We met actress and singer Selena Gomez when she was in Manhattan recently.
What are your ups and downs of being a celebrity?
The ups are getting to meet cool people like you. And I get to travel and meet my fans and do what I love, which is very important to me. And the downs are it gets a little crazy sometimes for me. And sometimes I feel like I can’t be normal and people sometimes, like grown men following me with pictures. It’s very weird. I don’t like that part.
Selena, it’s great that you are the youngest ambassador for UNICEF. Can you tell us about your experiences you have had and what you have learned from your travels?
Being a part of UNICEF is good for me. I feel I’m able to use my voice and my platform and my audience to educate them on issues that are going on around the world. I got to go to Africa. I got to learn how the families live there and how they view life and talk to them and they live in very different lives than we do and I think it’s really fun if we all knew what was going on in the world.
Did you get to keep your wand from “Wizards of Waverly Place”?
Yes. I have it framed in my little box it says, Alex Russo, 2007 through 2011. I do have it in my house and it’s hung up. It’s been my wand for almost 5 years so I’ll always have that with me.
Do you write your own songs?
Yes and no. There’s a couple of songs I wrote on my album and there’s a couple I didn’t write. And what’s really fun about that, you’re able to have really fun messages and producers I’ve worked with that know me, that wrote songs that were about my life for me. It was really nice to see how people view my life and hopefully it’s songs that fans can relate to.
Do you have any pets?
I do. I have five dogs and they’re all rescue dogs. We found two in a parking lot and then we found one our neighbor moved away and left him in the backyard. So that was very sad. And then I shot a movie “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,” as we saw a dog in Puerto Rico, he got hit by a car and we took him to the vet and took him home. So they’re all really nice. They’re very spoiled now.
What do you love about being on the stage?
The connection with my fans. I love being able to sing my songs and see how my fans feel about the song. Like there’s nothing more amazing then seeing a little girl dancing to your song or hearing them sing your song louder than you. It’s a real powerful feeling.
Do you watch yourself on TV?
Here’s what’s interesting. When my show is on TV which it still is and I finished my show I didn’t watch it. Now that my show’s over I miss it a lot. So I watch my show now. Because I’m like I miss everybody. I’m definitely guilty of that.
What is it like to have paparazzi following you around?
That’s not very fun. You kind of want to live your life, you want to walk around and do what you want to do and it doesn’t help when someone’s like there in front of you trying to take a picture. You’re like please leave me alone. So that’s kind of a bummer. I don’t really like it. I try to get away from it.
What is it like being in so many TV shows and movies?
It’s fun. I love my job. I love acting, I love pretending to be someone and dressing up and kind of traveling, meeting new people. I love that. So I have a great time.
What kind of music do you like?
I love every kind of music. I love hip hop, pop, rap, country, classical. I kind of like a lot of music.
How and when did you get started with your career?
I was 7 years old and I did Barney. I did that for two seasons. It was really fun. And then when I was about 11 or 12, Disney Channel found me and did a lot of auditioning and a lot of commercials and after doing a couple of failed shows, I got into “Wizards of Waverly Place.”