We talk 50 Cent, Moschino and the love of moose with Vanessa Hudgens, the star of the new film, Frozen Ground.
From her bikini-clad musings in Spring Breakers to her role as a prostitute on the run from a serial killer in the new film Frozen Ground, you would think Vanessa Hudgens was a bouncing-off- the-walls, dance until dawn wild child. Not so. Dressed head to toe in Moschino (because she “loves it”), the Californian actress is sweet, all too coy and very professional. We sat down to discuss working with actors such as Nicholas Cage, and, erm, 50 Cent, all in the name of her role as the hardened Cindy.
Frozen Ground is based on actual events. What was the particular process that you went through with this role? Do you usually have a process you go through (with your roles)?
Well with this one the first step really was hanging out with actual Cindy.
You actually met and hung out with her?
Yeah, I got to spend the weekend with her and just dig through her head and got to know her entire life story, the first memories that she had to where she’s at now, so really gathering all the facts and information, hearing it from her own experiences and point of view of it all.
There must have been intense at some moments, talking with her.
Yeah, I mean it’s definitely that kind of thing where you almost stop breathing because it’s tense and you don’t want to (kill) the moment, but she’s very courageous and so brave to like come out and tell us her story.
How do you compare this role to others that you’ve done in the past?
I mean it’s different from anything I’ve done but that’s the way I love it. I keep on doing these different parts – but she’s a girl who has very little self love, you know she, she’s just a survivor I really admire that about her.
Was there anyone that you were really keen to work with? It was actually really an eclectic cast – was there anyone that you enjoyed working with?
They were so incredible, everybody brought a different thing to the table but everyone was very passionate about the project. I genuinely looked forward to waking up and going to work everyday to see what everyone was going to bring to the table.
Did you film on location? Because it looked really cold and you were wearing nice luxurious furs during the film – was there any way that you tried to keep warm during filming?
Yes, we did! Oh man, by moving around. It was tough though, I remember one night we were filming outside and it was negative 10 and then as soon as we finished the scene I was legitimately worried that I’d gotten frost bite on my toes cause I couldn’t feel them…It was winter.
Dead of winter. Not something you’re generally used to?
Yeah, definitely not made for that. My California bones were trembling.
Well going from Spring Breakers to the based-on-true-events story in Frozen Ground, we know you’re trying to be versatile. But is there a particular genre that you really feel most comfortable in?
If I feel comfortable then I don’t want to do it! It’s fun pushing the envelope and going to places where you’re not comfortable cause I think that’s how you grow.
The scene in which you go up to the moose, and you just look so calm and sweet. How did you really feel during that moment?
Exactly the way that I looked… moose are magical, they really are such a big, hulking creature. And I remember it being super cold and the, it’s breath was just fogging up the air around it and it was just really majestic.
Did you have to have to be trained to work with it?
Yeah there were trainers around and they were like, if it comes after you just remain calm and just try to not freak out cause animals feed off of your energy you know.
Coming back to 50 Cent, besides that hilarious jumpsuit and the weave, how were your scenes with him? There were few, but was it fun working with him?
He’s the best. I just love working with him so much, he’s so sweet and such a bright light. He comes to set and his laughter is booming and he’s cracking jokes and he’s just a lot of fun.
Were there any surprising moments for you on set? Was there anything that when you got on set and you weren’t expecting…?
I mean every day there would be something new and exciting. I think one thing that gave me a nice shock that you see on camera is this one scene that I did where I see John’s (Cusack) character for the first time, and he was there for my coverage and he told me just to look for him. And I did, but little did I know he would come behind me. And then I’m screaming, which made for a really amazing reaction that you see in the movie.
Was there anyone who you played off of in the movie, who you worked with a lot?
Yeah, that’s the best part about working with these seasoned actors, that they know what they’re doing and it’s like it’s a roller coaster, and you’re left completely in the dark, like you don’t know what’s coming but you know it’s gonna be a journey – and I live for that.
Well while Spring Breakers had wild moments, Frozen Ground is much darker, especially in this particular scene where Cindy’s going to (pole dance) for the first time. How was that for you doing that scene? Was that something you prepared for in a certain way?
The pole scene? No, I mean me and Scott (Walker) didn’t even talk about it until right before I did it. Cindy takes a hit of crystal meth right before she does it too, so it’s not meant to be comfortable
It is hard to watch, because (the viewer) feels for her.
Yeah, she’s not meant to be very restricted or self conscious and it’s just meant to be really raw and truthful. So I mean my heart was beating out of my chest and I just went for it, because I had to.
See Vanessa in Frozen Ground, out in theatres now.
Words: Elise Marraro (follow Elise on Twitter @PardonMe_Lissie)