'High School Musical' Star Graduates to Gritty Role in 'Gimme Shelter'

You'll spot James Earl Jones and Brendan Fraser easily enough, but may not recognize teenybopper Vanessa Hudgens as a homeless, pregnant street kid in search of hope

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Vanessa Hudgens stars in “‘Gimme Shelter’ shows a shocking new side of teen pregnancy: and it’s definitely not a glamorous portrayal,” writes reviewer Kristine

Hope Kowalski. “Vanessa’s new role is such a powerful representation of a young woman breaking the cycle. Vanessa Hudgens is taking on her most dramatic and powerful role ever, starring in Gimme Shelter, a gritty new film that follows 16-year-old Agnes “Apple” Bailey‘s struggle to find a family and a home of her own as she learns that she is expecting a child herself. The intense story isn’t just a theatrical departure for Vanessa, but it’s a thought-provoking film that young women especially will be shocked by.”

The film “could feature strongly in the upcoming awards season,” says The Hollywood News, noting it was “written and directed by Ronald Krauss and co-stars Brendan Fraser, James Earl Jones, Stephanie Szostak, Ann Dowd and Dascha Polanco.”

“Vanessa Hudgens may not be a mom in real-life but she plays a teenage one in the movies,” reports E! Online, which quoted the young star: “Every single day was definitely a challenge but one I embraced with open arms. It was just so thrilling top be able to push myself every day and see how far I could take it. Probably the most physical and emotionally draining scene was my birthing scene. I’ve never shot a birthing scene and I ended up popping blood vessels in my face.”

Scheduled to open in theaters nationwide on January 24, 2014, Gimme Shelter takes the pro-life message to the big screen – as Hudgens’ character makes a tough choice to keep her baby, no matter the difficulties.

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