If you think it would be hard to play the lead role in a TV show, what do you think it would be like to play two roles? That's the challenge that faces 13-year-old Miley Cyrus, who plays both middle-school student Miley Stewart and her alter ego, pop superstar Hannah Montana, in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. During the day, Miley works hard to get good grades and impress her crush, but little do her schoolmates know, Miley lives a double life as a world-famous pop star. We caught up with the real Miley recently and asked her about the show, about growing up in the spotlight (her dadand costaris the famous country singer, Billy Ray Cyrus), and about a possible future singing career. Here's what she had to say:
Q & A
Describe Miley and Hannah.
Miley: Miley is just like me, but she's also like any other average girl going through love stuff, friend stuff, and family stuff. But she is trying to get through the pressure of being a universal super star. Everyone loves Hannah, but she just wants to have her friends and her family. She tries more to make people love her than to be herself. Miley is a loving person who has a great vibe. Young girls can look up to her.
When did you know that you wanted to act?
Miley: By going to the set with my dad and getting to the see the environment and how much fun, joy, and encouragement there is on the set. It's great seeing everyone working together as a team on the show. You are all together and you're all a family and it's a really great place to be.
Are you ready to be a role model for other kids?
Miley: I have four brothers and sisters, so I am always around other kids. I am in the middle, so to my two younger [siblings] I have always been the one they've looked up to. I have always been so persistent with what I want to do, so they always ask me questions, which is good. Now, there's so much pressure with the whole world depending on me to be a certain person, but my parents have raised me right and have taught me everything I know and how to be a good person, so I think it will be OK.
Have you always loved music? When did you start singing?
Miley: When I was younger, I always used to sing on stage with my dad. [We would sing] "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog," or something really corny but fun. When I got older, I knew I wanted to do it on my own. When this audition came along, I thought it was perfect, so I kept going after this part, because it is really something I wanted to do. I love it!
Have you thought about recording a CD?
Miley: Right now, I am focusing on making Hannah Montana the best possible show. [I will] hopefully do a soundtrack for Hannah Montana and get out there and have the kids get used to me as Miley Cyrus. Then, I can do something on my own, but right now I just want to focus on the show.
Tell us about your process of creating a song.
Miley: It's not anything that I would ever go and force. It's something that comes naturally, so it's not a step-by-step thing where I sit down and start writing and singing a tune in my head. Sometimes, I will just hear it and have something stuck with me all day and I will go write about that. Or, maybe I will take something someone said and turn it into a song.
How long have you been playing the guitar?
Miley: Just a few years. I was at one of my dad's fan club parties and he gave me my first Daisy Rock guitar. Then I started going to lessons for about a year, so now I am pretty good.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Miley: One time I was at elementary school and I was about to go out for the dance team. I was dancing in the hallway and I had on a jean skirt. I slipped, it ripped, and I fell flat on my face. I tried to walk it off and my face was all red. The guidance counselor had to fix my skirt and get me a new outfit. Then they had to call my mom. It was so embarrassing!
Interview by Marie Morreale
(Photo: Courtesy of the Disney Channel)
Check out the Disney Channel Web site to find out when new episodes of Hannah Montana will be on the air.
Name: Miley Cyrus
Birth Date: November 23, 1992
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee
Height: 5' 2"
Hair/Eyes: brown/green & blue
Siblings: two sisters, Brandi and Noah; two brothers, Trace and Braison
TV Show: Laguna Beach
Movie: Steel Magnolias
Actor: Sandra Bullock
Musician: Kelly Clarkson
Food: cookie dough
Color: lime green
School Subject: Math
Book: Don't Die, My Love by Lurlene McDaniel