Let's get a simple fact we can all agree on out of the way: Vanessa Hudgens is easy on the eyeballs.
In "Beastly,"however, the actress, with her hair brushed into her face, plays timid and looks like the girl in a movie before the big makeover scene. It may seem like a bit of a stretch for a young Hollywood starlet used to turning heads on the red carpet. But according to Hudgens, she's never actively sought out the "beautiful" roles.
"I don't think I really have played the pretty, I guess, bitchy girl," the 21-year old said. "In 'High School Musical,' I was supposed to be the brainiac; in 'Bandslam,' I'm supposed to be goth-girl-ish."
The bubbly beauty admitted, though, that she's never played a character quite like the one in "Beastly": Lindy is an introverted student who looks for what's genuinely appealing about Kyle, a cursed classmate in desperate need of a makeover, both inside and out. The flick, a modern-day spin on the classic "Beauty and the Beast," stars fast-rising heartthrob Alex Pettyfer as the monstrous Kyle.
"In this, I'm kind of just the girl that doesn't fit in," Hudgens explained. "She's marching to the beat of her own drum."
In past incarnations of the fairy tale — think Belle in the 1991 animated Disney movie or Linda Hamilton in the '80s TV series — the object of the Beast's affections has been outwardly beautiful from the get-go. But in "Beastly," which is slated for a July 30 release, Vanessa is presented as a diamond in the rough.
"She's very artsy," Hudgens said of her character, whose shyness is rooted in some personal baggage. "She used to take care of herself, [but] because of the situation that she's in ... her dad is actually a drug addict, so she has to take care of him and go through all of that crap."
In many of the film's early scenes, Vanessa sports unkempt hair and frumpy clothes — a look she embraced, because it informed the character. "I made a point to not look put-together," she revealed. "On the first day of shooting, I would not stop fidgeting with my hair. I was trying to make it look messier and messier and messier and messier!
"Finally, the producers were like, 'You need to calm down on messing your hair up, because it's getting a little too crazy,' " she laughed.
Make way for Tony Stark! Look out for Carrie Bradshaw! Here come Edward and Bella! The 2010 summer movie season has begun, and with it the return of familiar faces and the emergence of new ones. All week long during Summer Movie Preview Week, MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated films of the coming months. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at "Eclipse," "Iron Man 2," "Predators," "The Other Guys," "Beastly," "Robin Hood" and more.
Check out everything we've got on "Beastly."
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