‘I am such a fan of hers’: Vanessa Hudgens praises Olivia Rodrigo on ‘High School Musical’ series role

Vanessa Hudgens Olivia Rodrigo
  • Vanessa Hudgens, the 33-year-old actor who rose to fame as Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel’s first “High School Musical” movie 16 years ago, has praised Olivia Rodrigo, who took over the lead female role in the new “High School Musical” series on Disney Plus.
  • “She's incredible, and I am such a fan of hers,” Hudgens said. “I love her music, and it's amazing seeing [High School Musical] continue to live on.”

“Tick, Tick…Boom!” star Vanessa Hudgens praised Olivia Rodrigo for her work in the new “High School Musical” Disney Plus series during an interview at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Monday.

The 33-year-old Filipino American first rose to fame as Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel’s first “High School Musical” movie 16 years ago. Meanwhile, 19-year-old global pop sensation Rodrigo stepped into the role of Nini Salazar-Roberts – who earned the role of “Gabriella” in a meta performance of the original musical – beginning in 2019 as part of the “High School Musical” Disney Plus series. 

Hudgens admitted on the red carpet that she was initially confused upon first seeing the name of the character she originated associated with a different actress before gushing over Rodrigo’s success.

“It is wild,” Hudgens told E!’s “Live From the Red Carpet” before the SAG Awards show. “I literally saw an Instagram post the other day that said Gabriella Montez, and it was not me, and I was like, ‘I’m sorry?’” 

“But she’s incredible, and I am such a fan of hers,” she added. “I love her music, and it’s amazing seeing [High School Musical] continue to live on.” 

Hudgens also took the opportunity to praise her “Tick, Tick…Boom!” director Lin-Manuel Miranda (of “Hamilton” and “Moana” fame) for his commitment to making the film’s production a positive experience.

“It was such an interesting time, because we were trying to figure out how to film a movie during COVID,” she said. “It was really hard, because I didn’t get to have those moments that I really wanted to have like all of us in between takes jamming out together and singing musical theater songs, because we are all such musical theater nerds, but he has a genuine kindness and genuinely sees everyone… He sees everyone the same, and I’m like, ‘You are a kind human being,’ and I love that. It’s the most important.”

Featured Images via DisneyMusicVEVO (left, right)

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