Selena Gomez and the Wizards Cast Talk Final Episode
By: Lynn Barker
Throughout its 106 episodes over four years, the TV series “Wizards of Waverly Place” empowered kids and teens world-wide. “Hey, we can make magic!” The Disney Channel series also made us laugh, feel romantic and, at times, cry.
Kidzworld went to the “Channel” offices in Burbank, California recently to get some final thoughts from the cast since, next month, the wizard of the family will be revealed!
For those not that up on all things “Wizards”, the three Russo kids, Justin (David Henrie), Max (Jake T. Austin) and Alex (Selena Gomez) have been vying to see who will keep their powers and who will lose them. Only one sibling per family can end the final test “powered-up”.
We learned that Selena is excited about New Year’s Eve plans and, oh yeah, she’d die to work with hot Ryan Gosling! Here is what the young “Wizards” cast, now moving on to new career milestones, had to say:
First, here’s Jennifer Stone (Alex’s bff Harper Finkle) and cute Brit Gregg Sulkin (Alex’s werewolf boyfriend Mason).
- Jennifer: (sitting down at a big conference table with us) I feel like I’m in trouble and sent to the principal’s office.
Kidzworld: Not hardly! Jennifer, can you believe we’re taking about the finale, the end of the show?
- Jennifer: No I can’t. It seems like it was just a day ago that I was 14 and just starting the show. Yeah, it’s overwhelming and crazy. I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet.
- Gregg: I haven’t been on the show for four years like the other guys but still, it was my first ever job in America and everyone became my family; the cast and crew. So, it’s kind of bitter-sweet. These guys came in when they were 14. I was 17 I think so it was kind of time to move on and do different stuff but, overall, we had an amazing time. We worked with really cool people.
Kidzworld: Gregg, do you miss the werewolf make-up?
- Gregg: No! It was three or four hours a day with the glue and the alcohol…uh on my face [laughs].
- Jennifer: We all did a werewolf episode and we had such respect for you after that. Hair was everywhere and the teeth wouldn’t stay in.
Kidzworld: Which was your favorite episode of all of them?
- Gregg: I think the first episode where my character was introduced or our first hour special. I never knew when I first came on the show that I was becoming a werewolf.
- Jennifer: You just thought you were a cute guy [laughter].
- Gregg: I was only meant to do one episode then it turned into all the ones I did. I never thought I’d be a British werewolf working in Hollywood!
- Jennifer: My favorite episode was a tie between the silent movie episode because I’m a big cinema fan and that’s where it all started or the ‘50’s episode just because the dance sequence was so much fun and I felt like Rizzo [from “Grease”].
Kidzworld: Any crazy fan stories from over the years?
- Jennifer: It’s always really weird when you are in a public restroom stall and this little hand comes under with a paper and pen wanting an autograph. It’s happened several times. That one I haven’t quite gotten over.
- Gregg: Most of it is pretty sweet just sometimes, it’s a bit weird. You get screaming. That’s okay when it’s far away but when it’s right in your ear…..
- Jennifer: What really freaks me out is the crying. “Are you okay?”.
Kidzworld: Neither one of you has a power [other than Gregg playing a werewolf]. What power would you want to have?
- Gregg: Maybe flying. That would save me a lot of airfares back to London.
- Jennifer: I would do mind-reading but be able to turn it off and on. Otherwise I’d be insecure…I’d be psychotic and hearing voices.
Kidzworld: “Wizards” was one of the very first popular series to showcase young people with supernatural powers. How do you feel about starting that trend?
- Jennifer: It was great to let younger people explore that supernatural aspect. Portraying a character that wasn’t realistic, not a “normal” person is a unique challenge and it was nice that they presented young people with that prospect.
- Gregg: Being wizards, you don’t know if it’s going to stick. To have a successful show on that was great. Kids who watch the show are smart. So it was great to help kids explore that in their minds and have fun with it.
Kidzworld: What’s on your iPod?
- Jennifer: I jog a lot so to help me get through I go between hardcore rap and “Screamo” on my i-pod. It’s intense.
- Gregg: I don’t have an i-pod but on Pandora.com, I love the Jay-Z and Kanye West album. Also older music like The Beatles and Billy Joel.
Kidzworld: What’s next?
- Gregg: I’m working on an ABC Family show called “Melissa and Joey” which has been fun. It was weird growing up watching “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and watching Joey Lawrence as well so working with those two guys is great.
- I have two movies in post-production. One was White Frog which weirdly had three werewolves in it; Booboo Stewart from Twilight, Tyler Posey from “Teen Wolf” and me but we don’t play werewolves in the movie.
- Jennifer: Thank God. Typecasting!
- We’re briefly cornering Jake T. Austin (Max) whom we just interviewed about his part in the movie New Year’s Eve.
- Jake: Hey! Great to see you again!
Kidzworld: Likewise. Now that the show is over after the big wizard reveal, what was your favorite episode?
- Jake: My favorite episode to film was “The Crazy 10 Minute Sale”. It was like the second episode we ever filmed. That’s where all the characters’ characteristics came out and, for the first time, you got a sense of the direction we would go in. That was cool.
Kidzworld: What was the mood taping the last episode?
- Jake: It was withdrawal for everybody. It’s like leaving something that you get so accustomed to. I’m still in high school but I know a lot of them compared it to graduating high school and probably more bitter than that because we had so much fun on set but I think we’ll be able to live with the spirit of “Wizards” hoping it’s on TV for another couple of years. I think getting to watch episodes will just be a great reminder of all the fun we had.
Kidzworld: Did you keep your wand?
