This week, Collider was invited to participate in an early footage preview for the Sony Pictures Animation film Hotel Transylvania, opening in theaters on September 28th. Set in Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) lavish resort where monsters and their families can be free to be who they are without humans to bother them, the story follows his beloved daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), who longs to explore the world on her 118th birthday. But, things are drastically shaken up when a human guy (Andy Samberg) stumbles into the hotel and takes an immediate shine to Mavis.
After getting to see a series of scenes from the film, which looks to be both funny and heartfelt, and showcased some of the wacky and wild legendary monsters featured in it, we got the opportunity to take part in a press conference with Selena Gomez, who talked about her desire to do animated roles as a way to stay connected to her family audience, the pressures of playing Dracula’s daughter, how honored she is to be a part of this cast, the ways in which she identifies with this character, how she prepared for this role, and that she loves scary movies and being scared. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Question: Do you see doing animated roles as a way for you to stay connected to your family audience while growing into older roles?
SELENA GOMEZ: Yes, that’s exactly one of the reasons why I did it. To be honest, I’m actually not that great with animation because I feel like sometimes it’s harder to act with your voice than to act with your actual self. But, this was such a great experience and [everyone was] wonderful to work with. It was a good thing for me to do, in that area, because I was doing a couple movies that were out of my comfort zone. I felt this was a nice way to go back to that.
Was there any part of you that wanted to try a Transylvanian accent?
GOMEZ: No. But, for the part where I make fun of my dad (Adam Sandler), that was hard. I’m definitely not as good as Adam, when it comes to that.
What do you think of Adam Sandler, as a father figure?
GOMEZ: He’s awesome! He’s so cool! He was there for almost all of my sessions. He was really nice. He would be a cool dad. He’s somebody who’s really funny and just makes everybody laugh.
Were you nervous about playing Dracula’s daughter?
GOMEZ: There’s a lot of pressure to be Dracula’s daughter. There’s never really been a story that’s been about that and their relationship. I think the way she was structured, and the way I read her, was exactly the way I thought it would be. I hope we don’t disappoint anybody on how she is.
What was it like to be a part of this all-star cast?
GOMEZ: I didn’t have much pressure because I didn’t see all of them. But, I am very honored to be a part of this cast.
With this film and your work on Wizards of Waverly Place, do you have an affinity for the supernatural?
GOMEZ: I guess so. I hadn’t thought about that. I like to bring kids’ imaginations to life, a little bit. With my show, we were able to be invisible and fly and walk on walls. That is stuff that every kid wishes they had the ability to do, and we were able to bring that alive. I think that’s what we’re doing with this movie, too. With all of the characters, from Frankenstein to Dracula, and to the new characters, it was just fun to bring them alive.
Do you see your own mannerisms in the character, at all?
GOMEZ: The first couple of times, I didn’t. But, I think I do have some of her mannerisms, and the way she talks and how she mumbles a little bit.
In what ways do you identify with Mavis?
GOMEZ: I’m in that place, a little bit. I’m 19, it’s fun for me to grow up and I want to see places, too. I get to travel, and I’m very lucky to get to go to the places that I get to go to, but I have never been to these places alone or with my friends. I’ve never had that. I think I’m going through what she is going through, doing things on my own a little more. I am getting a little bit of that freedom. And I’m kind of quirky, like Mavis.
Whose advice did you seek out and how did you prepare for this role?
GOMEZ: I went in and they showed me some of it. I’m not big on being influenced by others. I have a lot of people who influence me, but I just wanted to go in and do my best with this. (Director) Genndy [Tartakovsky] and (producer) Michelle [Murdocca] were my influences. They helped me and guided me, and I was lucky to have them. Once I got in there, I wanted to stay in it. You want to feel what the character feels.
Will you do a song for the soundtrack?
GOMEZ: I haven’t, but we did a song in a musical number. It’s very funny. Adam Sandler raps. Enough said.
What scares you?
GOMEZ: Not a lot, to be honest. I love scary movies, and I love being scared. I go to Knott’s Berry Farm every year, for Halloween.
What makes you laugh?
GOMEZ: I don’t know. Adam Sandler.
What hotels do you like to stay in, personally?
GOMEZ: I don’t know. I stay in all kinds of hotels, even a haunted one once. It was for my birthday. This sounds a little weird, but I like being scared. We were on tour and they had me stay in a hotel in Utah. They gave us this whole spiel, but nothing happened, so I was a little bummed. But, it was cool.
Do you believe in ghosts?
GOMEZ: No, not necessarily. I just think it’s all fun.
You have a birthday coming up. Do you know how you’ll celebrate?
GOMEZ: I will be at the Teen Choice Awards on my birthday, which isn’t a bad thing ‘cause they’re really fun. I’ll probably go to dinner with my family. It’s 20, so it’s not that exciting.