Vanessa Hudgens: from Disney to drama

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‘Gimme Shelter’ is based on a true story about a pregnant teenager who runs away from her abusive mother to escape the hellish world she has been growing up in.

Sixteen-year old Apple is played by ‘High School Musical’ star Vanessa Hudgens who displays a true commitment to the role, which is unlike any she has taken on so far.

“I’ve always loved the aspect of transformation as an actor and I knew that this was going to call for it. So that really excited me. Also the fact that it deals with so many different subject matters, all that are very relevant, that can be difficult to talk about,” says the young actress.

Actress Rosario Dawson plays Hudgens’ mother, June. She, too, has impressed critics by completely taking over her character. Dawson, as the drug-addicted mum, is almost unrecognizable, with her severely damaged teeth and body covered in bruises.

She said she could relate to the character in a way.

“My mom was a teenage mom,” said Rosario Dawson.

“Thank God my grandmother said I love you anyway. I’m so upset with you, like really devastated, but I love you anyway and you still have a roof over your head. I will still support you and help you. My biological father stepped out of my life, I don’t know him still, ever. I don’t even have a photo of him. But my dad raised me. He came in and married my mom when I was one year old so I never grew up without a dad. Just all of that, I’ve always considered him my hero, but it just put it in that much more perspective. I literally would not be sitting here in front of you today if it wasn’t for those people standing up and being a stand for me and my family,” she says.

Director Ron Krauss, who also wrote the screenplay, has received mixed reviews for his movie, with some critics deploring a flat script filled with hollow troubled teen clichés.

“Gimme Shelter” opens in US cinemas this week.

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