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Selena Gomez talks a bit about "Monte Carlo" and making music

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Sunday, July 3, 2011

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No longer one of the Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” Selena Gomez — now 18 and the frequently photographed beau of Bieber (Justin, that is) — is working on her “adult” entertainment career.

Earlier this week she released “When the Sun Goes Down,” Gomez’s third album with her band, the Scene, and last week she hit movie theaters again in the starring role of the romantic comedy “Monte Carlo,” in which she plays both earnest new high school graduate Grace Bennett and bratty British socialite Cordelia Winthrop Scott.

During a recent visit to town, Gomez chatted a bit about the stretch and challenges the film presented.

- What appealed to you about “Monte Carlo”?

Gomez: Well, I’m kind of in a transition period. I’ve finished my series on the Disney Channel, and I’m, I guess, becoming an adult, sort of. So I wanted to make a film that was the right direction for me but at the same time still appealed to my audience. I felt like (“Monte Carlo”) was really fun and was a perfect step in that direction. I got to fall in love and travel and met (co-stars) Katie (Cassidy) and Leighton (Meester), who are both older than me. It was just a really good experience for me, personally.

- What was playing two characters like?

Gomez: That was a challenge for me, too. I had Grace, who was a little bit more subdued and more about wanting to make everybody happy, and then Cordelia, who was completely evil. Tom Bezucha, who directed (and co-wrote) the film was definitely hands-on with both characters; we wanted to make sure you could totally tell the difference between them but at the same time make them both look alike. Mostly when I was changing from Grace to Cordelia I’d have to sit and go over my accent a lot with my coach because I wanted to make sure I got it.

- What’s the message you feel is in the film?

Gomez: I feel like there’s multiple messages. There’s the stepsister angle I think a lot of people can relate to. ... Then there’s the romance aspect, to fall in love and making sure that you remain who you are and be able to show that person who you are. Ultimately, it’s the whole thing of being happy with who you are and not necessarily thinking that somebody else’s life is better for you.

- Speaking of falling in love, you’re in a very out-there relationship. Is that hard?

Gomez: Um ... yes, but I guess I just really try to focus on things that make me happy, and I kind of try my best to live as normal as possible. (Bieber) has been a very good support through all of it.

- You have a new album as well as the film out this week. Did the workload overlap?

Gomez: Yes, while I was in Hungary (filming) I recorded on the weekends and if there were days I wasn’t shooting. I enjoy recording, so for me it was exciting. I’d either go back to a hotel room and watch reruns with my friends or go into a studio and sing. Most of the time it was just me and my (producer), but the band came out for a little bit and we shot the music video for my single (“Who Says,” also the end-title song of “Monte Carlo”) there as well.

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