- She stars in a movie that wasn't made for kids.
This month, catch Miley Cyrus as she conquers the big screen in The Last Song, which boasts of a screenplay written by bestselling novelist Nicholas Sparks. She plays Ronnie, a rebellious girl from New York exiled to her dad's quaint beach town for the summer. Watch as she transforms from a slightly annoying, troubled teen to someone vulnerable, relatable, and at some point, even admirable.
- She's ditched the bubblegum image.
She walked into The Last Song press conference in jeans, a loose black top, black boots, and her signature layered bracelets and necklacesâ€”an outfit that's definitely a far cry from the cutesy stuff she usually sports on her Disney show. There was no blonde wig or glittery eye shadow in sight, either: she wore her long, dark hair down and looked fresh and relaxed in minimal makeup.
- She knows the value of family.
"I do have my rebellious moments," she admits, when asked if she can relate to this aspect of her character Ronnie's personality. "But overall, I'm really close to my familyâ€”we can literally finish each other's sentences. I feel like I grew up a lot while working on this movie because it gives people the realization that they shouldn't take their family for granted. It serves as a reminder: Never let a day go by without telling them how much you love them, because they can be taken away from you anytime."
- She's trying to be a good role model.
"My younger sister tends to do everything I do. This morning, she was getting dressed for school and she was in skinny jeans and Converse, and I go, 'Yes, she looks just like me!' So she's sort of following in my footsteps, and I want to set a good example and help her make good choices she'd be proud of someday. I don't want her to ever do anything her heart's not in 100 percent."
- She's honest and open...
"My dad and I are so close that I know I can tell him pretty much anything. I don't really have boy problems right now, but if I did, I know I can open up to him and he would never judge me. Everyone makes mistakes, and if you can't talk to your family about that, then you can't talk to anyone at all."
- ...But she stands up for her privacy.
Last year, she deleted her Twitter account, to her fans' dismay. But can you really blame her? She says, "These days, you have the paparazzi, and the Internet, and people getting upset when you don't tell them what you're doing at every momentâ€”which is supposed to be my business and nobody else's. And when I do try to take a vacation, there are all these people asking if I'm having a good time, and I'm always like, 'Well, I was, until you showed up on the beach!'"
- She knows the secret to happiness.
"I think it's really about constantly surrounding yourself with good things. Keep your head held high, don't let anyone knock you down, and listen to the people who have already gone through all these things. You have to find someone to help you, because otherwise, you'll just fall."
- Her life isn't one big partyâ€”but she lives it anyway.
"There are days when I just want to sit at home and not do anything because I don't even want to deal with having my picture taken. But there's so much life out there, and after 30 years, you're going to look back and wish you'd ignored all those people yelling at you and asking what you're wearing. Someday, you're going to wish you just enjoyed what was around you at the moment."
- She focuses on the positive.
"Sometimes, I feel that the last thing people look at is love. Everything out there is about being negativeâ€”trying to see who looks bad and whose career isn't doing well. And it shouldn't be like that. There's enough room in the world for all of us to do something we love. It doesn't always have to be about competition."
- She's genuinely in love.
She's experienced puppy love (with Nick Jonas), you-and-me-against-the-world love (with model Justin Gaston), and finally, with The Last Song co-star Liam Hemsworth, the kind of love that just might be good for her. She describes him as her best friend and tells Ellen DeGeneres, "We started filming and the chemistry was kind of awkward. Then I said, 'Please just pretend you like me,' and he was like, 'I don't have to pretend. I really do like you...' We've been together for 10 months now and I'm really happy."
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Touchstone Pictures' The Last Song, starring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, hits cinemas on May 12. Click through to the Gallery below to see more photos of Miley and Liam.