February 1, 2017

Vanessa Hudgens Talks ‘Powerless’ NBC’s New Superhero Comedy Sitcom

(AOTN) It is not very often that some lightheartedness gets dropped within the DC Universe, however NBC’s new half-hour comedy sitcom “Powerless” is poised to do just that! Set in a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss (Alan Tudyk) and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.  The series also stars Danny Pudi, Christina Kirk and Ron Funches.

We had a chance to view the pilot episode as well as catch up with “Powerless” star Vanessa Hudgens. This may just be the first time that we have seen a super-hero sitcom and the pilot episode certainly had us cracking a smile several times throughout the episode. Superhero fans will appreciate the tongue-in-cheek references and subtle puns which are smartly used throughout the episode. This is definitely a trend we would like to see continue throughout the series.

It was great to see the superhero/supervillain universe from a different angle being more about the people (or innocent bystanders) that are effected by the shenanigans and destruction caused when supers run array. If the pilot episode is any indication, “Powerless” may border on being hokey, but it was still good fun and we hope that fans will give it a fighting chance.

While out at San Diego Comic Con promoting the series Vanessa Hudgens spoke about her character Emily Locke saying, “She takes pride in what she does and thinks she’s making a difference in the world with one person at a time. She is fed up with the superheroes acting so recklessly in Charm City. She takes a stand for herself and talks back to a superhero. “

Hudgen’s goes to say, “It’s really about her finding her own power as a person”.

When speaking about what excited her about the role, Hudgens tells us, “The fact that it’s DC Comics first comedy is a really cool thing to be a part of and also my favorite TV shows are “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office” which are the workplace comedies that NBC does so well! The fact that it’s going to be under their umbrella makes me so proud.”

Hudgens describes working with Alan Tudyk by saying, “I’m always in such awe when he is working because he’s so smart. That’s the thing with comedians … they are smart people and so quick! He just comes up with these things on the spot and I don’t even understand how your brain goes there in that split second and it comes out, but he’s amazing and such a nice guy. I feel so blessed to be working with such comedic geniuses.”

As she continues to explore the character Hudgens reveals that what she is surprised to learn about herself is “just how hard comedy is”, she says with a laugh. She continues, “It’s not really something I’ve done a lot of. It’s one thing when you are being funny with your friends, but another thing when there’s a massive crew staring at you and waiting for it to all go down so they can go home. I’ve been learning a lot about timing and I treat everyone like I’m a five year old like ‘explain to me why you would do that’ and I’m trying to learn as much as I can.”

When talking with the writers of the series, Hudgens said they asked her what her biggest flaw was and she revealed that she feels she may be too trusting. She says, “I want to trust people so badly and you want to see the best in people!”

Speaking about the tone of “Powerless” in comparison to shows such as “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office” Hudgens comments, “I could only hope they would be similar. It’s the same thing … just your mundane lives working in an office from 9 to 5 and what happens within that, except with our show its set within a world full of superheroes and supervillains. We get to explore that and I feel that it really hasn’t been tapped into at all. What is the reality of living in a world full of superheroes and supervillains?  Like, how about surge pricing for Uber during a battle … you know stuff like that … it’s really funny!”

Hudgens goes on to reveal that acting in “Powerless” is much more of an adult role for her, as she is used to seeing herself as a high school student or a troubled teen runaway who is a drug addict and she says, “It’s nice to play an adult who has her stuff together. It’s the simple things, like walking down a hallway carrying a mug … I was very excited about that!  It’s the little things excite me!”

Hudgens joked saying “I’m still waiting!” when asked if she had a crash course in the massive DC Universe.  She adds, “I would not mind it. I’m sure Comic Con is the right place for someone to give me a lesson.  I was not much of a comic book person growing up. I mean I did go through a phase where I dressed up like Catwoman everyday when I was around six years old.”

We told her that gets her some geek cred to which Hudgens replies, “I still have to do a lot of homework, because if I’m the head of things, I have to know what I’m approving”.  When asked what her hopes are for Emily in the first season, Hudgens tells us, “I hope she learns to stand-up for herself in a way that is a little more politically correct. I think right now she is stumbling around trying to find her power and in doing so, stepping on peoples toes. Which is a really adorable and endearing way to do it! It would be nice if she got a little savvy about it!”

When speaking about her upcoming projects, Hudgens says, “I like to keep things as diverse as possible. As long as I can keep finding things that scare me, I am definitely up for the challenge”.


About the Author

Kristyn Clarke
I am a journalist and interviewer who is completely obsessed with music, TV, film and all other aspects of pop culture! I am currently the Director of Operations for and my work can also be found on,, and! Have my B.S. in Television/Video Production from Wilmington University and have been working in online media for the past ten years and loving every moment of it!


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