Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez and too-cute child actress Joey King reveal the naughtiest tricks they’ve ever played, what it means to be a sister and friend, and secrets behind their new Ramona & Beezus movie.
You’ve said you’re best friends and “sisters” with co-star Joey King. Can you talk about what qualities you look for in a friend?
Selena Gomez (SG): Honesty, someone I can be myself with. I found that in Joey. I’m an only child, so Joey’s my sister now!
What advice would you give young girls looking for a friend?
Joey King (JK): You’ve got to go up to someone and say what you like to do, and maybe you have something in common with them. Maybe that’s the best way to find a friend.
SG: I think that’s what we need more in our life – the fearlessness of that. We lose that when we get older.
How do you handle personal family life time with the demands of your work?
SG: I have an amazing family and an amazing support system, and I think that’s what keeps me going. I love everything that I do and I feel very fortunate to be doing all of it.
In the movie, both of your characters do some naughty things to the house. In real life, what’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
JK: I T-P my sisters’ rooms and I freeze their bras. Well, I don’t really freeze them; I don’t put water on them. That’s just mean. But on April Fool’s – don’t tell them – I put them in the freezer and spread them apart. Then they open the freezer and they say, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to kill you!” – you know, the normal sister reaction.
SG: My grandparents built this brand new brick fireplace. It was beautiful and I wrote in permanent marker all over it. I thought it looked like a chalkboard, so I wrote on it with a white Sharpie.
How did the Ramona & Beezus books influence your childhood?
JK: Ramona is a very outgoing character, and the fact that I got to play her is an honor to me because she’s been around for so many years – over fifty years actually. I learned so much from everybody on the set: Selena, she’s so humble, and I want to be like her; Bridget, you’re so humble and I want to be like you; John, you’re so funny and kiddish (sic) and I want to be like you; and Liz, you’re very classy as well. I learned something from everyone!
SG: I was very much like Ramona growing up. The world was my stage, and I was very dramatic and I lived in my own little world. I think it’s very comforting for any kid to pick this book up because you can relate to it no matter how old you are.
What’s your favorite scene in the film?
SG: The scene where my character, Beezus, asks Ramona to come sleep with her because she doesn’t want to be alone. It’s a really nice moment between two sisters because they actually connect. All the pestering and picking on each other stops, and you see a really nice side of them. It’s really sweet.
Ramona & Beezus isn’t a fantasy film about super-rich kids. What make the movie so relatable?
SG: As a teen, it’s relatable in the sense that kids who watch it [will] know it’s okay to be uncomfortable in your skin and try to figure out who you are. And kids can relate to having a sister that might bother you or to having crushes, and I think that’s really comforting.
Selena, what’s it like being a role model?
SG: A blessing. I love kids to death. The best feeling in the entire world is to make a kid laugh. I’m honored to be a part of a show that centers around family, and I’m honored to be a part of this film that brings families together. It’s a big responsibility. I’m human, I make mistakes, but I’ll try to be the best I can be for those kids.
Why do you think Ramona gets into so much trouble?
JK: She gets into so much trouble because her wild imagination brings her places and makes her do things that she’s not supposed to do. But I like that she just lives life and she’s very loose.
Do you have any advice for parents who might have kids like Ramona?
JK: Just let them be and have fun with what they’re doing. They might get into trouble, but they’re supposed to do that. You can discipline them, but you’ve got to let them live life and be happy.
Joey, you have two older sisters. What’s the best part about having siblings?
JK: That you can turn to someone and talk to them. Your siblings are always there for you and support you, I like that.
Do you ever get into sibling rivalries?
JK: If someone didn’t show me something on the computer, I’d get mad and say, “No, I want to see, I want to see!” and we’d just start grabbing at things. But [never] big fights. We get along really well and when we fight, it’s like, “Oh sorry, that was not something to fight about. That was stupid.”
Do you have any advice for kids whose older siblings either get angry or annoyed at them sometimes?
JK: If you did something wrong, you have to take the blame for it and say, “I’m sorry.” But if they’re just annoyed at you for no reason, ignore it. Because if you say anything, two wrongs don’t make a right!
Would you rather have a Ramona or a Beezus for a daughter?
JK: I’d have a mixture of both of them. I’m going to adopt a child – hopefully I don’t change my mind when I’m older. I want them to have the crazy personality like Ramona who gets into some funny situations, but I also want my child to be like Beezus and be responsible, do their chores, and get good grades.
Why do you want to adopt?
JK: Because I’m doing something good for someone. I’m saving someone from just being stuck somewhere for a long time.
If you weren’t an actress, what would you be?
JK: Wow, that’s a hard question! My mom says it’s really stressful because her brother did it, but I would want to be a wedding photographer. It’s so beautiful!
Selena, has it been difficult for you to transition into more adult roles?
SG: No, I mean I’m not looking for anything off the rail right now. I’m currently still working on my show, and every project that I’m doing isn’t anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing or my fans wouldn’t be comfortable seeing.
What was it like to work with Bridget Moynahan?
SG: She was a godsend to me. She’s so classy and she’s been through so much. I think she’s just a great example for me. I really look up to her.
What’s the best advice you ever received from your parents?
SG: You are who you surround yourself with. It made me second-guess a lot.