During a recent one on one interview we had with superstar Selena Gomez, she revealed a tid bit of information that I had never heard before… Mexican pop icon Paulina Rubio is Selena Gomez’s favorite singer! Who would have thunk it!? For those who don’t know who Ms. Rubio is, she’s an original member of the super successful Mexican pop group called Timbiriche from the mid 80’s, has sold more than 20 million records around the world as a solo artist and has released 10 studio albums. Oh, she’s also the new judge on this Fall’s The X-Factor with Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and Kelly Rowland.
We also had a chance to chat with her about transforming into a part completely opposite of herself in The Getaway starring opposite Ethan Hawke, a status update on her Spanish speaking skills and singing songs from Stars Dance in Spanish, her greatest influences and role models, what’s on her bucket list and the spark that got her into designing clothes. Gomez plays a feisty, tech savvy punk in The Getaway who finds herself in the passenger seat of a car that is racing recklessly throughout Budapest to fill the demands of a “voice” that is holding the driver’s wife hostage.
ShowBizCafe: Selena you play a potty mouth, tech savvy, feisty character in this film. What was your inspiration and how much of you is in this character?
Selena Gomez: It was fun. I am not really like her, which is great because she knew a lot about all that stuff and I don’t know anything about technology or cars or any of that stuff. It was fun for me to be able to transform myself into this character, this tough girl. I would never have had the strength to hold someone at gun point, that stuff is scary … but it was great to do something different.
SBC: Working with big actors like Ethan Hawke and James Franco was there ever a star struck moment for you?
SG: I think it was more of a nervous feeling. Obviously I’ve seen both of them do a lot of incredible roles and they have a lot of credibility to their name, so if anything, I was ready just to learn and be wide-eyed looking at them the entire time. They were both very different to work with which was great; it was like an acting class. I appreciate it and I’ve been lucky because the people that I’ve been working with have been amazing so I’m happy that they’ve been really great to me and sweet.
SBC: You have a very large teen fan base/following and that means you are a big role model for teen girls. Has that privilege ever weighed on you and do you feel a heavy sense of obligation to choose roles, even music for that matter, that reflects the responsibilities of such?
SG: Sure, I think so and it’s not a bad thing, I still allow myself to be a part of things that I love [like] “Spring Breakers” which was definitely rated R, and [“Getaway”] which is definitely a little different and edgier. I keep that [sense of responsibility] when I make decisions, but more than anything I’m an adult, I’m growing up, I have to experience life and if I just continue to be the best I can be just for who I am, I think it will be fine. We are all human, I’m not perfect I make mistakes, but I try to keep those mistakes to myself.
SBC: But is there something that you try to stay away from in fear of not being the right role model?
SG: No because I want to live my life to the fullest. I think I genuinely just have awesome people around me that help me just be who I am. Have great friends and the best parents that are super parents who are always there for me and always want to make sure that I’m rested and have enough. It’s all about my upbringing I think and like I said, I do make mistakes but I just try to keep those to myself and learn the way I’m supposed to learn.
SBC: You had immense success with your film and musical career since your Disney days, what do you attribute this progress to as an entertainer and who have been positive role models for you?
SG: I think the dedication to what I do has helped because I work really hard and I want to be the best at everything that I try to put my mind to. I respect others professionally and outside of what I do I just love to treat people how I want to be treated so I think that’s helped. [I attribute my progress to my mom], she has been the one person who’s really changed her whole life around. She had me when she was 16 and we weren’t in the best area. She basically wanted a better life for us so I think she definitely started from zero to here and I think she is a strong person, a strong woman and I love that. I think as far as any other role models Kate Winslet and Rachel McAdams, those types of actresses I feel that they don’t care about the sparkly part of what we do; they are dedicated to their art which I think is beautiful.
SBC: Do you speak Spanish at home, are you good at it and how important is it for you to know it and speak it as part of your Mexican heritage and culture?
SG: Actually, it’s a shame because I should know it better than I do. I don’t know it very well because my dad’s side of the family, which is the Mexican side, they are in Texas and I’m always traveling and I’m working so it’s very hard for me to stay communicated … but I do wish I could buckle down and I want to actually learn it and be completely fluent, that’s probably on my bucket list.
SBC: But, you do speak it?
SG: A little bit yes. I can understand it, I can understand a whole conversation it would just be hard for me to piece the response back.
SBC: You scheduled a whole bunch of performances and you do have a performance coming up in Madrid. Do you plan on translating any of your songs into Spanish?
SG: I’ve done that with all my records so we probably will do one of my songs in Spanish because we like to do that. We did that for South America one time, so yeah we probably will do something fun, I think so. It’s a great way to communicate and music is a universal language.
SBC: Who would you say is your favorite Latin performer?
SG: Paulina Rubio, she is so beautiful, and I actually have some of her music, I don’t understand what she says but I’m like: “This is great!”
SBC: You are a UNICEF ambassador can you tell us more about your involvement with them?
SG: UNICEF was very organic. I believe in the organization so much because I’ve been able to actually witness it. I met with them when I was 17-years-old and we were supposed to do one event together, but ever since then we’ve kept a relationship them. I’ve done three concerts for them where all the proceeds go to UNICEF, and I’ve gone to Ghana and Chile and I’ve been able to see what they do for these kids, it’s insane, it’s really beautiful. I started with the organization when 24 thousand kids were dying every day and that number is now down to 19 I believe, so it’s getting better and that’s great, I stand by the cause.
SBC: And Kmart what are you doing with them?
SG: I have a clothing line in Kmart and it is really fun because I wanted to make a line that was affordable and comfortable for my fans. When I grew up I wanted to wear Abercrombie & Fitch and I couldn’t afford it because their shirts are like $40 so I never felt cool … so I wanted to make something that no matter who you are – my mom even wears some of my t-shirts, they’re just comfortable cute pieces of clothing and I’ve been working on it and it just keeps getting better and better so it’s been fun.
SBC: Who inspires you as a designer?
SG: Originally it was my show [“Wizards of Waverly Place”] because my character dressed in really cute, fun, layering outfits and I loved that. I keep my line pretty conservative because it can go either way you can dress it up or dress it down. Overall, I just wanted to make it a really clean, beautiful line.
SBC: If there was any film that you could remake and star in, which one would you choose?
SG: I would actually really like to be in “Girl Interrupted” and I would choose Angelina Jolie’s role.