Vanessa Hudgens is opening up about the heart-breaking death of her father, Greg Hudgens, just one day before she performed live for the nation in Fox’s Grease: Live back in January.
Hudgens spoke out about her father’s death in a candid new interview with People, where she admitted that her dad’s passing and his prior cancer diagnosis came as a huge shock to her.
“My dad passed away the night before my show, and it was shocking. I knew that it was coming, but nothing can prepare you for losing a parent,” Vanessa recently told People of her dad’s January death.
“You always think that you’re going to make it through and you’re going to overcome it, but sometimes that doesn’t happen,” Hudgens added, noting that her boyfriend, Austin Butler’s, mother also died of cancer just one year before her father, which she described as being “just like a punch in the stomach.”
“You think you’re going to make it through, you’re there with them every step of the way, holding their hand, wanting it to be okay… It felt like it was some mean joke,” Hudgens continued to the site of her dad’s stage-four cancer diagnosis.
“Cancer is very aggressive and it doesn’t take pity on anyone or anything,” Vanessa admitted, before revealing just how she coped with the death of her dad just one day before she stunned the nation as Rizzo in Fox’s ground-breaking live production, Grease: Live, on January 31.
Vanessa Hudgens admitted to People that it was actually her Grease: Live cast-mates, including Julianne Hough, Keke Palmer, and Aaron Tveit, that helped to pull her through her heart-breaking family tragedy and described her co-stars as being like a “second family” while her dad was in the final weeks of his life.
“The thing that honestly got me through it was my community that I was surrounded by,” Hudgens said, revealing that her fellow Grease: Live stars “lifted her up” during the weeks of rehearsals that preceded Vanessa’s starring role in the January show.
“Every day I came to work, they all hugged me, checked in on me, made sure I was doing okay,” Hudgens said, telling People that she dedicated her performance to her dad who she knows was smiling down on her stint in the live musical.
“I dedicated my performance to my dad because I knew he was up there in heaven looking down on me as proud as can be,” Vanessa Hudgens admitted.
Vanessa previously spoke out about her dad’s death in a candid interview with People last month, where Hudgens confessed that his death “sucks” and revealed that she still has both good and bad days while dealing with her grief.
Vanessa Hudgens announced the sad death of her father on the morning of her Grease: Live performance in an emotional tweet posted to her official Twitter account on January 31.
“I am so sad to say that last night my daddy, Greg passed away from stage 4 cancer. Thank you to everyone who kept him in your prayers,” Vanessa told her more than 5 million followers on the social media site, just hours before she appeared in the live production. “Tonight, I do the show in his honor,” Hudgens added.
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[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]