Lindsay Kimble
March 23, 2017 11:24 AM

 

Vanessa Hudgens and boyfriend Austin Butler may currently be separated by an ocean, but their longtime romance is as strong as ever.

So what’s the star’s secret for making a long-distance relationship work?

“Just communication, communication is key,” Hudgens tells PEOPLE at the King’s Bubble Witch 3 Saga launch pop-up in New York City on Wednesday night.

She advises others in similar situations, “I think that if anything’s bothering you, don’t hold it in. Always bring it up and just talk about it. Uncensor yourself and just be open.”

Diane Bondareff for King

Hudgens, 28, and Butler, 25, were first spotted getting romantic back in 2011 and have been inseparable ever since. Butler is currently filming the second season of MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles in New Zealand, Hudgens says, noting that they’re currently “very long-distance.”

Just earlier this week, the actress shared an adorable photo of the pair sharing a smooch, and captioned the image, “Missing this guy. #mcm #longdistancesucks.”

Hudgens is also keeping busy with her own new hit NBC series Powerless, which is set in the DC Universe, but instead focuses on the everyday people whose lives are interrupted by the superheroes and villains’ antics. The star’s character, Emily, works at Wayne Security as the director of research and development, coming up with fun gadgets meant to protect the public.

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“I feel like, I, as an individual, am growing into my own, and when Powerless was presented to me the character was a lot more meek and timid and a bit of a wallflower,” she says of her role, “and they realized that that’s not necessarily who I am and alternated her to make it a little more suited to my own personality with a bit more fire and confidence.”

Adds Hudgens, “She’s a really great [character], I love playing her.”

And when Hudgens needs to relax from all that time on set, she has a go-to: “My job is so hectic and I sit in airports way too often, so Bubble Witch 3 Saga is the perfect way to decompress and unwind.”

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