Thursday, September 9, 2010

Miley Cyrus Interview About 'The Last Song' & Growing Up

Favourite teen sensation Miley Cyrus has walked away from her previous roles to embrace a new coming of age.

For her first adult role in The Last Song, she shares a steamy on-screen romance with co-star and ex boyfriend Liam Hemsworth.

“That kiss definitely triggered something,” says Miley, who had to stand on a box for some of her scenes with 6ft 4in Aussie Liam, 20.

“Love makes you feel beautiful and it makes you feel good about yourself.

Miley – the daughter of singer Billy Ray Cyrus - plays a teen who reluctantly leaves home in New York to spend the summer with her estranged father in a small Southern beach town, where she unexpectedly finds romance. Author Nicholas Sparks wrote the screenplay especially for her.

As she says: “It felt really cool. In fact, I was blown away. I said to Nicholas: ‘I like animals. I like music. I like hot Australians.’ I owe Nicholas, big time.”

The movie centres on a harrowing death within a family. There, Miley drew on personal experience.

“It was hard because certain scenes made me think about the time that I lost my best friend. When she passed away a while ago, I remember moments when I couldn’t breathe and I felt sick.

“I couldn’t even switch on the TV because I couldn’t think of anything else. I was on tour at the time and she was really young, so it was a real shock to me. It was way too early for her to go.

“You’re so hurt that you push everything away – and that’s exactly what my character does in the movie. That scene made me think about things I have been through in my life and I was able to put those sad feelings into something good. Everyone goes through a period where they lose a friend or a family member and I didn’t want to sugar coat the emotions. I wanted to keep it as real as possible.”

The film, she says, also made her appreciate her own family more. “I learned to never let a day go by without telling my family that I love them. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to my parents. My heart hurts just thinking about it.”

Miley, now 17, caught the eye of Disney Channel producers four years ago when they cast her as the star of TV series Hannah Montana, playing a charming schoolgirl who just happened to lead a double life as a pop queen.

The show became an instant hit and - by playing a teen idol - Miley won teen idol status herself. Her album of the soundtrack sold nearly five million copies worldwide and she signed a four-album deal with Disney’s Hollywood Records.

But The Last Song marks a fresh start for Miley: the final series of Hannah Montana is on television now.

She says: “As a new chapter of movies is beginning in my life, another chapter of television is ending. It’s weird to be leaving my security blanket behind, but it’s also exciting to get involved with different movies. I’m very happy to be where I am today.” Miley is keen to embrace her emerging image as a grown-up actress.

“It feels good. For the last five years, with Hannah Montana, everyone would tell me what to do. Now, it’s up to me. I get to think about what is right in my career and I can choose to go in my own direction.

“I have to be careful that I don’t lose who I am. I still want my fans to know me, but I also want to extend my audience. I want to continue to do what I love, but I also want to give myself new challenges. I don’t want to play the same person over and over again.”

But fame – and maturity - have come at a price.

“I’m always thinking, ‘Are you going to tell my secrets? It’s tough. When I was younger, I would trust everyone and I’d tell anyone my life story in a heartbeat. I find it very hard to trust people now. I definitely protect myself a little more.

“When people do sweet things for me, I start to think things like, ‘OK, what do you want? Are you doing this because you love me or because you need something?’ I’m a little hard. But that’s just the way my life is.”