Wizards of Waverly Place
“I was never the girl who thought I need to make sure I look like all the other girls. I think you look best when you stand out.” Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez, an American actress and singer of Mexican and Italian descent, is most popular for playing middle child Alex Russo on the well-liked Disney Channel Original Series “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007-present), for which she received Imagen, ALMA, and Young Artist award nominations. Discovered by Disney in a nation-wide casting call in 2004, the Texan teen, whose role model and favorite actress is Rachel McAdams, was subsequently seen in popular Disney series like “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” and “Hannah Montana.” She also acted in two not-picked-up pilots for the network before landing the starring role in “Wizards of Waverly Place.” She will soon star with fellow actress and friend Demi Lovato in the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Princess Protection Program” (2009). Making her feature acting debut in the Robert Rodriquez-directed “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” (2003), Gomez is also known as the star of the teen comedy “Another Cinderella Story” (2008), where she starred opposite Andrew Seeley.
As a singer, Gomez performed on soundtracks for the films “Brain Zapped” and “Another Cinderella Story” and the series “Wizards of Waverly Place.” She also performed a song for the soundtrack of Disney's animated film “Tinker Bell” (2008). Her debut album will be released in summer of 2009 by Hollywood Records.
“I'm going to be in a band - no Selena Gomez stuff. I'm not going to be a solo artist. I think that I don't want my name attached to it. I basically want to make music that is fun and that parents and kids can jump around to and have a good time to.”
Gomez owns a production company named July Moon Productions, which she founded in late October 2008. The newly established company will collaborate with XYZ Films to produce two projects featuring Gomez in the starring role.
Gomez is best friends with fellow actress Demi Lovato, whom she met at “Barney & Friends” auditions. Together they made YouTube Webcam videos. One video, which was released in July 2008, was parodied by Miley Cyrus and shown as part of the “Miley & Mandy” show.
Selena is a big fan of Johnny Depp. She enjoys music by Fall Out Boy, the Jones Brothers and Christina Aguilera. Gomez, whose favorite sport is basketball, cites she is a fan of NBA's San Antonio Spurs. In addition to acting and singing, she enjoys skateboarding, cheerleading, surfing and dancing.
Gomez wears a purity ring on her left ring finger that says “True Love Waits.” Commenting about it, she said, “I've had my ring since I was 12 years old. But for me, it's not something I want to go around saying, ‘Hey, look what I have.’ It's a promise I made to myself and God. I think some people misinterpret that as a trend and think everyone's getting on.”
Childhood and Family:
An only child, Selena Marie Gomez was born on July 22, 1992, in New York City to Mandy Cornett, who is of half Mexican/Italian lineage, and Ricardo Gomez, who is from Mexico. Her family moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, when she was a little girl. When Selena was five years old, her parents divorced. Her mother married Brian Teefey almost a decade later. It was her mother, a former stage actress, who inspired Selena to pursue a career in entertainment.
Nicknamed Sel or Selly, Selena attended Danny Jones Middle School in Texas. Her favorite subject is science.
Selena is named after singer Selena Quintanilla Perez. Her first name means “Moon” in Greek.
Another Cinderella Story
“It's not as glamorous as it looks. I don't do it for the glamour. I really do it because I love acting. We deal with things at work and we get in trouble every now and then when we have to focus.” Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez made her television debut in the PBS popular children's series “Barney & Friends” in the 2002 episode “Puppy Love.” She moved to the big screen the following year with a bit part in the sequel “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” for director Robert Rodriquez. She then appeared as Julie Walker in the 2005 made-for-television movie “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire,” opposite Chuck Norris, Sheree J. Wilson and Judson Mills, but it was not until director Eliud George Garcia cast her in the 2006 short “Brain Zapped” that Gomez got her first leading role. She acted in the movie alongside Haley Hill and Lewis Parry. Along with acting, Gomez also recorded the title song “Brain Zapped,” which became her entrance into the music industry.
Spotted by Disney in a nationwide casting call in Dallas, Texas, in 2004, Gomez began her fruitful partnership with the giant company in 2006 when she was cast as Gwen in an episode of Disney Channel Original Series' “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” called “A Midsummer's Nightmare.” She next played the recurring role of rival Mikayla in the Disney popular series “Hannah Montana,” starring Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment, where she appeared in the episodes “I Want You to Want Me... to Go to Florida,” “That's What Friends Are For,” (both 2007) and “(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl” (2008).
Gomez worked in two failed pilots for Disney (“Arwin!” and “What's Stevie Thinking?”) before received her star-making role of Alex Russo in the Disney Channel Original Series “Wizards Of Waverly Place.” Debuting in October 2007, the show was a success and is in its second season as of January 2009. Brilliantly playing a New York teen with magical powers, Gomez received a 2008 Young Artist nomination for Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series, a 2008 Imagen nomination for Best Actress – Television, a 2008 ALMA nomination for Outstanding Female Performance in a Comedy Television Series, and a 2009 Image nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program - Series or Special.
In 2008, Gomez voiced the character of Helga on the Twentieth Century Fox animation movie “Horton Hears a Who,” starring Jim Carrey in the voice role of Horton, and then starred as high school dancer Mary in “Another Cinderella Story,” which was a second installment of the 2004 “A Cinderella Story.” Also that year, she appeared in the special miniseries “Disney Channel Games” and the DC reality series “Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream” and was a host on “Studio DC: Almost Live,” a special variety show that featured The Muppets and Disney Channel.
Recently, Gomez completed filming “Princess Protection Program,” which is a Disney Channel Original Movie slated to be released in June 2009. Under the direction of Allison Liddi, she portrays Princess Mason, opposite her best friend, Demi Lovato as Rosalinda.
On the music front, Gomez has continued to record since making her debut in 2006. She recorded the theme song “Everything Is Not What It Seems” for her series “Wizards of Waverly Place” in 2007 and sang the classic song “Cruella de Vil” for the “101 Dalmatians: Platinum DVD” in 2008. The latter song was also included in the 2008 “DisneyMania 6” album. Gomez also recorded songs for “Another Cinderella Story” titled “Tell Me Something I Don't Know,” “Bang a Drum” and “New Classic,” as well as a song titled “Fly to Your Heart” for DisneyToon Studios' “Tinker Bell” (2008). She then teamed up with co-star David Henrie for the song “Make It Happen,” which was first shown on January 1, 2009, on the “Wizards of Waverly Place” episode of the same name.
“Music is another of my passions. I’m working on my first album for Hollywood Records. It’ll be fun dance music, out next summer, and I’ll be doing a national tour.” Selena Gomez