(Photo Credit): Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

A special report/interview from friend and colleague Anne M. Raso:

I caught up with High School Musical honey Vanessa Hudgens when she was in New York to promote her new movie, Bandslam, coming out on August 14th in the States. Vanessa jumped on the chance to play the dour and deadpan high school senior Sa5m (the “5” is silent) instead of the usual bubbly HSM character Gabriella she is best-known for.

This movie's soundtrack pays tribute to the hippest rock of yesterday and today (director Todd Graff was in a new wave group The Pedantiks who used to play regularly at the legendary CBGB'S which is featured in the film)....but what we love most about Bandslam is the fact that the nerdy guy (Gaelen Connor) gets the girl (Vanessa) in the end. We talked to Vanessa about her audition for the film (where she sang Amy Winehouse's “Rehab”), future action flicks, meeting David Bowie (who has a cameo in Bandslam) and more!

(Search under "Exclusive On The Teen Beat Vanessa Hudgens Interview" to see Parts One and Two)

OTTB: Were you sad that CBGB’s had been closed by the time you got to film this movie…so you never really got to go there?

V: It was sad—but we got to go there “on set” and it was the exact replica of Cog’s—and even though it was fake, we all felt the history, you know? That is the closest a lot of people my age are going to get to CBGB’s, so it was pretty special.

OTTB: Is Angelina your idol in terms of acting—who are some of the woman actors you look up to?

V: I look up to her, Natalie Wood, Natalie Portman—I think she is so intelligent. Drew Barrymore, I adore…Julia Roberts. There are so many incredible actresses.

OTTB: Who have you learned the most from onscreen? Who does what you aspire towards?

V: I don’t know. It’s a whole bunch of different people. Julia Roberts is one of the people I grew up watching and just really gravitated towards. I think she is one reason I am this happy, bubbly person. I think there are so many good actresses out there and it is just about watching good movies.

OTTB: If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?

V: Maybe fashion design. I love fashion. I love fabrics and creating new styles. It is something that I will eventually venture into.

OTTB: Even though you didn’t get to work with Lisa (Kudrow) much, did you get to talk to her at least? I assume that her show Friends provided some role models for you as an actress and people of your generation.

V: I never really discussed the show with her, honestly. If someone was to ask me about High School Musical, I would be like, “Oh, it was fun!” you know? I do not think she would really enjoy discussing the show. But she is really a great woman-she is sweet and intelligent.

OTTB: I thought maybe she give you pointers.

V: I think we had one good talk. We were never hardly in a scene together, so….

OTTB: Even though you are probably the biggest name in this film, this movie was really done in an ensemble fashion instead of focusing on one person. It doesn’t really deal with anyone’s ego a lot. If anything, it focused on Gaelen. Did you like that—working in that ensemble fashion?

V: It was a lot of fun. I don’t care if I have a big part or small part, as long as I am passionate about it. That is all that matters to me. I liked that my character was so different (from what I have done in the past). I didn’t care—it was just fun It is always fun to do ensemble pieces. It’s a group—a family—that you get to work and play with.

OTTB: What attracted you to this role—was it the music or the different acting style from High School Musical or the character?

V: I think it was the message of this story is so great…hopefully it will inspire people to go out and try new things and the music I though was fantastic. Introducing Bowie to kids was so great...and the role, yeah, it was great. I get bored easily always doing the same thing…and it is hard because when people see you as one character for so long people can only think of you as that (character). So once I heard my character Sa5m was deadpan, I wanted to do this role.

OTTB: Can you talk about Sucker Punch, your next movie, a little bit?

V: I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down with (director) Zack Snyder and talk about it or anything. It is an ensemble piece with a lot of females kicking butt. There is a lot of action and I am just excited. I feel this is a part where I am going to be able to be a sexy woman and kick some serious ass.

OTTB: Did you get to meet David Bowie doing Bandslam?

V: Honestly, I was introduced to David Bowie and he was so nice and so normally. He was just so sweet. Nicer than I expected! As a kid, I was introduced to him in Labyrinth, one of my favorite movies and I will never forget that.

OTTB: Thanks Vanessa!

V: Thank you!