Selena Gomez was in Boston to promote her latest film Monte Carlo. The Disney starlet sat down and talked about filming in Europe, her music career, the difference between movies and television, and maybe a bit about her “friend” Justin Bieber.
In Monte Carlo, Selena plays Grace, a Texas girl who graduates from high school and is planning a trip to Paris with her girlfriend Emma (played by Katie Cassidy). When her mother and step-father insist her step-sister Meg (Leighton Meester) goes with them, not one of the three girls are happy. When Grace is mistaken for Cordelia Winthrop Scott, a famous British socialite, the three girls go with it and travel to Monte Carlo on Cordelia’s dime where they have the time of their lives until the real Cordelia shows up. Selena plays both Grace and Cordelia in the film.
Grace and Cordelia are two drastically different personalities and styles. Grace is the fun, young girl, Cordelia the spoiled princess. Selena’s body language and speech (she does a British accent which she learned two weeks before filming with an accent coach) are totally opposite for both characters. Selena on being able to play both roles separately, “That was all within the team. Before the film, we wanted to make sure Cordelia and Grace were so different. You see that I wear barely any make up as Grace and with Cordelia I wear a lot and my hair is always up. And the wardrobe really helped me. I got to wear some fabulous clothing. It was really fun to switch it up. Grace’s cowboy boots were cool and a lot more comfortable.” Guess you can take the girl out of Texas, but never the Texan out of the girl. :)
When asked about the similarities between Grace and herself, she had this to say, “I had graduated a week before we started shooting, but I didn’t get my diploma because I was in Hungary. They shipped it and the day we started shooting the graduation scene, my Mom comes in and it had come in the mail that day.”
The film’s other two stars are a few years older than Selena. She was the first to sign onto the movie then Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. “I was really nervous because they are older and more experienced. I was like, I was a little bummed cause they probably won’t want to hang around a 17 year old. But they were amazing. It’s so tricky to fit three girls together, but they were protective of me when I was upset or worried about a scene. They were so sweet and so supportive.” Nutella seemed to be a bonding experience for the girls. “Leighton had never had Nutella and I had it because I shot a movie in Puerto Rico and they LOVE Nutella. We were in Budapest and they had this huge thing of Nutella and I told her to put it on bread and that was OUR snack. We put bananas on it to make it healthy.”
On the difference between filming movies and television, “Very different, we had four cameras and an audience and we shot only two days.” That’s talking about her Disney Channel hit Wizards of Waverly Place. “Film, this was the first time I did night shoots. Start at 5 PM and I wouldn’t be done till 6 in the morning. And we worked 18 hour days so it was pretty intense.”
The ending of the film is based around a diamond necklace auctioned off for charity. Miss Gomez believes strongly in charity especially when it is for children. “Obviously I have a lot and a life I can’t complain about, so whenever I do have a chance to give back, it’s extremely important for me and also I have a platform for kids so it’s nice to be able to start helping.” Only 18 years old, there are much older celebrities that could take a hint from Selena. On being a role model (which she finds the term interesting), “I have amazing fans that do look up to me, but I also want them to know I’m not perfect. I would never say I’m a role model, but I have amazing fans that do mean the world to me. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I’m growing up, I’m figuring out who I am. If anything I’m growing up with them, but they do make me more aware of the decisions I make. I do have to have some parts just for me though.” When asked if she finds it fair that parents do have those expectations of her to be perfect for their kids, “Yes and no, I do work for the Disney Channel, you have to be aware that is the audience that is watching, the audience that is looking up to you. I worshipped Hilary Duff, I wanted to be her so I understand.”
On a personal level, Selena Gomez has a friendship or more with pop sensation Justin Bieber. She likes to keep her private life very private, but had this to say about knowing someone in the same situation as her being in tabloids and stalked by photographers and the media, “I think at the end of the day it’s nice to be able to relate to someone who gets how crazy all this is just because you lose touch with a lot of friends, lose touch with your personal life. It’s just really hard sometimes so it’s nice to have someone who totally understands and gets that.”
She is currently working on a Spanish speaking album, having 7 songs completed. She is named after the famous Selena singer who was later played by Jennifer Lopez in the film. In July, Selena turns 19, releases another English album and goes on tour. “Whenever I’m on stage I can visually see what my music does. I have a 5 year old in the corner braiding another girl’s hair jumping up and down. An 11 year old wearing a t-shirt with me on it and is singing the lyrics, and an 18 year old jamming out. I see how they all view the song and that makes me feel so good. I love to make people feel things, emotions and they inspire me and that’s the best feeling to rock out on stage.”
She signed on to the film adaptation of 13 Reasons Why, a book about teenage suicide. On her career path, “I want to do a lot of different roles. I want to start switching things to be about my work. Rachel McAdams is my favorite actress. I think she is really beautiful, classy and she never does the same role. Every role she does from Mean Girls to The Notebook to Wedding Crashers to Red Eye to The Family Stone, all of them are very different, completely different characters. 13 Reasons Why is obviously dark subject and that scares some people, but it’s extremely inspiring, its how people can affect someone by just saying something. It’s going to make people think.” Don’t expect too much voice over work from her either. When asked if she enjoyed voice overs, “Not really. I realized my voice is very monotone. I’m used to acting on camera, reacting to other actors. When just doing my voice, I’m really bad at it. I have no one to react with.”
For an 18 year old world wide sensation, Selena Gomez seems very grounded and down to Earth. Her family is very close and that is clearly something important to her. She seems to have a strong head on her shoulders and should easily transition into the next step of her career. She was very sweet and took pictures with everyone around her. Continued success should not be difficult for this child star. Not too shabby for a young girl who started out with Barney the purple dinosaur.
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