From wholesome and Disney to raunchy and druggy. In a time-honored Hollywood tradition, former teen actresses Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens are hitching their stars to edgier, more provocative fare in the hope of jumpstarting the next, more grown-up phases of their careers.
In a recent New York Times article, the two Disney acolytes (Hudgens starred in the studio's High School Musical series and Gomez wrapped up the final season of its hugely popular Wizards of Wavery Place a year ago) open up about their roles in provocateur/filmmaker Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, a movie described in the article as "a druggy, violent, hypersexualized tale of innocence squashed."
"Disney is a machine, and I’m grateful for it, but I feel like being part of that environment made me crave the reaction from other projects even more,” Gomez, 20, told the Times. “Creatively this is where I wanted to go.” In the movie, she plays one of four bikini-clad girls gone wild who rob a bank to fund their spring break vacation.
Hudgens shares the same career-changing goal. “I want people to look at me not as that girl from High School Musical, but as an actress they admire,” the 24-year-old said. “With Spring Breakers I’m looking for a reaction for sure. I want to shock people.” In one scene, her character, Candy, holds a loaded gun while James Franco's drug dealer character pretends to perform fellatio on it.
“It was an amazing opportunity for us,” Hudgens continued. “Selena and I are both young, finding our footing, wanting to grow.”
Gomez concurred: “I’ve never been part of a movie I would watch over and over again, and I’m really proud of it."