she’s picky about the jobs she takes on. But it can get frustrating when she is out of work for a while as a result of being choosy.

“It’s been a good time, only being selective is tough at times, because you end up sitting around a little bit,” she said about being on set. “But then you get to find things that are real gold to you, and those are the things that I think really help you grow as a person and in your career.”

Vanessa is devoting her downtime to charitable causes and recently teamed up with ULTA Beauty to raise awareness, an organisation with a mission close to her heart.

“My grandma actually passed from breast cancer, I just never met her,” she explained. “It was a couple days after I was born. The research needs funds. It’s nice to be able to support and raise awareness.”

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