If you have a "tweenaged" daughter, you're probably on a first-name basis with the Russo family who wield their magical powers on the Disney Channel's wildly successful primetime series, The Wizards of Waverly Place.
Selena Gomez, a 17-year-old Latina actress, who got her big break singing and dancing alongside Barney the purple dinosaur, has been playing the feisty and lovable character Alex Russo for the past three years.
This Friday, August 28 at 8:00 pm, Gomez and the rest of her wizard clan are taking viewers on a brand-new adventure in their Disney Channel Original film Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie.
The movie follows the Russo family as they embark on a vacation to the Caribbean resort where their Dad Jerry (actor David DeLuise) and their Mom Theresa (actress Maria Canals-Barrera) first met.
Alex is upset that she must accompany her family on the trip, so she ultimately conjures a spell that reverses her parents' fateful first meeting and puts the Russo family's very existence in question. To cancel the spell, Alex and her brother Justin (David Henrie) must set out through the jungle to find the all-powerful Stone of Dreams.
Meanwhile, her other brother Max (Jake T. Austin) scrambles to make his parents fall in love again.
SheKnows sat down with Gomez to chat about Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie and life both on and off the Disney set of the Wizards of Waverly Place.
SheKnows: What was the best part of making this movie?
Selena Gomez: As an actress it was a great experience because I get to take my character to a whole new level. I've grown up with this character for the past three years and in this movie you get to see a much sweeter side to her. There's also a great brother sister dynamic between me and David (Justin Henrie). In the beginning of the movie we do a lot of bickering but we come to realize that at the end of the day as brother and sister we really need each other!
SheKnows: As an only child- in real life have the actors on the set become like a second family to you?
Selena Gomez: Jake and David have become my brothers, in fact I get a heart attack every day I see Jake, because he's getting so big. I've watched him grow up into a wonderful young man and I've watched David go through his first love and so much other this stuff. And of course they've seen me go through so much as well and sure sometimes we even bicker too! But ultimately these guys really are like my brothers.
SheKnows: In addition to releasing your debut album Kiss & Tell this September I just heard your single Magic from the Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie soundtrack. What was it like taking a classic song and introducing it to a whole new generation of fans?
Selena Gomez: I only got to cover one classic but what's great about the soundtrack is that all the artists that we were honored enough to have on our soundtrack cover classic songs. While it was really fun I was really timid because doing covers is always really nerve wracking, because you're just not sure and you tend to feel like how can you improve on the original which is the best. But what's great about our soundtrack -- is that it gives the parents an opportunity to sing along and have fun too. It's a great opportunity for parents to share their music with their kids. Of course I live being able to get kids interested in history. I especially love seeing little kids walking around in Rolling Stone's t-shirts.
Up next...Selena dishes on filming in Puerto Rico and what's next for the star!
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