Vanessa Hudgens has shared the methods she used to get ready for her gritty new role.
The actress stars in movie The Frozen Ground, a thriller written and directed by Scott Walker and based on the real-life 1980s Alaskan hunt for serial killer Robert Hansen.
In the film Vanessa plays a young woman trying to escape the clutches of the mad man.
She described how she prepared for the part, which is very different from her best known role in teen musical series High School Musical.
"Yeah to get into the dark place there are a lot of crazy situations I put myself in," she told a UK radio station. "I had a long stare at myself in the mirror, that got me in the mood, as I looked so different."
Vanessa says it was easy to stay in character while making the tense thriller. The location of the shoot meant there was no way she could see people she knew after the cameras stopped rolling.
"We filmed in Alaska so I didn't have many friends I could hang out with after. I cannot watch scary movies. Frozen Ground is good as it is a thriller," she explained. "[Co-stars Nicholas Cage and John Cusack] were super kind and very giving as actors."
Since her role in High School Musical, Vanessa has also starred in controversial movie Spring Breakers with Selena Gomez and James Franco. She enjoys playing roles in which she challenges people's expectations of her.
"I like mixing it up and pushing boundaries with who I am as an actress," she admitted. "I loved Spring Breakers as we had a great director [Harmony Korine], and cast. In Spring Breakers so much was ad lib, it was completely spontaneous."
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