Time Out meets Selena Gomez

The pop princess talks ahead of her headline show at Dubai Music Week

Where does Gomez go when she wants to get away from it all? The nearest branch of Hooters, of course, like she used to with her father. ‘It’s a Texas thing,’ she says, referring to her upbringing in Grand Prairie. ‘Hooters is where most people went to watch sports and have wings.’

Gomez’s childhood wasn’t all wings, however. It also featured Barney, the giant purple dinosaur, whose show Barney And Friends gave Gomez her TV debut aged seven. She remembers kids teasing her about it at the time: ‘When you’re young it feels like the end of the world, but it was good for me to grow up with that in the back of my head.’

Yet there’s nothing like appearing as a bikini-clad rebel in a summer blockbuster to prove you’re no longer a kid. Gomez’s role in Harmony Korine’s film Spring Breakers showed she has grown up. But the transformation must have seemed extreme from the perspective of her existing fanbase, surely? ‘The media didn’t give my fans enough credit,’ Gomez says. ‘Because at the end of the day, it’s a character, it’s acting… and they knew that [Faith] wasn’t me.’

That’s all we’re given on the subject, before we get our wrist slapped by the publicist. It’s still hard to think of this former child star as an international pop icon, and harder still to work out which is the real Selena – the pouting diva, or the girl who still helps her mum out around the house? A trip to The World Trade Centre this month might offer a clue…

Click here to view Selena Gomez in the UAE

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