The former Disney stars play two of four college girls whose spring vacation descends into violent mayhem in Harmony Korine's provocative new drama, and Hudgens admitted that she had consciously chosen a role that would allow her to mature as an actress.
"I'm growing up, the fans are growing up," she reasoned. "I mean, I'm 24 now, and I'm a young woman, I want to push myself and grow as an actress, and this movie allowed me to do that.
"I'm so proud of what we did, and if people want to call me a badass that's awesome!"
Gomez, on the other hand, denied that she had consciously set out to shake up her innocent image.
"I don't think it was me getting rid of any sort of image," she explained. "I had an incredible four years [being] a part of Disney, it was my family, it was the reason I got to do everything that I loved.
"But at the same time I'm now wanting to do what I really love which is acting, and becoming somebody else, and escaping my reality."
Spring Breakers is released in the UK this Friday (April 5).
Watch a clip below: