This star found her love for acting in the theater, starring in plays since she was 10 years old, before moving into film and amazing viewers everywhere with her acting talent and powerful voice. What is this celebrity’s background?
Vanessa Hudgens is of Asian descent. While her father was of Irish, French, and Native American descent, her mother is from Manila in the Philippines. Hudgens was born in the United States and her mother is a Filipina, which makes her Filipino American.
Read on to find out more about Hudgens’s background, her close relationship with both her mother and her father, as well as how those relationships have affected her performance.
Hudgens’s Family Background
Music and performing are in this actress and singer’s blood. Her mother, Gina Hudgens, held office jobs while her father, Gregory Hudgens, was a firefighter, and all four of her grandparents were musicians.
Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, and grew up along the West Coast. She started performing when she was just 10 years old, starring in musical theater productions in shows like The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, The Music Man, and Cinderella.
When asked about her Filipino heritage in a 2007 interview, the star said, “I am so proud of my heritage. I love being Filipina. There aren’t many Filipina girls in the industry, so being able to stand up and be that girl makes me proud.”
She and her younger sister, Stella, were raised with Filipino culture, thanks to their mom. Hudgens has often talked about how her mom is a big part of her life, especially when it comes to performing. “My mother is so proud. She grew up in Manila.”
The star went on to say that, though she’s never been there, her mother has taught her a lot about her heritage. “She told me several stories about where she used to live. She has 11 brothers and sisters so she had a big family. I love Filipino food. I love halo-halo, pancit, and adobo. I am such a Filipino–I eat rice every day,” she joked.
Her mother speaks Tagalog but hasn’t fully succeeded in passing the skill on to her daughter. When asked if she spoke the language, Hudgens said, “Oh, not really. My mom tried to teach me when I was younger. I’m not that great at language. I really want to learn, though.”
Hudgens and Her Parents
The Hudgens family has always had a close relationship, especially as Hudgens and her sister entered show business and began to be homeschooled at young ages.
She talked about how her mom always supported her career, especially her singing. “My mom was the one who was always there for me… She was always the one who kept me going when it came to singing.”
“When I recorded my album, I said, ‘Mom, thank you. I can finally say thank you for all that stuff that you did for me.’ It finally paid off–everything she taught me, about morals and everything. She’s an inspiration. She always tells me how proud she is of me… It’s really touching.”
She and her father were also very close, but in 2016, the night before Hudgens was performing in Grease: Live, he passed away from cancer. She gave the news on Twitter, before going on to say that she would “do the show in his honor,” as he’d always been proud of her career.
Her performance was amazing, praised by fans and celebrities alike. Many were impressed by her fantastic performance despite the difficult circumstances, which proved her professionalism and talent as an actress.
She, her mother, and her sister remain very close today. Hudgens often posts pictures or videos of her and her mother together on her Instagram, in posts like this one.
Watch part of Vanessa Hudgens’s performance in Grease: Live in the YouTube video below.