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Vanessa Hudgens wants to make a movie about her Filipina mother’s story

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Dec 10, 2021 8:01 pm

The Tick, Tick…Boom! star and High School Musical alum is putting it out there, perhaps letting the universe know, that she is on a mission—to tell the inspiring story of her Filipino mother, Gina, an immigrant who left the Philippines for the United States to make a life for herself.

In a recent cover story interview with Glamour UK, Vanessa talked about a brewing project in mind that involves her mother, Gina Guangco-Hudgens, who she fondly calls “Mama G.”

“My mom is from the Philippines, and growing up there weren’t really that many women who looked like me and my mom and my family on screen,” said the 33-year-old The Princess Switch actress.

In these turbulent times, Vanessa believes it is important that stories from different cultures are heard in the US as the American culture is not a monolith. 

“It is so important to share all the different stories because America is a massive melting pot, just like the world,” she said. “There are so many different stories that need to be told so that we are exposed to them and can have more empathy towards different people.”

Vanessa, whose role in the High School Musical series and movies as Gabriella Montez propelled her to mainstream success, told the magazine she hopes her mother will someday write a book that she can turn into a film one day. 

Vanessa has dabbled in producing recently, including the Netflix rom-com flick The Knight Before Christmas, The Princess Switch: Switched Again, and The Princess Switch 3. 

Gina was 25 years old when she came to the US, without knowing anyone, Vanessa said. 

“I can’t even imagine how difficult and challenging that is and what challenges she faced as a woman. And my father was a firefighter, so he was gone for a week and home for a week.” she said. 

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A post shared by Gina Hudgens (@mamagh)

Gina met her husband Greg Hudgens, a firefighter who is of Irish and Scottish descent, and they married after a few months. Greg died of cancer in 2016.

As Vanessa’s father was away on duty, it was just her, her younger sister Stella and her mom, who was at the time still navigating her way in an unfamiliar country. 

“I feel like that’s such a relatable story to so many women all over the world. The more that we can share, the more we can lift each other up,” Vanessa said. 

Vanessa considers her parents as an important part of her life and success, saying in previous interviews that they supported her since the beginning. She previously recalled her mom driving her from one audition to the next when she was younger. 

At the onset of the pandemic and when a series of lockdowns were implemented in parts of the US, Vanessa cooped up with her mom, even featuring her in a few Instagram posts and a viral video where she did Gina’s makeup. In the video, she described her mother as “literally sunshine to me.”

They were recently together at the red-carpet premiere of Vanessa’s movie Tick, Tick… Boom!

The actress said in a recent guesting at The View that on the night of the premiere, Gina, who was wearing an immaculate white dress, “somehow ended up sitting on eyeshadow.” She said she helped her mother fix the problem with a stain remover pen.

The adorable mother-daughter was captured in a photo, which Vanessa shared with her fans together with another photo of them doing their signature pouty selfie.