Vanessa Hudgens Admits It Was ‘Very Confusing’ Playing Three Characters In Princess Switch: Switched Again

Ready for some more doppelgänger hijinks? Following 2018’s Netflix holiday hit, Vanessa Hudgens is back as both Lady Margaret of Monternero and baker-turned-princess Stacy De Novo for Princess Switch: Switched Again. But this time, she’ll also play a third character: the blonde-haired Fiona. Switched Again will bring all the lookalikes together for a chaotic crowning ceremony in Belgravia.

Vanessa Hudgens isn’t the first actor to play alongside her own performance, but she is one of the few to do so two times over and add a third character into the mix upon her return. CinemaBlend had the chance to speak to the High School Musical icon to pick her brain about the challenges we don’t see behind the scenes in Switched Again. In her words:

I try to just map out what I’m going to do so I try to remember what to react to. It’s all very confusing to be honest. It’s all very time consuming, because normally you would do a scene, do a wide [shot], do everyone’s coverage and move on, but with this you do a wide, you keep the wide there so they can put everyone together and then I just have to go through every character with the changes in between and then my stand ins would do the scenes as well and have to learn all the different parts. It’s just very, very confusing especially after a long day, my brain would definitely be fried.

That sounds like a lot of work! As Vanessa Hudgens explained, in any given scene that more than one of her characters are in, she has to do double (sometimes triple) acting to get the classic movie magic trick in. She told us that she did not play off her own performance on set, but rather tried to remember what she just did and rely on her stand-ins to provide the chemistry she has to create with herself when you see Hudgens with Hudgens on Netflix. One unique part of doing a movie like Princess Switch is she got to work with all of the cast and have more than one love interest. As the actress said:

It’s so funny because when you’re an actress in a rom com, you’re guaranteed to be kissing the male lead actor, and I’m like ‘oh, ok I have to kiss both of them,’ but it adds to the movie magic of the holidays.

Vanessa Hudgens' holiday cheer-filled comedy follows a number of attempts at this technical trick recently, including Seth Rogen playing a modern app developer and pickle-brined great-great grandfather for An American Pickle. In that production, Rogen actually decided to do the whole movie as one of the characters and then go through it again as a bearded man for the sake of not wearing a weird fake beard. For Switched Again, the new character Fiona has the most distinctly different look and personality. Well, you’ll see!

Princess Switch: Switched Again is now available to stream on Netflix, and it will soon be joined by much more holiday offerings from the streaming service, including The Christmas Chronicles 2 starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, which comes out on November 25. Check out more from our interview with Vanessa Hudgens and CinemaBlend’s review of the new release.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.