And by doing so, the 24-year-old got candid about her relationship with social media and even being bullied as a kid!
In case you didn’t know, the show is based off Jay Asher‘s book about a teen who tries figure out why his classmate committed suicide.
In an interview with The New York Times also featuring her mom Mandy Teefey and playwright Brian Yorkey, Selena shared how “it felt like” the show “was mirroring what was going on in my life”.
So when it came to speaking with Jay about optioning the rights to the book at the age of 15, she revealed:
“I think he understood that I knew what it meant to be bullied. I went to the biggest high school in the world, which is the Disney Channel. And my mom had a lot of history dealing with [bullying]. I heard her stories growing up. She’s very open about it.”
Despite her Wizards of Waverly Place days being way behind her now, the songstress and actress admitted is now coping with a different form of bullying:
“When I was on Wizards of Waverly Place, we didn’t have social media really. Twitter had just begun. Every Friday, I’d get to do a live taping in front of all these little kids and make their life. That’s when I was the happiest. Then, as I got older, I watched it go from zero to a hundred. So I’m actually glad it took us this long to create this project because it’s so relevant now.”
But it’s the comments that really get to her:
“You can’t avoid it sometimes. I delete the app from my phone at least once a week. [brittle laugh] You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, ├óΓé¼╦£You’re ugly.’ It’s like they want to cut to your soul. Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ even if it’s just physical.”
Read on for even more HIGHlights from the starlet’s interview (below)!
On being executive producer of the series alongside her mom: “I could do any tomboy/teen princess movie in the world if I wanted to. I could do those for years. But I want to be a part of projects that have value, that really matter. And it’s really hard to do that. Sometimes I feel defeated. I’ll audition for a part that I feel very passionate about, meet with people, tell them I’m willing to go places. I think they think I won’t go there. To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon for me. I think I look really young and image-wise, it’s difficult for people to grasp. But early on, my mom taught me that sometimes you just have to create those projects for yourself. That’s what I want this to be: a launching pad.”
On not taking a role on the show: “The older I got ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ once I left my series, once I started to go for roles that weren’t that age range ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ it organically began to become a project that I knew I would be behind the scenes with. I actually like that I’m not in it. To be honest, this book has such a huge following. I wanted it to be credible. If I’m a part of it, that’s going to cause a whole other conversation.
Selena’s mom on when she knew her daughter would be taking up this profession: “She was 6 or 7. I thought I wanted to be an actor. She went to one of my rehearsals with me and sat through the whole thing, not moving. On the way home, she was quiet, and then she goes, “You know, Mom, that might be funnier if you did it this way.” And I thought, Oh, no. She’s going to be an actor. I’m surprised she actually had friends. She used to make the kids in the neighborhood do casting calls and try to direct them.”
There you have it!
What do U think??
[Image via Media Punch.]