Apr 27, 2010
Miley Cyrus is leaving behind the blonde wig of Hannah Montana for her new movie The Last Song, a tale of first love and parental reconnection co-starring her real-life beau Liam Hemsworth and the always affable Greg Kinnear. An angry Icelandic volcano may have scuppered Miley’s visit to the UK, but we were able to catch up with the teen superstar via the phone to chat about her new film (warning: there’s a spoiler in her answer to the fifth question), career ambitions and why she’ll soon be laughing out loud with Demi Moore.
Were you disappointed you couldn’t make it over to the UK because of the volcano ash?
“A little bit because of the premiere. I was looking forward to seeing the fans’ reaction because the Hannah Montana movie, everyone was so excited to be there and I was so stoked to be there. It’s sad not to be able to be there for that.”
Did you feel there was a bit of pressure on you to make the move away from Hannah?
“Yeah, I didn’t want to do too much. So many people try to go so far different in their first move away from what people know them as. They kind of lose themselves and forget who they are. I didn’t want to do that. I still think The Last Song is very inspirational and it has a good message, it’s also a little bit edgier than I think what people would expect me to do.”
Nicholas Sparks must have been a big attraction.
“Yeah, he wrote it kind of specifically with me in mind. He met with me and said, ‘I think I’ve got a story for you. Let me change a few things around’. It was really cool to be able to work with someone who was as excited to work with me as I was to work with them.”
Did you get a lot of creative control considering this is under the Disney umbrella and you’ve had a successful history with them?
“Actually it wasn’t just a Disney film, it was Touchstone. So Touchstone took it and they made it a little bit less about what people know me as, the music and all that stuff. They still let me incorporate it but it was a step away from, not Disney, because I love that I’m appreciated by them, but it was a nice step away for people to see that’s not all I can do. To see that I could go into any kind of setting and be ready for new challenges.”
Julie Anne Robinson is the second British director you’ve worked with after Peter Chelsom – how does the Brit filmmaking sensibility compare to the American?
“I’ve only really done two films, I did Big Fish with Tim Burton when I was really young so it didn’t really count! I like British directors because they bring a whole new vibe. I loved working with Julie Anne because she was a girl, too. She understood where I would come from more than I think a guy would. The way a guy would feel if he lost his dad and the way a girl would feel is kind of different.”
The chemistry with Liam was always going to be crucial. Did it take a long time to find the right actor for that role?
“I didn’t really get my hand in there and do all the picking and choosing and all that. I just found out the day he got cast. He’s wonderful and obviously he’s good-looking and looked the part and I think it was a pretty picture even before we were together, but it just made it even more personal the fact that we are together now.”
There’s a scene where Liam and yourself sing Maroon 5 together. Is he really that bad a singer?
“It was put on a little bit for the film. What I love about him is that he’s not an actor that also wants to have a record deal and clothing line and all that stuff. I know I do that, but it’s because music is on my show and it’s how I got started. Not everybody has to have an album if they’re going to be an actor. Y’know, let’s just stick to one thing that you’re good at. That’s what I like, he didn’t try to show off. He was like, ‘Dude, I’m not trying to be a singer, I’m trying to be funny in the movie!’”
How would you like to define yourself going forward? Do you want to be an actress or singer?
“I would like to continue acting, that’s what I really love. Music is a huge part of my life but acting is definitely something that I’m really looking forward to getting more involved in. This next film I’m doing is a remake of a French film called LOL with Demi Moore and I’m really looking forward to working with her and the French director.”
Have you met Demi yet?
“Yeah, we’re good friends so I think it’ll be fun to work with someone you like a lot. It makes it easier.”
What’s the film about?
“It’s about this mum who’s going through a mid-life crisis of drugs and all this crazy stuff and she thinks that her daughter will never understand and look up to her anymore because of the choices she makes. She then finds her daughter’s diary and realises that she’s doing worse than her and they go through this crisis together at different points of their life but realise how similar they are. I think it’s a really cool story. We’re shooting it independently so we can do it with exactly the edginess we want. It’ll be a little darker than The Last Song.”
The Last Song opens in UK cinemas on Friday.