Vanessa Hudgens hopes her role in 'Sucker Punch' will help her put her 'High School Musical' past behind her.

The 22-year-old actress plays Blondie in the new asylum-set fantasy action film and she is confident the gun-toting part will allow people to see her as more than just Gabriella from the Disney trilogy.

Vanessa - who ditches her trademark brunette locks for blonde ones in the film - said: "I auditioned for the role several times. It was a bit of a challenge for a second because people could only see me as the girl that randomly broke into song and dance. But I heard about this movie and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I think as long as I put the work in, people will give me the chance."

The young starlet - who recently split from her 'High School Musical' co-star boyfriend Zac Efron - loved filming 'Sucker Punch' because her character gets to kick so much butt.

She added: "She's a really fun character. She is in this crazy world as well. She starts out as kind of a follower, but it's fun, because I feel like in a lot of my sequences she becomes a total bad-a*s, which is why it's kind of funny because, like the blonde hair, it's a complete difference."

Vanessa stars in the movie with Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Jamie Chung.