Vanessa Hudgens on How Her Late Father Inspires Her Work: 'Without Him I Would Not Be Here'

Hudgens' father, Greg Hudgens, died in January 2016 after battling stage 4 cancer

Vanessa Hudgens knows her father is still her biggest cheerleader.

The High School Musical star stopped by PEOPLE Now and opened up about her father’s passing and revealed how she keeps his legacy alive to this day.

“I talk to him constantly,” she tells PEOPLE. “I just continued to do what I love. He was such a supporter of allowing me to continue to follow my dreams without him driving me to L.A. for auditions all the time. I would not have been possible.”

Hudgens’ father, Greg Hudgens, died in January 2016 after battling stage 4 cancer.

“Just to continue doing what I love and to keep doing it in his name,” Hudgens went on to add. “Without him I obviously would not be here, in many ways.”

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The 28-year-old actress went on to recall the “look” her father had when he would see her perform.

“He was always the strong/silent type and whenever he would see my work he would get very emotional. I just always have that image of him — the proud look that he got in his face when he saw me doing what I loved,” she continues. “I know he’s up there looking down with that same look on his face.”

As for what advice she’d give to other who are going through a similar situation, Hudgens says, “just continue to live your life.”

“I think that’s what our parents want for us,” she adds. “They want us to have our best life possible and to not drown in the sorrow of it.”

Last year, Hudgens opened up about her dad’s quiet battle and how she was able to get through something so devastating.

“My dad passed away the night before my show, and it was shocking,” she previously told PEOPLE. “I knew that it was coming, but nothing can prepare you for losing a parent.”

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