One doesn’t exactly expect a sixteen- year-old Disney Channel star to be a cold-eyed realist. But, according to Selena Gomez, that’s exactly what she is. Sitting cross-legged on a pastel couch in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, hotel room that has served as her home for the past seven weeks—she’s been shooting a made-for-TV movie based on her popular series, Wizards of Waverly Place—the actress attempts to elucidate her only semi-bubbly outlook on life. “I actually get told that I’m a very dark person,” she insists. “I like to dream, but I also like to be realistic; sometimes, when something is so nice and sweet, I just crush it. I don’t mean to, but I don’t want to be let down.”
Selena’s talking, in part, about teenage romance. But maybe because her own relationship with ex-boyfriend Nick Jonas is still simply too hot a topic, she uses a costar’s love life to illustrate her point. “Like … David Henrie is a big believer in true love,” she explains. “He really believes in all that fairy tale stuff.”
The irony, of course, is that so much of Selena’s life is kind of magical. It’s not just the wand she wields for her work on Wizards; it’s that the odds of a young Mexican-American girl from Grand Prairie, Texas, ending up with her own hit television show are so vanishingly small. She started working at the age of seven, when she convinced her mother, a sometime community theater actress, to take her to an open call for Barney & Friends and subsequently booked her very first job. (“It involved a lot of smiling,” Selena says of the gig. “Singing, dance routines—nothing that’s going to help me win an Oscar one day.”) And this June, the Disney Channel will premiere Princess Protection Program, a feature film in which she stars with her “best friend in real life” Demi Lovato. (The girls bonded while working opposite the friendly purple dinosaur, were discovered by Disney just a few years apart, and have been inseparable ever since. They even lived in the same loft—with their moms—in downtown Los Angeles when they first moved west.) “I’ll be honest, I do have to pinch myself occasionally,” Selena admits. “I still can’t believe that everything the two of us have wanted since we were seven is finally coming true.”…
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