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Neil Patrick Harris Defends Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens with neil patrick harris

Neil Patrick Harris has stood by his decision to include Vanessa Hudgens in his latest stage directorial debut “Rent.”

Neil insists that she will be “absolutely amazing” for the role. The “High School Musical” star is scheduled to play 19-year-old Mimi, a troubled HIV-positive stripper.

Harris, who himself starred in the Los Angeles production of “Rent” 1997, says he is surprised by the reaction he’s received from the play’s cult fans, but he’s confident with  Hudgens, 21, is perfect for the part.

He says, “I’m excited about Vanessa Hudgens. Everybody has gotten real prickly about it (since) I announced it. I don’t know (why). I think she’s amazing. Big RENT fanatics were like, ‘Blasphemy! That’s an outrage!’ ”

“I worked with Vanessa in a movie called Beastly that’s coming out soon and I really liked her work ethic. She came in (to audition) and sang well… She’s going to be absolutely amazing.”