Debby Ryan Stepping Up to Disney It Girl Status

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan seems to be taking her designation as the Disney Channel’s newest It Girl in stride.  With her stint as a supporting player on “The Suite Life on Deck” wrapping up as the series airs its grand finale graduation episode tonight (5/6), she’s deep into preparing for her own “Jessie” series to begin production next month.  The question has been raised, can she be the next Miley Cyrus?

“No one will be the next Miley Cyrus,” responds the highly self-possessed actress, who turns 18 May 13.  “She’s had such an iconic journey, and she’s still on it.  Selena (Gomez) has the same thing, and Vanessa Hudgens.  I always say I don’t want to be the next anyone.  I want to be the first Debby Ryan.”

Not that she doesn’t admire predecessors in the Disney talent stable.  “It’s a small circle.  Of course I know these girls,” she says, referring to Miley, Selena, Vanessa, Ashley Tisdale, Chelsea Kane and others.  “Young Hollywood is a small circle, a small town.  You run into people like Abigain Breslin or Dakota Fanning and say hello.  It’s like being a theater kid in school, you have the same friends and tons in common.  I’ve gotten some great advice from these people.”

Such as?  “Someone said — and I’m paraphrasing it a little to make it my own — people are going to love you and people are going to hate you, and you can’t find your identity in it either way.”  She also, she says, gives advice to younger talents on the Disney Channel ladder, like Bella Thorne of “Shake It Up,” and her soon-to-be “Jessie” cast mates.

“Questions will come up and I might say, ‘I’ll meet you at Starbuck’s and we’ll chat it up,’ so it goes around.”

Debby has been spending “a lot of time in the writers room” as well as in casting sessions for “Jessie” — on which she’ll play the nanny to a multicultural brood of a wealthy and prominent New York City couple.  “Disney has thanked me for coming in to read with the kids, but of course I want to read with them     and see how we interact,” she says.  “Once we get the cast all nailed down, I want to take them all to Disneyland, which is going to be awesome.”    Of course.

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

4 thoughts on “Debby Ryan Stepping Up to Disney It Girl Status

  1. Debby I love

    Debby’re the best, I’m your fan, I see you in person that would be great, I love you

  2. Pingback: Debby Ryan Stepping Up to Disney It Girl Status » Images Search

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