Vanessa Hudgens is going to tackle her biggest role so far this summer when she plays Mimi, the HIV-positive dancer in Rent. Despite Hudgens being best known for playing sugary sweet characters, Rosario Dawson– who brought Mimi to life in the 2005 film version of the musical- says the young actress is perfect for the provocative role.
“She’s feisty, she’s fun, and I’ve been encouraging her to let that part of her come out because it’s a dynamic role,” Rosario told RadarOnline.com’s Katie Krause at Reebok’s Women’s Fitness Event in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“We’ve actually been talking which has been really, really great…I adore her, I think she’s really awesome.”
Hudgens, who shot to fame as innocent Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical franchise, will have an advantage going into the production. “She has a little bit more of a benefit going into it. She’s already a singer and she’s been on a huge stage and performed in front of a bunch of people,” Dawson explained. Hudgens’ Rent run will go from August 6 to August 8 at the Hollywood Bowl. It will be directed by her Beastly co-star Neil Patrick Harris.
“It’s a fun, juicy role and it’s like in your face,” she added. “So I’m like ‘don’t hold anything back, show us what you got’ and I think she’s going to!”
Rosario downplays the need to give Hudgens any advice, saying she is in awe of what the 21-year old is going to accomplish.
“I also felt bad because the movie version- we had fewer songs to sing. She’s gotta do the entire show, so it wasn’t even so much advice as it was super appreciation of like, ‘you’re doing so much more than I had to do!’
“I think she’s just gonna kick butt.”