First look: Selena stretches out in ‘Monte Carlo’.

Posted on: March 22, 2011

The movie, due July 1, offers teenage girls an alternative to the third Transformers movie this summer and a familiar face in Disney Channel star Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place), who plays Paris-bound high school grad Grace.

The Texas teen is let down when she finds out that the adventure she researched and booked for herself and best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) isn’t quite as grand as she had imagined.

Their dream vacation is unwittingly saved by British socialite Cordelia Winthrop Scott, an impeccably dressed brat who is a doppelgänger for Grace. After a case of mistaken identity and armed with Cordelia’s invitation to a glitzy gala in Monte Carlo, the girls head south to live it up for a week, wearing fancy clothes and meeting dashing men.

For Gomez, 18, who began building her movie résumé with last summer’s children-friendly Ramona and Beezus, Monte Carlo raises her target demographic by a few years.

“Obviously, I want to transition into film, and this is taking baby steps to where I want to be,” she says.

The movie also presented her biggest acting challenge thus far: not just playing two different characters but also learning two different British accents, one for the real Cordelia and another for the impostor, Grace.

“Accent training was the hardest thing on top of learning lines,” says Gomez, who reported to the set in Budapest, Hungary, two weeks early for a crash course in voice training.

The production did spend time in the real Paris, but Gomez laments she didn’t get to make a pilgrimage to Chanel, the French fashion house that produced her favorite outfit in the movie. Co-star Leighton Meester, who plays her depressed stepsister and chaperone, Meg, did.

“I’m jealous,” confesses Gomez, who warns fellow Gossip Girl fans not to expect the spoiled Blair Waldorf in Monte Carlo. “Leighton does such a good job, and I can’t wait for people to see her in a different light.”

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