- Jake: Selena, David and I have them and I think we’ll carry them with us, hopefully, for the rest of our lives. I have mine in a case in my room right now.
- Next to visit us are Selena Gomez (Alex) and David Henrie (Justin) who, by the time you read this, will be home (Texas and Arizona for the holidays. Selena told us her special plans for New Year’s Eve.
Kidzworld: Selena, you were named one of E Entertainment’s most stylish stars of 2011. What do you think you do fashion-wise that stands out?
- Selena: I don’t know. I always used to say I dress like a 30-year-old. I dress older. I just like being comfortable. I like fashion but I don’t know the trends. I don’t know a lot of designers but I love what you can do with fashion, being on stage or red carpet. A lot of it is just really fun for me.
Kidzworld: Are you spending New Years with Justin?
- Selena: I’m actually spending it with my band. We’re going to be performing in Times Square on TV so I’m excited. I’m flying out my grandparents and my cousin. We’re just going to go out and spend it there.
Kidzworld: What do you love to do when not working?
- Selena: I love to do nothing! I just sit on my couch and eat and I bake.. just that.
Kidzworld: Do you both have a favorite episode now that the show is over?
- Selena: I didn’t have a favorite episode but I had a favorite season. Season three because we had our groove and our thing. It was perfect and it wasn’t the end just yet. I really enjoyed it.
- David: Yeah, that was a great season. The last episode was something really memorable. The first episode I wrote was really memorable for me. The table read was great; hearing my name called in the script and having people laugh at jokes I wrote was a whole other type of satisfaction. I’ve written a short film that I’m directing in February. I’m very passionate about the creative side.
Kidzworld: How about you, Selena, do you have ambitions to write or direct?
- Selena: Oh nooo! I think I’ll stay in front of the camera. He does all that. He’s the whole package.
Kidzworld: Were you surprised about the last episode… that we haven’t seen yet?
- Selena: Yes I was. I didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t tell us who was gonna win (the final wizard battle). They didn’t tell us anything until the last minute; until the day we shot it. We didn’t know so I was very surprised and happy at the way it ended and I think our fans will be too.
Kidzworld: Do you have a favorite fan experience over the years?
- Selena: Just going overseas was really run for me. I toured the states and Canada and went to South America and that has been really cool. The fans are so passionate and fun and loud. I love that.
- David: People running up to you and speaking a different language. That’s an odd experience but it’s flattering.
Kidzworld: When you are out of the states, do you get to go out and do things without fans or paparazzi swamping you?
- Selena: I can be a tourist. I don’t think it’s changed for me. Yeah, you get recognized occasionally but I’m not scared of that. I want to do things, go out and see the places that I’m [visiting] so, obviously, I do that.
- David: It’s different that people think. All they see is what is in magazines and it’s plastered all over but it’s different in real life and not as bad as people think.
- Selena: Well, Jennifer Aniston and those people probably get it a lot.
Kidzworld: What is a question you are glad you won’t ever be asked again now that the show is ending?
- Both: What’s your favorite spell? [we laugh]
- Selena: We never know what to say on that or they ask your most embarrassing moment.
- David: I won’t miss those.
Kidzworld: Any New Year resolutions?
- Selena: No cuz I can’t keep them. I’m awful at that. I make them every year and I forget the first week.
- David: I set goals for me to accomplish each year. This year, I accomplished my goals and next year I have goals but it’s not New Year’s resolutions.
Kidzworld: Who are you dying to work with?
- David: For a director I’d like to work with Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s one of my favorite filmmakers ever and he’s from Studio City here in the valley (L.A. area). As for actors, I’d like to work with Ryan Gosling.
- Selena: [excited] Yes! Me too….for other reasons. If you work with him please let me come visit you!
Kidzworld: Selena, any dream accomplishments?
- Selena: I’m in a transition position so right now I just want to make great movies, great music. I want to have fun and focus on that and more on myself.
Kidzworld: What is a song on your i-pod that might surprise people?
- Selena: I have a lot of rap. And I like Country and older stuff like ‘50’s stuff.
- David: The Power Rangers theme song [laughter]. I’m not kidding! Like if I’m driving through the canyon, I bump it loud, especially if there aren’t a lot of cars and I’m wanting to drive fast. The Power Rangers theme song lights a fire under me.
- Selena: [laughing] Oh my goodness.
Kidzworld: Where are you going to keep your wands from the show?
- David: In my mom’s office.
- Selena: Me too.
Kidzworld: Do you have any lucky charm or thing that you like to take on red carpets and things like that?
- David: I have a lucky pair of underwear that I didn’t even know was lucky. I’m serious. I had some tough scenes in a movie and I figured out that all the days that I did well, I was wearing this underwear. [Selena is cracking up]. So, I had to make sure I had a bunch of them and that I washed all of them.
- Selena: [laughing] I don’t have anything ….like that.
Kidzworld: What’s going on with each of you next?
- David: I just did a film in Mexico called Little Boy. It’s a World War 2 drama. I got to work with very talented actors and learned a lot. That should be out in the latter half of 2012. Also, a movie called The Borrowers is coming out in February.
Kidzworld: Selena, you last album did pretty well. Are you going to focus on your music or on movies?
- Selena: I’m going to still do music. I’m very pleased and happy with how well the record did and I’m so thankful that radio and everybody has been so supportive. But, next year I’ll be doing more acting. I’ll do two films in the beginning, then some music. I’m balancing both.
Kidzworld: Any wishes for your fans since the show is ending?
- Selena: Just thank you for being with us for four years. We’ve really had the best time and we hope that everything we did, you guys enjoyed. Hope you are satisfied with the ending.