In her new film, Vanessa Hudgens will be one thing you probably never expected from the freshly-scrubbed "High School Musical" star.

"I was just trying to see what I could do to make myself as ugly as possible!" said the actress of her performance as Apple, a pregnant, homeless teenager in the forthcoming drama "Gimme Shelter." "Just feel as gross and dirty [as possible], and I think it worked."

Indeed, Hudgens hardly looks like herself in the new film, with boyish chopped-off hair, dirty clothes and a complexion far removed from the shiny mug you're used to seeing on magazine covers. But that's not the only thing that's different. Her voice, too, is audibly transformed.

"She didn't have a dad," said the actress. "And when you don't have a dad growing up, there's nowhere that you feel safe. So I think that she kinda just took on this masculine voice to protect herself."

There's no doubt the character is a major departure for the actress, who also garnered attention for her boundary-pushing performance in last year's controversial girls-gone-wild flick "Spring Breakers." So how does she feel about this period of "massive transformation"? Click on the video above for the full interview.

"Gimme Shelter" hits theaters this Friday.

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A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.