For Selena Gomez, winning the role of Grace, a Texas teen who gets a dream trip to Paris in “Monte Carlo” was a hat trick, of sorts.
“That’s because Selena is playing three characters,” said Leighton Meester who plays her stepsister, Meg.
“One was Grace. One was Cordelia,” a look-alike nasty English heiress. “And one was Grace being Cordelia.”
“That was really fun, but I was nervous as all get-out,” Gomez said at a press conference at New York’s Regency Hotel.
“I was really nervous because Cordelia is a totally different character, completely evil and she had an accent.”
Gomez, who turns 19 years old July 22, was 17 when she filmed “Monte Carlo” in Budapest, Paris and the tiny principality of the title on the Mediterranean Sea.
For Cordelia’s English accent, Gomez “worked with a dialect coach for two weeks.”
Cordelia’s designer duds were something else.
“My personal clothes are just kind of simple. I like classic things,” said the petite actress/singer. “Grace’s wardrobe was very Texan, very simple but very pretty.
“Cordelia’s was very intense. I mean, she wore really amazing dresses and jackets — and glasses and purses and earrings. It was really fun to create that whole vibe because she wasn’t the kind of heiress that I thought she was going to be. She was very high-fashion.”
While Grace waitressed to save money for her high school graduation trip, Gomez worked on TV sets through her high school years, most notably in the Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” which began in 2007.
“I went to school up until eighth grade. I was not ever the popular kid,” Gomez recalled.
“I kind of sat in the back and had, like, two friends. My cousin was the captain of the cheerleading team, so nobody picked on me because she was the most popular and she was always very protective of me.”
Does she have any advice for high-schoolers today?
“It’s so hard to not give in to what all the trends are and to what people are saying. But ultimately I’d much rather be the oddball out rather than create something of myself that I’m not proud of.”
(“Monte Carlo” opens Friday.)