Tag Archives: Demi Lovato

Maria Canals Barrera: From Emotional ‘Wizards’ Goodbye to Tom Hanks Film

Maria Canals Barrera Disney Channel photo

With “The Wizards of Waverly Place” having wrapped its final episode for airing July 24, series mom Maria Canals Barrera admits she’s getting a lot of questions about what she’s doing next.  Fortunately for her, she has “Larry Crowne” opening July 1, with none other than Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.

“I’m looking forward to the premiere June 27,” notes the actress, who plays one of Tom’s fellow community college students — in teacher Julia’s classroom — in the feature the actor coscripted (with Nia Vardalos) and directed as well.  “Tom is fun and relaxed on the set and yet very focused and professional,” Maria notes.  “It was a lot of fun to see him in action as a director, finishing a scene and then saying, ‘And, cut’ — then rushing to the monitor to see the playback.”

The film has Tom’s character moving from coping with life after job loss — to a new life.  “I think it was very wise of them — Tom and Nia — to write the script in these times when unfortunately, a lot of people have to reinvent themselves.  Or fortunately,” Maria adds, “because sometimes when people have to reinvent themselves, they are able to move toward their original passion and become a more fulfilled person in the end.”

Maria is facing big life changes herself.  With her long-time series now concluded, she’s had to say goodbye to her “Waverly Place” family — Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin and David DeLuise.  Of the forthcoming hour-long series finale, she says, “I believe the fans will get what they’ve been craving.  The beauty of it is, it has adventure, total heart-tugging drama and suspense, humor, wackiness, randomness and a ton of special effects.  It was fun doing it.  We were all emotional.  At the very last scene, we were crying and toasting and making speeches.”

The wrap party had a prom theme and the cast and production team received show “yearbooks” in keeping with the graduation of the young  “Wizards” actors.  Of her onscreen offspring, she notes, “They really are great people in that they each have a good head on their shoulders.  They’re very professional, focused on their work, they enjoy it and they realized the show was a blessing and appreciated it.”

MEANWHILE:  Maria says she texted back and forth with Selena recently when the 18-year-old It Girl took ill and was hospitalized after a “Tonight Show” appearance.  “She sent me a note that she was feeling much better,” reports the actress, who adds that she didn’t ask the nature of her former TV daughter’s ailment.  Having played mom to both Selena and Demi Lovato (in “Camp Rock” and its sequel), she’s aware of the fact both young stars are constant tabloid targets, with Demi having recently made her bipolar condition public, and Selena paparazzi bait as she dates teen heartthrob Justin Bieber.

“I don’t now how they can handle it.  It must be incredibly difficult at their age,” she says.

But Maria — who has two young daughters of her own — would much rather rhapsodize about her small screen daughters.  “What are the chances of two little girls who are best friends, both extremely talented, winding up becoming so wildly successful?  Demi is like — she glows.  She has that megawatt smile, and so much passion and enegy.  I love, love, love her voice.  She’s an incredible singer.  And Selena, she is so naturally an actress.  She was fully present, emotionally there, at 12 years of age and she’s just gotten better and better — amazing, especially when we were doing dramatic scenes.

“I really love them both to pieces,” she adds.

We guessed.

Rising It Girl Chloe Bridges, ‘Camp Rock 2’s’ Angelina Look-Alike

Chloe Bridges

Coming down to the final two in an important casting – and then not getting the role – is a tale of actor heartbreak that countless thespians around these parts can tell first-hand.  Beautiful 18-year-old Chloe Bridges knows it well.  It was down to Chloe and Demi Lovato for Mitchie, the female lead in Disney’s 2008 mega-hit “Camp Rock.”  And Demi ended up with the role.

“Usually, the story ends with, ‘I didn’t get it and it really sucks,’” she points out.  “So this is very different.”

Very different indeed.  Chloe plays the new role of Dana, love interest of Nick Jonas, in the Sept. 3-debuting “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.”  Demi has become a good friend of hers, and everywhere Chloe goes, people are noticing that she looks an awful lot like Angelina Jolie.

“It’s definitely something I’ve encountered a lot — getting close to getting a part and then not getting it,” continues the New Orleans native, who has been acting since age 11.  “I had no idea what a phenomenon ‘Camp Rock’ would be when I auditioned for it, but then when it got so huge, of course I thought, ‘Oh, that was almost me!’  But coming back for ‘Camp Rock 2,’ I really have to say, Disney wants to put you in the right part – and Dana is really right for me.”

The role called for a classically-trained musician.  They changed Dana from being a violinist to being a pianist in deference to Chloe’s real-life ability.  She’s also a dancer, a gymnast, a swimmer, an artist, a tennis player…

”I was an ambitious, busy little girl,” she says.  “Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have a mom supportive enough to move out to Los Angeles with me when I was 13 to pursue acting.”

Chloe has been asked about her resemblance to Angelina so many times she admits, “I find myself not reacting any more when people say that.  But it’s such a compliment, it really is – so flattering.  She’s one of my biggest idols, so it’s incredible.  I would kill to meet her.  Except, if I ever met her, I’d be so star struck I probably wouldn’t be able to talk.”

‘Mdot’ Gets Rock Star Treatment — Weeks Before ‘Camp Rock 2’ Premiere

What an introduction to the world of the Jonas Brothers for Matthew “Mdot” Finley, who plays the chief adversary of the Jonases in the Disney Channel’s Sept. 3-debuting “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.”  He’ll be out on concert tour with the JoBros, Demi Lovato and other members of the “Camp Rock 2” cast starting Aug.7.  All that’s gone out on this so far is a video, movie clips, promos and some interviews.  And yet, Mdot has already found himself swarmed by fans.  It happened last week, in fact, when he and Alyson Stoner were in Paramus, New Jersey, doing promotional duty for Verizon FIOS, which has a movie tie-in.

“People are already like, ‘I love your video!  My grandma loves your dance moves!’  We were on the elevator, and there were people waiting for us at every level when the doors opened,” he says, amazed.

How does he feel about that?  “It’s what I signed up for, what I want to do – be a superstar,” says the handsome young performer.

He says he’s learned from the best how to interact.  “I’ve been in cars with the Jonas Brothers, and they’re very down to earth.  They’ll stop the car and hop out to say hi to the fans that’ve been waiting for hours before they go into their hotel.  They really believe in showing fans their appreciation.  They love the fans.  Demi (Lovato) does as well.”

With the tour right around the corner, Mdot is psyched to jump in all the way.  It took him five auditions to land the role of ego-centric Lucas Williams, the leader of the teen performers at rival Camp Star.  “I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life,” he says.  As far as whether Lucas will end up being the guy viewers love to hate, he laughs.  “I think so.  He’s all about the performance, not about making friends.  He’s all about the presentation.  I can definitely relate to that.  But I’m a little more polite, a little more people friendly.”