Lost in Reviews was invited to a round table interview with Selena Gomez in Dallas, Texas. Selena Gomez is a Dallas area native, and she was in town promoting her new movie, Monte Carlo, which opens July 1, 2011 nationwide. We were able to bring a young fan with us, and I brought eight year old Madison Zdrojewski with me. She was able to ask Selena a question towards the end of the interview. Selena was gracious enough to sign a poster for Madison after the interview.
In the interview, Selena talks about her music, her new tour, Nicole Kidman, her charity work, what she had to learn for her role as Grace, and how she got along with Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. And yes folks, Selena does eat since she makes pit stops at her favorite Texas food chains when she comes into town.
Reporter: Welcome back to Dallas!
Selena: Thank you. It feels so good to be home. I never know when to start, so y’all go ahead.
Reporter: At the beginning of the movie, they had slides that are of various places around Texas . . .the Texan theatre downtown and the fire station . . .
Selena: We definitely wanted to do it, like, more of the pretty greenery, nice spaces, spacious parts of Texas. We actually didn’t shoot here, so I wasn’t here when they shot those inserts. They were telling me the places . . . It was sweet. It was very authentic. They did their research very well, and obviously me being from Texas, it is nice for me.
Reporter: When you get home (to Texas) what do you do?
Selena: As soon as I come home, I go to my Nana’s house. I kind of just relax and I really just exhale and just be with my family. I like to go to Cracker Barrel. I like to go to Chick-fil-a and WhataBurger, and all in the same day, believe it or not. I miss it so much because in California, we don’t have any of those places, so it is good to eat and just be with my family.
Sarah: What kind of interaction did you have with Nicole Kidman and Forest Whitaker because they are both producers on this film?
Selena: I haven’t met Forest, but I have met Nicole. When I first got the project, she had a dinner and I got to meet her and I was completely starstruck and in awe. She is extremely beautiful and so helpful and very nice. It was really nice to hear her words and how she is excited for me to make the transition to film and have that support was really nice for me to go into the movie with that because obviously she’s been around for a long time in the industry and someone I look up to. It was really nice. It gave me a little boost.
Reporter: Did you and the two other girls in the movie have a lot of rehearsal time before you guys started to kind of bond as best friends?
Selena: No, actually because we shot in Europe. It was a little pricey, so we kind of did not have a lot of rehearsal time. I was there two weeks earlier to do polo horse riding lessons and the accent lessons, so I was by myself for a little bit. And when the girls came in, we started to film, . . . so we kind of had to pretend like I was uncomfortable with Leighton in the beginning and Katie was my best friend. They made it so easy for me, and by the end of the film, we were so close and I definitely think they are like sister-figures for me because they are older and they took me under their wing so it was a good experience. Especially with girls, it can be tricky, you know always. We are a little competitive but it was really nice. I got really lucky with both of them.
Reporter: What are you hoping that girls when they are watching it get from the movie?
Selena: I mean the message for me is that I feel like at some point or another everybody wishes they had a different life especially when you are younger, you always say, I still say it, it would be easier if I was this, It would be easier if I was that or could do this or that and it is nice to show Grace, my character, live someone else’s life and realizes her own was a million times better than someone who has a lot of money or has that life that so many people think is better, so I love that message a lot. It’s just kind of being able to embrace where you are from and who you are and it was fun for me to kind of display that. It’s a really good message for a lot of ages.
Reporter: What is your personal definition of success?
Selena: To do any things that I am proud of. I don’t think I have ever put my name on a product, or film, or record that I was ashamed of. I think that my message is that the things that I represent are very positive and that’s a success.
Reporter: How do you make things keep getting better and better?
Selena: A lot of hard work. I’m very nervous. Everything that I do, I get nervous because it is a big step especially since my series has ended. I don’t have that safety blanket to go back to . . . so now that it’s done, it is kind of crucial . . .the choices that I make. It’s a lot of work but it is fun.
Reporter: Do you have any other movies in the works?
