Vanessa Hudgens, funny & spunky star of NBC’s Powerless

Powerless is the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman, the Justice League, etc. But this is not an action-adventure with those super characters. Instead the show is cleverly adjacent to that superhero world.

Powerless is a creative and wacky comedy set at Wayne Security, a cool place that specializes in products to protect ordinary powerless folks caught up in the supervillains and heroes’ battles. The show brings together workplace sitcom antics and superhero mayhem.

NBC’s “Powerless” starring (l-r) Christina Kirk, Danny Pudi, Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk and Ron Funches. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Joining NBC’s stable of sitcoms, Powerless (premiers February 2) stars Vanessa Hudgens (of High School Musical fame). Vanessa has the fresh and funny role of Emily Locke who works as Director of Research and Development for Wayne Security in Charm City, home to superheroes, villains and citizens fed up being collateral damage. Wayne Security is run by Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk of the sci-fi Firefly series, and Rogue One), the dim-wit cousin of billionaire crimefighter Bruce Wayne. Van’s goal is to be promoted to a job at headquarters, Wayne Enterprises in Gotham.

Hudgens plays Emily with natural, unbridled spunk. There’s a lot of comedy to be mined as she tries to motivate her boss and officemates to carry out her big ideas. On her team is Danny Pudi (Community) as Teddy, Christina Kirk (A to Z) as Jackie, and the always adorable Ron Funches (Undateable) as Ron. Her goal is to boost their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.

Vanessa Hudgens

At the at the NBC interview session for Powerless during the Television Critics Association’s 2017 winter press tour, Hudgens explained that she loves the setting for the show. “I love workspace comedies. My all-time favorite shows are The Office and Parks and Recreation. So, when I found out NBC was doing another half hour workspace comedy, I thought that would be an amazing thing to be a part of. Then adding DC Comics as the backdrop for the show, I just knew that it would be something completely original. That’s what’s really neat about performing—doing something that hasn’t really been done before, also something that’s light hearted that will be kind of an escape for people. You can just sit down, forget about the worries of your day, and just laugh, and I think that’s something the world needs a bit of right now.”

Vanessa plays her character as a kind of wide-eyed go-getter and optimistic gal, which adds to the humor with all the weird stuff going on around her. The lovely 28-year-old actress-singer who played Gigi on Broadway said she’s a positive person in real life. “I think as I get older and life beats you down a little bit, you have to work a little harder at having a positive attitude. But I’m a really happy person. I’m very optimistic.  I genuinely look forward to going to work because I know I’m going to have a great time.  It’s just a really amazing environment, everyone is just so smart and talented and funny. I’m having the best time.”

Hudgens’ castmates revealed that she sings a lot on the set between takes—and they love it. Pudi said, “She is awesome to listen to.” She sings a lot of Disney songs, and everyone enjoyed Christmas songs during the holidays.

Is she hoping to do more musicals on TV or Broadway? “Oh, yeah,” Hudgens confirmed. “If the right one came along, I would do it in a heartbeat.  I love musicals. I feel like they’re my heart and soul and it’s the thing that I love doing so, so much.”

What’s her musical dream role? “I love Moulin Rouge! And I think they’re trying to do it on Broadway right now, so I hope someone’s listening. I’d love to be Satine. I love that musical so much, and oh, the costumes. I’m a hopeless romantic, so I dream of that.”

In the meantime, Hudgens is loving being part of the DC comic book world adding her impressive comedic talents and a lot of her super spunk.

Vanessa Hudgens and Alan Tudyk in “Powerless,” part of NBC’s Thursday night lineup.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.