It's Vanessa Hudgens like you've never seen her before.

The 24-year-old actress known as the sweet Gabriella in High School Musical is tackling a completely different role in her new movie Gimme Shelter.

In the first trailer just released, Hudgens plays a trouble teenager named Apple who's in desperate need of a stable home and plenty of love. 

Unfortunately, her life includes an abusive mother and a childhood spent in several different foster homes.

"Every single day was definitely a challenge but one I embraced with open arms," Hudgens exclusively told E! News about the difficult role. "It was just so thrilling to be able to push myself every day and see how far I could take it."

Vanessa Hudgens, Gimme Shelter

Roadside Attractions

And boy did she push through some pretty dramatic scenes.

In addition to cutting off her long hair and experiencing a frightening car crash, Hudgens' character also gave birth to her first child. 

"I've never shot a birthing scene and I ended up popping blood vessels in my face," she confessed to E! News. "Probably the most physical and emotionally draining scene was my birthing scene." 

And despite the emotional and physical toll of the role (she also had to gain 15 pounds), Hudgens calls the whole experience "surreal."

"My character Apple was a very challenging role for me to play," she says at the beginning of the trailer. "But extremely rewarding as well."

See Hudgens' hard work pay off on the big screen when Gimme Shelter hits theatres Jan. 24. 

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