Vanessa Hudgens Is A Pro At Awards Show Season
The actor and singer walks through what it’s like to host a red carpet like the Oscars.
In Elite Daily’s series At The Moment, celebs dish on their current projects, pop culture hot takes, and everything taking over their group chats. Below, actor and singer Vanessa Hudgens shares what it’s really like to be a part of Hollywood’s awards season, the last text she got from a High School Musical castmate, and her dream co-star.
Awards season was made for Vanessa Hudgens. Whether she’s strutting down a red carpet or hosting it, the actor and singer shines during Hollywood’s biggest time of the year. While she may look posed and elegant at all times, the Tick, Tick... Boom! star tells Elite Daily that awards show days are “chaotic.”
“They start much earlier than I want them to,” Hudgens says. To prepare for a red carpet like the Oscars, which Hudgens hosted in 2023, her day begins bright and early with her adorable pup, Darla. “I wake up with her,” she says, because “it’s good for the mental health.” Then, she makes herself a smoothie, which is something she can easily take on the go.
Being shoulder to shoulder with everyone that I look up to and admire feels very surreal.
“You are moving and grooving and things are happening so quickly that you don’t have time to sit down and eat,” the 35-year-old actor says. A go-to recipe for Hudgens on a busy day like the Oscars is a smoothie with strawberry, banana, honey, and almond milk — she’s a fan of Silk and has partnered with the brand for their Feel Planty Good campaign. “It’s so easy to just throw a bunch of stuff that you love in there,” she says, which sets her up for a “good, productive, focused day.”
While everything looks glam and easy on TV, the KNOW Beauty founder says there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes at these big events. “It’s a wild, exciting adventure,” with early rehearsals and intimidating interviews, but the High School Musical star thrives whether she’s at the Met Gala or the Academy Awards.
She’s become a sought-after red carpet host, but Hudgens shares below that there’s one show she enjoys the most as MC. She also discusses her most cringe-worthy red carpet moments, her favorite interview, and the first thing she does when she gets home.
Elite Daily: Do you prefer walking red carpets or hosting them?
Vanessa Hudgens: It depends on what the event is. Hosting the Oscars red carpet is wild. Being shoulder to shoulder with everyone that I look up to and admire feels very surreal. But it’s a lot of work to host a show, and it is a lot on my adrenal glands because I’m just so hyped up the entire time. So, even though it terrifies me, the Oscars is kind of the only awards show that I want to do that for.
ED: What’s your favorite red carpet interview moment?
VH: I’ve had so many. Interviewing friends is always really special just because I love them obviously, and I get to lift them up in front of everyone, which feels really good. But also, interviewing Nicole Kidman was a big highlight for me just because I’ve loved her for so long and she was just wonderful and everything that I wished her to be.
ED: What’s one red carpet moment that still makes you kind of cringe?
VH: I look back at some of my outfits from around the High School Musical time. There’s some interesting choices that were made. But I felt great in the time, so I think that’s all that matters.
ED: Those early 2000s styles are coming back.
VH: Exactly. Everything always comes back around.
ED: Who’s the celebrity with the best style?
VH: Salma Hayek. She has just been such a constant pillar of femininity and sensuality in a really classy way. She started there, and she’s still there and looks amazing.
ED: Which awards show is the most fun to attend?
VH: A music awards show. It’s always a lot of fun just because you get to see your favorite musicians perform live.
ED: What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a big event like the Oscars?
VH: Take off all my clothes and get into something real comfortable. Very important.
ED: What’s the best self-care advice you’ve gotten?
VH: Listen to what your intuition and your body is telling you. Don’t shrug it off, don’t quiet that voice. Nourish it, protect it, and pay attention because it’s got some good stuff.
ED: Who is someone you haven’t worked with before but want to?
VH: There are so many incredible women I look up to and am so inspired by — directors like Greta Gerwig and Salma Hayek. I’m just a big Salma fan, as well as Penélope Cruz. Everybody loves Meryl Streep, of course. There are a lot of people.
ED: What is your dream role?
VH: It evolves over time. When I was younger, it was to be like the princess from NeverEnding Story, and then it became Satine from Moulin Rouge. It’s constantly evolving, but that’s what I think is so exciting about being an artist — you are allowed to constantly evolve with the work that you do.
ED: What are some of your New Year’s resolutions for 2024?
VH: Incorporating more plant-based nutrients into my diet. It really does make such a big difference. I feel so much better throughout the day, and it's just a great way to start the day. So, I'm trying to incorporate plant-based nutrition into my breakfast every day.
I’m trying to set realistic goals for myself. I don’t want to say I’m going to do something every single day because I feel like that’s kind of hard. So I’m like, OK, we’re meditating at least twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays, and then we’re journaling twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. Those are the things that I’m trying to set for myself — rituals that are actually attainable.
ED: Speaking of New Year’s, Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical met at New Year’s Eve karaoke. What is your go-to karaoke song?
VH: Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be.” It’s one of the first songs I fell in love with as a little child, and it’s just a great message and really easy to sing. I have had my Celine Dion karaoke moments, and that’s fun, too, but I feel like Des’ree is a bit more approachable.
ED: And on the subject of HSM, what was the last thing you said to a fellow Wildcat?
VH: It was probably to Lucas [Grabeel]. He wished me happy birthday, and I said, “I love you. Thank you.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.