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Star Spotlight: Selena Gomez

By Marie Morreale | null null , null
Selena Gomez stars in <i>Wizards of Waverly Place</i> on the Disney Channel.(Photo courtesy the Disney Channel)
Selena Gomez stars in Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel.(Photo courtesy the Disney Channel)

Last year, the Disney Channel premiered Wizards of Waverly Place and in an instant, young star Selena Gomez zoomed to fame. Selena won the role of the magical Alex through a worldwide casting search. But she was an old hand at casting calls: She spent her 7th birthday at an open casting call for Barney & Friends—and she got that too!

In this exclusive chat with Scholastic News, Selena reveals what it's like to be a typical teen girl who just happens to act and sing for a living! Read on . . .

Scholastic News: When did you know that acting was what you wanted to do?
Selena Gomez: Probably when I was 7 years old. I watched my mom do a lot of theater when I was younger and I saw how much passion she had for it. I loved to watch her rehearse. I always wanted to get involved in that. And one day I did. And now I'm here and I'm very happy.

SN: You started out on Barney & Friends. Was it fun?
Selena: It was fun. I learned a lot from that. It was the first thing I auditioned for. I had no experience and no agent and I was standing in line with 1,400 other kids. I auditioned for it and I went in and I shot two seasons. It was a good experience and it got me started and it was a lot of fun.

SN: Any secrets that you would like to share about Barney?
Selena: [laughs] That's a good one. He's very nice in person.

SN: Is memorizing a script hard? If so, do you have any tricks to help you?
Selena: People think it's really hard, but I tell them that it's like memorizing a song. You just look over it so much that you start to get it in your mind. I don't really have any techniques. It's just like reading a book or learning a song.

SN: Are you home-schooled when you're not working?
Selena: I'm home-schooled. It's kind of hard to go back to tutoring on the set and then back to school and back again. But we have a great teacher, and I just do what every other kid does. I have school and homework.

SN: What's your favorite subject?
Selena: Probably science. I [really like] physical science—the layers of the Earth and everything.

SN: Why does that appeal to you?
Selena: I have no idea. I just think it's fascinating to learn about our Earth. I'm not really good in math, so . . . .But I just think it's fun to learn stuff like that.

SN: Are you learning about the problems in the environment?
Selena: Yes, I am. I'm learning about global warming and stuff like that. I've actually cried about this stuff because it's awful that it's happening. But I encourage everyone to help with that. My mom and I want to help and we donate and anything else we can do. I think it's really important to do whatever we can.

SN: What do you like to do when you hang out?
Selena: Just normal stuff. Go to the movies or sit on the couch and hang out and make each other laugh.

SN: What kind of hobbies do you have?
Selena: I like to draw and paint. I've been doing it ever since I could remember. I have no idea what I draw. I just draw anything that comes to mind. Objects, usually.

SN: Does your family celebrate any special Hispanic holidays or traditions?
Selena: My family does have Quincenaras, and we go to the communion church. We do everything that's Catholic, but we don't really have anything traditional except go to the park and have barbeques on Sundays after church.

SN: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Selena: No, I'm an only child.

SN: Do you like that?
Selena: I do. I was raised with my mom and my grandmother and she babysat, so I've been around kids my entire life and I have all my friends with me. I think it's nice sometimes to be alone. Sometimes I do get lonely, but other than that, I like it.

SN: Do you remember a book that your mom or your grandmother read to you as a child?
Selena: Yes, I do. The Wizard of Oz.

SN: Why did that appeal to you?
Selena: I have no idea. My mom read that book to me and then I read it over and over. I loved Dorothy and I loved the characters and I have the movie. I have no idea why, but I just loved that book.

SN: Do you have one possession that you always take with you when you travel?
Selena: The promise ring that my dad gave to me when I was 12 and my grandmother's blanket.



Sundays 8:30 p.m. (7:30 CT)
Wizards of Waverly Place—Disney Channel

September 2008
Another Cinderella Story DVD is released

October 28, 2008
Tinker Bell DVD is released
Selena's "Fly To Your Heart" is on soundtrack

January 2009
TV movie Princess Protection Program airs on Disney Channel


Name: Selena Marie Gomez
Birthday: July 22, 1992
Birthplace: Grandprairie, TX
Best friend: Demi Lovato
Celeb crush: Shia LaBeouf


Fave book: Alice In Wonderland
Fave shoes: Converse
Fave bands: Jonas Brothers, Paramore
Fave TV show: Gossip Girl
Fave snack: Pizza
Fave sport: Basketball

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