With every career move, Selena Gomez is making it clear: She's come a long way from her Disney star days. In a revealing interview with Mickey Rapkin for Elle's October cover story, the singer and actress reflects on the newest phase of her fame, and finally taking control of her life—both professionally and personally.
In a single year, she "fired" her mom as a manager, signed with a new record label, cut ties with K-Mart, signed a contract with Pantene, bought a giant new mansion, and broke up with some guy named Justin Bieber. "I wanted to be a little uncomfortable," the 23-year-old said. "I wanted to be my own person. I wanted to test myself. I wanted to see if I could really do it."
She didn't stop there. Check out nine intriguing details about the life of one of Hollywood's most closely watched stars.
1. The Disney child-star machine made it difficult for her to come to terms with her sexuality.
"It used to not be cool to think I was hot. I was a Disney kid," she said.
2. She's getting a lot more catcalls from guys lately.
During her interview, "a dozen teenage boys" gawked at her as she was coming back from a hike. "Selena! You're hot," they yelled. "Now, more than ever, I realize I've gained a male fan base," Gomez said in response.
3. Taylor Swift is her ride-or-die friend.
"Watching her take ownership of her life and her creative decisions in a new way has been a really beautiful thing to watch," Swift said. "Selena is an interesting blend of this childlike excitement and curiosity, mixed with the aura of a very seasoned adult who has been through a lot."
4. Paul Rudd says she has a unique skill that makes her great at acting.
"She's great with her pauses, innately knowing when to not talk and heighten the emotion. It's not about rhythms, but letting us see the character think," Rudd said. "It's intelligence, and she has that in spades."
5. James Franco made her reshoot a makeout scene more than seven times.
Franco cast her in the movie In Dubious Battle, and he's also her costar. ""I joked with everyone, 'We're doing it again, huh? He's the director!'" Gomez said, laughing. "He's a good kisser."
6. Basically every tabloid headline about her is wrong.
"While I was sitting there doing my work, it was a free-for-all where people said, Let's just stick her on every tabloid and exploit everything that's true or false," she said. "It's all false. From being pregnant to being out of control."
7. She and her mother grew up in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles while she was trying to make it in entertainment.
"We couldn't leave at times. It was scary," she said. "I think there's a lot of stuff my mom doesn't tell me out of the kindness of her heart, because she's been through so much in her life."
8. She had to kind of "break up" with her mom when she hired a new manager.
"It's like when a kid goes to college," she said. "I wanted to make decisions for myself. It was time. In all aspects of my life."
9. When it comes to reuniting with Justin Bieber…never say never.
Gomez admits to having had a "thing" with the DJ Zedd, but that's over. "Finding somebody is not my main focus," she said. But when asked about the possibility of rekindling things with Bieber, she laughed and raised her voice, yelling, "I don't know!"
Follow Marie Claire on Instagram for the latest celeb news, pretty pics, funny stuff, and an insider POV.