De actrice verloor afgelopen zaterdagavond haar vader aan kanker, maar moest zondag op het plankier staan voor de eerste show van de live televisiemusical Grease: Live. En enorme bikkel die ze is, zette ze een mindblowing show neer en stal ieders hart met haar rol als Rizzo. Op Twitter liet ze weten dat ze haar performance zou opdragen aan haar vader:
Marc Platt, executive producer van Grease: Live, vertelt nu aan Variety hoe enorm knap-ie het vond dat Vanessa Hudgens toch op het plankier ging staan: 'It was incredibly brave of her. She's a professional, but she's also a human being and a daughter.'
De producer vertelt verder hoe hij eerst zeker wilde weten of Vanessa de show echt wel wilde doen: 'I looked at her in the eyes and said, 'Can you do this? I think your dad would want you to do this,' and she said she knew that he would. She knew that she had to do it. She knew that she had to put that in a box for a few hours and use it to fuel her performance. We asked her if her family would come. And they came to the show and watched in a trailer live on the Warners lot. I was with her mom. I think it was for all of them a very cathartic experience given the brutality of the circumstances. Her performance speaks for itself. We were all very proud of her and send her love to her family.'
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Ook de tegenspelers van Vanessa, onder wie Carly Rae Jepsen die Frenchy speelde, staken de actrice een hard onder de riem. Carly vertelt aan Vulture: 'We were aware of the concerns with Vanessa's father's health leading up to this point, and we'd been there for her through the thick and thin of it. The timing of this was heartbreaking, none of us could believe it. But we all just cocooned her; we hugged around her and told her, "This one's for you." There's a point between scenes where everyone's running around, but we all quickly got dressed and were holding hands backstage watching her as she did that solo. God, did that girl kill it. We were proud beyond words. I think she is such a professional and such a talent. Her strength, to me, is one of the most inspiring things. I've told her time and time again that she's my hero.'
Als ode zorgde Grease: Live op het laatst nog dat er een in memoriam voor Vanessa's vader werd getoond:
Producer Marc Platt vertelt hierover: 'At the 11th hour I asked her if we could honor her dad and the memory of her dad in that way and she was very touched by it. Fox jumped on and Paramount and we put it in the last moment. We were happy to do so. The performance was indeed dedicated to his memory.'
En wát een live(!) performance was het ook: