Teen darling Selena Gomez is no longer than chubby-cheeked child star of Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” a fact that the 21-year-old flaunted in a tiny bikini in the spring flick “Spring Breakers.” And in her second major motion picture, “Getaway,” Gomez ups the ante even more, playing a gritty, smart-mouthed teen whose technological prowess helps former race-car driver Brent Magna (played by Ethan Hawke) rescue his wife from deadly kidnappers.
“It was good, it was different,” Gomez told NBC Latino’s Nina Terrero about her role as “The Kid” in her first-ever action film, which hits theaters nationwide Aug. 30. But the decision to play a character who just flips the bird as easily as she wields a gun should not be taken as a statement about her new grown-up persona, revealed Gomez.
“Oh no, I’ve already passed that. I did ‘Spring Breakers’ …I think they get it,” shared Gomez. Her fans know that art doesn’t imitate life, said Gomez, adding “they see who I am and they know I’m playing a character to be someone completely different.”
And it turns out her character in “Getaway” couldn’t be further from Gomez in real life. “The Kid” received a custom Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake as a graduation gift; when Gomez was 16, she received a Ford Escape that sat in the driveway for two years. And it wasn’t because Gomez had a limousine to drive her all over Los Angeles – it was because she “was happy having my mom drive me everywhere,” Gomez told reporters at a press junket in New York City. And now, Gomez may own a BMW, but her first passengers were her grandparents – not exactly a mega-watt pop star (ahem, Justin Bieber) or crew of party-ready girlfriends.
But “Getaway” wasn’t just the chance to play a smart-aleck tomboy. It’s Gomez’s first leading role – a fact, that actually made the teen star anxious when she first arrived on set.
“I was so nervous,” Gomez said. “But Ethan made me feel comfortable instantly. I have sheets of notes of things he would say… by the time we got on set, I was very comfortable. And when I was tired, or stressed or something, he always cheered me up.”
And Gomez’ blossoming acting career isn’t the only thing keeping the singer-actress busy these days. Gomez flew overnight from Toronto, Canada to New York City to promote “Getaway,” taking a break from her worldwide tour to do so. Her next step may be Denmark, but after after more than two dozen stops in cities like Amsterdam, London, Milan, Denver and Minneapolis, Gomez is officially taking a break from music.
“I’m a woman, so I change my mind all the time. So one day I just want to do acting and the other I just want to do music – it changes,” admitted the Texas native.
“But this is my last record for a while. I’m going to tour it and then get into acting for a really long period of time.”