By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — The hottest ticket in teen town?
The weekly Wednesday night meatloaf dinners that Disney star Demi Lovato throws for friends and co-stars.
“It sounds totally dorky. It wasn’t intended to be this huge party thing,” Lovato says. “We invited my friends over. After that, Miley (Cyrus) and (boyfriend) Justin (Gaston) came over one time. Other people would just come over. Now it’s just huge.”
So what about the infighting between Lovato and her fellow Disney darlings Selena Gomez and Cyrus?
“A lot of people try to compare Selena, Miley and I, but we’re all really different. Miley is a great girl. Everyone wanted us to have a (feud), but we didn’t want to, and there’s really no need,” says Lovato, 16. “We might be three brunet girls, but we all are really different. I don’t see the need to try and compete for a No. 1 spot.”
Competition aside, Lovato has plenty to focus on in her career. Her debut album, Don’t Forget, was released last fall. And Lovato, who broke out in the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, has a new show, Sonny With a Chance, premiering Sunday (8 p.m. ET/PT).
“It’s basically like 30 Rock but for the Disney Channel. I play this girl named Sonny who is from Wisconsin, but she moves to Hollywood to be on her favorite sketch comedy show,” Lovato says. “She’s faced with all these obstacles she has to go through to adapt to the Hollywood lifestyle.
“My life kind of mirrors it. I’m from Texas and moved to Hollywood.”
Unlike her wide-eyed character, Lovato comes across as a confident Tinseltown veteran. In person, she looks significantly older than on screen, clad in a flouncy red Juicy Couture dress with American Apparel tights and black Prada ankle booties. She’s single, for now.
“My problem is that I like older guys, so until I turn 18, I probably won’t have a public boyfriend,” Lovato says.
Sonny, Lovato says, is “optimistic and a go-getter. She’s very driven. She’s quirkier than I am. She’s very naïve and fragile. I’m not that naïve. Being in this business — I was talking to Miley one time, and she was giving me advice. Sometimes the pressure can really get to you and sometimes people stab you in the back. She was like, ‘Being out here is hard, but you have to be really, really strong.’ Over a period of time, my character will learn that.”
Lovato started learning early. The Dallas native made her stage debut at a talent show in kindergarten, performing Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, and moved on to beauty pageants. She ultimately found her niche in the Disney Channel “family,” as Lovato calls her peers, and now, she lives with her entire family in Los Angeles. Lovato is home-schooled on set every morning, shoots until the late afternoon and works out with a trainer a few days a week.
When it comes to her career, the admittedly driven and ambitious Lovato is all business; her next Disney movie, Princess Protection Program, airs this year. She has no plans to go to college, saying it’s not for her, and she hopes to transition from children’s TV into serious entertainment. “Hopefully I can win a Grammy, or even be nominated. After this TV show, I want to do feature films and serious roles. Ultimately, I want to direct.”
For all her sophistication, Lovato can sound like your average bubbly teen. She shows it when asked about performing at the Kids’ Inaugural concert Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C.
“After the show was done, they asked who wanted to meet the Obamas. We had to wait in a line. They bring us into this room, and in the corner are the Obamas,” Lovato says. “It was awesome. I met the girls, and they were running around. They were so normal. Mrs. Obama is so sweet. You go to shake her hand, and she gave me a hug. ”
Source: USA Today