Check into Hotel Transylvania with Selena Gomez for magic, monsters and mayhem, oh my!
Selena Gomez has plenty to smile about these days. The 20-year-old starlet who shot to fame in 2007 with the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place has been taking a break from her chart-topping music career to make movies. South Florida Parenting caught up with Gomez in an ocean-front suite at posh Miami Beach hotel Soho House Sept. 17. Dressed in a sleeveless pink top, jeans and flaunting freshly manicured fingers painted with black nail polish, Gomez was as adorable in real life as Mavis, the character she plays in Adam Sandler’s new animated film, Hotel Transylvania. Mavis is the overprotected daughter of Dracula, played by Sandler. In the coming-of-age film, Mavis challenges her father, who runs a hotel that caters to a monster clientele, and demands to experience life beyond Hotel Transylvania. Here’s what Gomez had to say about working with Adam Sandler, her obsession with Freddy Krueger and some advice for overprotective parents.
Were you able to relate any of your own life to the role of Mavis?
“Sure. I turned 18, and experiencing that was a little hard on my parents. You’re growing up and turning 18. In this movie, it’s 118! You just want to have a little independence. I can completely relate to that. Every kid goes through that, and parents don’t want to see their little girl grow up. I think it’s a good father/daughter movie, as well.”
Was it difficult playing an animated character?
“It was a little weird at first building a character for this film. I thought, ‘OK great, I can work in sweatpants, and I won’t have to worry about lights or cameras.’ But I technically was always on camera. It was hard at first getting used to the timing of other characters and having to put your voice here or there was a little weird. I think the animation part for me was really hard. I never really had to focus on the way my voice sounds. With this, it has to be very specific, which I think kind of helped me, too, because that helps me get the rhythm of comedy a little better because you’ve got some of the best comedians in this movie. It was great.”
How did working with Adam Sandler go?
“I recorded all my parts alone, but Adam was overlooking the sessions because he’s producing it. He was there most of the time I was recording. He was so sweet and really supportive. I was glad I didn’t see him at first when I was there because I would’ve been so nervous. But after a couple of times, I got used to being around him. He’s really humble.”
Have you been acting or singing more these days?
“I was so lucky this year. I really was. I took a break from music, and I got to do four movies this year. It was amazing. They’re all very different, and most of them are very dark, but it was great being a part of it.”
What’s the transition like going from teen to more adult roles?
“It’s terrifying. I was at a film festival, and I couldn’t believe I was there after working on my series and having a movie competing at the festival. They told us while we were there, ‘Just so you know, sometimes they may boo if they don’t like it.’ Some of it has been a little weird for me.”
Was it a challenge growing up in the spotlight?
“I think it’s unfair when your 15, 16 or 17 to be critical of a child. It was kind of like a giant high school for me growing up because every single person had an opinion, and sometimes it wasn’t nice. I did care a lot about that because when you are a teen, you care so much about what other people think. It was hard at first for me to get used to it. Now that I’m older and experienced life a little more, I really could care less now. I love what I do. I have the best fans and the best time doing what I do.”
What advice do you have for teens dealing with overprotective parents such as Adam Sandler’s character in Hotel Transylvania?
“You’ve got to meet in the middle. It’s hard. Whenever you’re experiencing that whole ‘I want to go and be on my own feeling’ you tend to want to say ‘whatever’ and brush it off. But I find if you talk it out with them and find middle ground, it’s so much smoother. Me and my mom talked it out, and she’d ask me to text her at a certain point and let her know when I got home. It’s all about communicating. My character, Mavis, is more about angst, and then she stops and listens to her dad. She trusts him, and then he ends up betraying her. It’s a lesson for parents, kids and teens.”
Why did you want to do this film?
“Adam had mentioned my name, and you don’t say no to Adam Sandler. The movie was amazing. I loved the script and thought it was really cute. It was such a great cast. It was kind of a no-brainer.”