Since the release of her studio albums and the High School Musical franchise, Hudgens has focused on her acting career. She has appeared in the films Bandslam (2009), Beastly (2011), Sucker Punch (2011), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), Spring Breakers (2013), and Machete Kills(2013). She has also played the title role in the Broadway musical Gigi in 2015, and the role of Rizzo in Grease: Live in 2016.
In 2017, Hudgens played Emily Locke on NBC’s comedy series Powerless, which was based on DC Comics characters. It was cancelled after one season. That same year, Hudgens was featured on Shawn Hook’s single “Reminding Me” and also starred in the music video. Hudgens will star in the upcoming romantic comedy film Second Act, directed by Peter Segal. She was also cast in the romantic comedy film Dog Days, alongside Finn Wolfhard and Nina Dobrev, which began filming in late 2017.