Beezus and Ramona. Ramona the Pest. Ramona Quimby, Age 8. . . aah the staples of my childhood. There was nothing like a Beverly Cleary book paired with a comfy couch and snack to take me to my happy place. And if you guys love the Ramona books as much as I do, then you’ll be psyched for the movie, Ramona and Beezus (notice their names switched in the movie title!) hitting theaters today (rated G)!
Q: Did you read Beezus and Ramona before doing the movie?
Selena: I actually read them when I was in third grade! Then once I got the part, I reread the books.
Q: Were you a big Beverly Cleary fan when you were a kid?
Selena: Yes. Oh my goodness. That book [Beezus & Ramona series] and The Wizard of Oz were the only books I could reread over and over and over again. I absolutely loved them.
Q: Beezus is a nickname for Beatrice. Do you have any nicknames?
Selena: People called me Sel a lot when I was younger. They still do!
Q: In real life do you identify more with Beezus or with Ramona?
Selena: Probably Ramona. Beezus is hard for me to get into because she’s very uncomfortable in her skin, and trying to be someone that she’s not half the time.
Q: What is the most unusual talent that you have that people don’t know?
Selena: I can make a really amazing cheesecake. I’m not too good at cooking (I would like to learn), but an amazing cheesecake I can make! That’s for sure.
Q: What is your favorite subject in school?
Selena: Biology. I’m completely fascinated with our world, our planet itself, and how it works.
Q: What will you take away as a memory from making Ramona and Beezus?
Selena: It was my first feature film. I’d done television and DVDs and stuff that I’m comfortable with. This was very hard for me. . . But in the end I actually learned a lot about movies, about people, and Joey [King] who played my little sister became my sister. She’s just so sweet and wonderful.
Bringing us to our next interview. . . with Joey King, who plays Ramona:
Q: Had you read Beezus and Ramona before you started working on the movie?
Joey: Well, I’m gonna be honest with you – I only read one of them. Then when I found out I got the part, I read all the rest and then I loved them!
Q: Did you become a Beverly Cleary fan after reading them?
Joey: Yes, of course I did! I love Beverly Cleary after that. I thought the books were great.
Q: What kind of books besides Beverly’s books do you like to read?
Joey: Sometimes I like to read scary books like Goosebumps.
Q: Is Joey a nickname for anything?
Joey: No, Joey is my full name. I was named after my grandfather. I mean that’s my full first name.
Q: What do you like best about Ramona?
Joey: I like that she is crazy and out there and she isn’t ever shy.
Q: Tell me about Selena Gomez. What was it like to work with her?
Joey: I had the best time working with her! We were really close. I did see her show before the movie and I really liked her show and I thought, “Hey, if I get to work with Selena Gomez, then that’s really cool.” She’s a really nice girl, and she’s a person just like everyone else.
Q: What book are you reading right now?
Joey: I’m actually reading Henry and the Paper Route [by Beverly Cleary] and I really like it. I like that Henry, even though he’s only ten he doesn’t give up on trying to get his paper route. And he’s a really nice guy because he adopted kittens from a rummage sale. He found them and he bought one from the litter. He’s just a really great kid and he’s pursuing his dreams, and I like that.
[Ratha: Sounds like you! Except that I don't think you've ever adopted kittens from a rummage sale while delivering newspapers. . .?]
Q: I read you’ve been acting since you were four?
Joey: Yes. My sisters were in acting and my mom put me in it and I’ve loved it ever since.
Q: Are you in regular school?
Joey: I’m home-schooled with an online program. Well I haven’t always been home-schooled. But I do like being home-schooled and I don’t really miss regular school because I still have all the same friends.
Q: You’ve done a lot of food commercials. Did you ever have a bad experience?
Joey: I don’t like spitting in spit buckets. It makes me want to puke! It’s so disgusting.
[Ratha: When actors have to do food scenes in movies or commercials, they usually do a lot of takes. So, rather than actually eating the food, they chew it, then spit it into a spit bucket when the camera stops rolling. Yuck! I'd hate to be the guy who has to clean THAT bucket!]
And there you have it folks! You can also check out the transcript of our Live Chat with Joey when she was here at THE STACKS. And let us know what you think in the Comments!
— Ratha, STACKS Writer
Interviewed by Marie Morreale
Photos Courtesy of 20th Century Fox