(NEW YORK) — The world knows Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez as squeaky clean tween idols, and superstars who play sweethearts.
The actresses soared to fame on Disney Channel productions, but now the two appear to be shedding their tween queen images. They’ve taken on decidedly more adult roles in Spring Breakers, an R-rated new movie that focuses on four female college students’ pursuit of spring break adventure.
In the movie’s trailer, the characters meet a rapper, played by barely recognizable James Franco. The young women are shown brandishing guns — while wearing bikinis — and engaging in other risky behavior.
“They have to do different things to attract different audiences,” Merle Ginsberg, senior writer for The Hollywood Reporter, told ABC News. “This is going to get these girls a lot of attention.”
Hudgens is famous for appearing in the High School Musical film franchise alongside actor Zac Efron. Gomez has made headlines not just for her acting, but for her on-again, off-again relationship with former boyfriend Justin Bieber.
Spring Breakers is directed by Harmony Korine, a director whose movies are considered quite controversial. Korine wrote the script for Kids, a 1995 film that examined the sex and drug lives of New York City teenagers. While it won critical acclaim, its NC-17 rating meant much of the viewing public did not get to see it in theaters.
He later wrote and directed Gummo, a film about life in a tornado-ravaged Midwestern town. The initial sequence — depicting the drowning of a cat — was so disturbing that some audience members reportedly walked out during the film’s premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in 1997.
“I think that it’s going to be very interesting and a little controversial,” Gomez has said of the film.
Added co-star Hudgens: “We just really pushed it to the limit and achieved some amazing things.”
Spring Breakers opens March 29.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations
Lisa Respers France, CNN