By Luis Gomez
8:06 AM CDT, June 30, 2011
Selena Gomez — the 18-year-old star of Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” — is down for trying anything when it comes to food. Whether she’ll like it or not is a different story.
“I tried snail (in Europe),” said Gomez in a downtown Chicago hotel Sunday. “I didn’t like it. That one was too weird and I almost threw up, to be honest. That was Leighton (Meester’s) doing — not mine.”
Gomez, an admitted Taco Bell fan, filmed the romantic comedy, “Monte Carlo,” with Meester in Europe and said the food was for the most part “awesome” — especially the pastries. She was in Hungary for six weeks, Monte Carlo for two weeks and Paris for four days. The movie revolves around a recent high school graduate from Texas (Gomez) getting mixed up with a British heiress (also played by Gomez) while visiting Paris.
For Gomez, it was a rare opportunity to get to know Europe beyond the two or three days she would normally stay in a country while doing press.
“When you travel and get to see the world for yourself, you grow up a lot,” Gomez said. “I got to go to museums, walk around and meet new people. The whole experience was really good for me.”
She was able to take a break from the paparazzi in Europe (except in Paris), which is a luxury she rarely has had ever since she began dating pop star Justin Bieber. There were also fewer autograph and photo requests from fans … and parents.
“Some parents get more excited than their kids,” Gomez said about her experience with fans. “I had one woman say ‘Please take a picture with my daughter — she loves your show.’ And the kid looked at me, like, ‘No I don’t.’”
On Tuesday, Gomez released her third album, “When the Sun Goes Down.” The Texas native said it was the most hands-on she has been with any of her albums, from co-writing songs to having input on the album cover art. Gomez, whose father is Mexican-American, also included “Dices” — a Spanish version of her single, “Who Says” — on the record.
Gomez plans on releasing a Spanish-language album, which is nearly done, that will consist of translated songs from her first and second album. The songs will for the most part keep their pop sound.
“When I was 5 or 6, I used to be extremely fluent,” said Gomez, who will return to the Chicago area with her pop band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, for a show at the Rosemont Theatre Aug. 13. “I would talk to my grandparents and everything. Then I went to school and hung out with friends more and less with my grandparents and lost it.
“I would love to have a tutor who would travel with me, but I don’t have time.”
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