MILEY CYRUS stars in the hit Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana,” which is currently in its fourth season. She also starred in the feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which topped the box office its opening weekend, was the voice of Penny in “Bolt,” and broke box-office records with her 3D film “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.” Cyrus is a multiplatinum recording artist and is the youngest-ever recording artist with four number-one albums in less than three years. She recently released “The Time of our Lives,” which features the number-one hit, “Party in the USA.” She is also the best-selling author of “Miles to Go,” her first book that shares her inspiring story, which spans from her Southern roots in Tennessee to the excitement of her record-setting triumphs in television, music and film.
Miley currently stars as Ronnie in “THE LAST SONG,” based on Nicholas Sparks’ latest novel. The film opens in theaters March 31, 2010.
Q: You had to learn to play the piano for this role. Is that something you’ll stick with?
MC: I'm definitely going to stick with the piano! I picked it up really fast, which I guess is from being able to play the guitar and being so involved in music. I really enjoyed learning! Liam had to learn how to scuba dive for this movie. It’s like learning piano -- so many people wish they could learn, but we get to do it as part of a job. We’re lucky!
Q: Ronnie has incredible talent but she throws it away. How were you able to bring that to life in the movie?
MC: For me personally, you know I love singing, I love music, I love just entertaining in general, but there are times when the pressure and the stress of it all makes me want to give it up. But how sad it makes my heart to think about that. If I gave it up, look at all the things that I’d be throwing away. I know personally what she gave up, which was my inspiration. It makes me sad to think that someone with the talent that Ronnie has would do that because I know living without music in my life would be like having no air to breathe. I think for Ronnie it's the same thing. She loves music but she's giving it up and trying to prove a point to her dad. But really she's just cheating herself.
Q: Did you contribute to the film musically?
MC: “When I Look at You” was originally going to go on my next record, which I was working on while I was filming in Savannah. But when we realized it describes this entire movie, we had a composer come in and make a piano piece for me to be able to play. It’s in the movie when Ronnie reveals to Will that she plays the piano. It was perfect for that scene because it is a love song, but it's also about God, about family, about love—it's kind of what this movie is all about.
Q: How would you describe the relationship between your character and Will Blakelee?
MC: Ronnie and Will are from two very different backgrounds and I did have an inspiration for this because I felt like I've been in that position a couple of times. She's a little more edgy, doesn't have a lot of money, very independent, takes care of herself, but he's very wealthy and very much taken care of by his parents. He’s independent in a way, he has a great job and he does work hard. But he definitely has it a little easier on the surface, at least that's what she thinks. But it turns out that his life has been just as crazy as hers.
Q: What was it like working with Liam Helmsworth?
MC: Liam is so much fun to work with! The crazy thing is he's such a huge star in Australia, and so to help introduce him to our side of world was really cool. I know how that feels because I travel all over the world on tour, and I’m more well known here than I am in some of the places I’ve visited. So I totally know where he's coming from. He's from Australia and I'm from the South, but this movie is something new for both of us. This is kind of his breakout moment in the States, and this is my breakout moment away from Hannah Montana.
Q: Is it true that Nicholas Sparks wrote this with you in mind?
MC: Yes, that’s one thing that's really different about this movie that isn't like any of Nicholas Sparks' other movies. You know, usually the book would come out first and then they'll decide to make a movie. Here they decided to make the movie and then he wrote the book, so that's kind of cool. Since he had me in mind, it’s clear to me that he worked some my mannerisms and my personality into the character of Ronnie.
Q: How can you turn down a role written for you?
MC: It wasn't that he wrote this script specifically for me, but I think he pictured me in his mind as he was writing. And it turned out once I got the script, I was very interested in it, and the pieces just fell into place against all odds. I had a very crazy touring schedule and I was working on the show, wondering how I was going to fit this in. But finally we just decided we’ll make it work because I think God really had this in mind for me.
Q: What’s it like working with Nicholas Sparks?
MC: Working with Nick is so cool because I think everything that Nicholas Sparks has done has really impacted people's lives. I mean, I love “The Notebook” and also “A Walk to Remember.” His work has great, positive messages. To me, the best thing is that kids love it but it's also mature enough to appeal to adults. It’s unusual to find that kind of balance.