Selena: Yes, this is the boring answer. I can’t announce anything, but, yes, I am currently working on a few projects that hopefully will start soon after the tour.
Reporter: Any more television?
Selena: At the moment, no. I worked on the show for about four and a half years and I would kind of love to do films and different things that challenge me. But I am definitely open to the opportunity if I get older.
Reporter: This is kind of an ambitious role with some of the things you were mentioning, you play the dual character and you have the horseback riding, the accent . . . a lot of things that you haven’t done before. There were a lot of challenges here for you that you never really faced as an actress, right?
Selena : Yes, I loved it. It was terrifying but great. It was good. I liked that. I think that it allows me to become a better actress and live experiences like traveling to Hungary, Paris, and Monte Carlo. To be 18 years old and doing that is awesome so I do get to have experiences and use them for the film. I think if anything it just makes me better and it was fun.
Reporter: What about the polo? How hard was that to do?
Selena: Here’s the funny thing about that–in the script, I was actually supposed to be good and I worked two weeks straight every morning at like 7 AM. I’d get up and work on polo and I would smell like horse at the end of the day, every day and I showed no progress, so they actually had to rewrite it that I was not good. It worked out perfectly because it made more sense anyhow. I don’t know too many polo riders in Texas. They said I picked up Western riding pretty good so that was good.
Reporter: Had you ridden before?
Selena: No. My horse was so sweet, too. I was just terrified that I would make it mad some way, somehow. They (the trainers) are violent. They’re like “Just give it a little kick.” And I’m like “I don’t want to give it a little kick.” It was fun, though.
Reporter: Can you talk about your summer tour?
Selena: Yes, I am very excited. It is my first headlining tour, so it’s the first time I am going to have a little creative input behind it, and a little bit more of a show concept so it’ll be really interesting. I’m going to have dancers and my band. It will be cool to have that whole summer to devote to music because I have never been able to do that. I have kind of been balancing a lot of things at the same time. I’m stoked. It’s going to be really fun. I got the set list and we are already rehearsing. I just want it to be like a big party.
Reporter: You are actually going to be at the biggest outdoor place in town . . .
Selena: I know. I am really excited. I can’t wait to be here and for my family to see it because it is kind of easy for me to be on stage in a little dress and dance and substance to it.
Reporter: Your new album comes out in a couple of weeks. Any favorite songs on that? How is it different from your past albums?
Selena: I’m growing and getting older so it is nice to become more confident and have more experience than I did earlier. So it’s a little older in the best way and it is more positive. It’s uplifting. My favorite song would probably be “Love You Like a Love Song,” which will be my second single. It’s very fun and sweet like the feeling you get when you’re in love. It’s just a really upbeat song. And then “We Own the Night” which was actually written by (writer’s name?) who I love. She is actually from the UK and she’s really talented.
Reporter: Is that the song they use on the CW for promos?
Selena: I wouldn’t know . . .
Reporter: Do you write any of your music?
Selena: I do. With being able to kind of . . . each album I have more time with which is nice. The first album . . . I didn’t know what to do with my music. I had a lot of guidance and help. The second album, I got to write two songs which was kind of . . . This album, I have a lot more involvement.
Young fan: Do you like animals?
Selena: I do. I love animals. I have five dogs. They are five rescue dogs. They are wild, but very fun and I love them.
Madison: What was it like to make a movie in Europe?
Selena: It was crazy which was really fun. I got to go with my mom which was nice and I got to fly out some of my friends to visit me. So it was really cool to kind of try different foods, learn some of the languages there. It was a really fun learning experience for me.
Reporter: ( Asks about her charity work in Texas)
Selena: This trip I am not going to be able to make the Children’s Hospital. I’ve been there a few times. It’s so amazing. I go there because I used to go there when I was younger. I was always a very dramatic kid, so I always thought something was wrong with me, so I spent a lot of time there. But I think they do great work there. I like to go and see (the children), and talk to them.
by Sarah Ksiazek, Photo credit: Sandy Marak