ELLE (Canada) - - Celebrity -

par­ents sep­a­rated—were the first times I had to deal with peo­ple know­ing about some­thing per­sonal hap­pen­ing to my fam­ily. It just felt so in­va­sive and in­sen­si­tive. It got re­ally gross, and I think part of you gets a bit de­sen­si­tized. The best way to han­dle it is by just own­ing your shit. I’m hu­man and this is what hap­pened. None of us is per­fect.”

Even when you were 16, you came across as very con­fi­dent. Is that how you re­mem­ber it?

“I think I’m more con­tent now—es­pe­cially since I took time out of be­ing on tour and in movies. It was hard be­cause [when I was 16] ev­ery­thing I did was watched. I had this idea of who I was, but the whole world thought I was so much big­ger. Does that make sense? It was a very con­fus­ing time. It was a lot of pres­sure, and I be­came more con­tent with my­self when all the com­pe­ti­tion was gone and I could make choices for my­self. I fucked up along the way too, but I got to do it qui­etly, which was awe­some. Now, turn­ing 27 feels weird. I still kind of feel like a kid. I’m a kid with a kid.” [Laughs]

You’re still young, yet you’ve been an in­flu­enc­ing icon for some of the big­gest stars right now, like Mi­ley Cyrus and Ari­ana Grande. Does that feel strange?

“All the time, be­cause I’m a fan of theirs. I see tweets that Mi­ley is ex­cited that I was at her show, and when I gave Ari­ana an award the other day, she was like, ‘I can’t breathe right now.’ That ad­mi­ra­tion goes both ways. It’s sweet—[be­ing in their po­si­tion] just feels like such a lifetime ago for me.”

And now you’re get­ting back to TV, with

which is air­ing in Jan­uary.

Younger, “I didn’t re­ally mean to. My agent called me and was like, ‘I have a re­ally good show; it’s a Dar­ren Star show and he wants you for it.’ I said: ‘I can’t do that right now. I have Luca, and I def­i­nitely can’t move to New York.’ She told me to just read it. It was re­ally, re­ally good.... I ei­ther take a break or just slam my­self full throt­tle, so here I am shoot­ing the show and mak­ing a record at the same time again.” [Laughs] What’s your character like in the show? “She’s a book ed­i­tor who has got­ten to where she is pretty quickly, but she’s still fight­ing to get to the top. She’s strong-willed and am­bi­tious, yet her per­sonal life is kind of a hot mess be­cause she’s sub­mis­sive when it comes to men. It’s nice to be able to play a role that’s so dif­fer­ent from me in my real life! I am not sub­mis­sive at all. It’s a bit of a chal­lenge, to be hon­est, but she’s fun and the show has the heart of New York City in it, and it’s aimed to­ward women, which I love.”

Speak­ing about heart, did you see all those Aaron Carter tweets? He never said your name, but he was ba­si­cally lament­ing let­ting you—the love of his life—go when you were both teens.

“Oh, God, I feel so un­com­fort­able right now. I don’t know what to say. The more I talk about it, the more I think he’s go­ing to talk about it. We were like 13 and 14.... I don’t want him to be hurt—I don’t want to make any­one feel like that—but it’s time to move on. I have.” You’re not still 13 go­ing on 30? [Laughs] “What’s funny, though, is that those feel­ings— I’m not talk­ing about him but young love in gen­eral—feel so real. You al­ways kind of think about it. When you’re dat­ing, you can never quite get that ex­cite­ment again, be­cause you’re never that age again.”

Look­ing back, the first guy I was to­tally in love with when I was 16 was such a loser.

“But do you ever think about the feel­ings?” Oh, I was like 150 per­cent in­vested. “That’s what I mean! You can’t ever com­pare to it! Why does it get weaker, that pas­sion?” I think it’s part of grow­ing up. “It’s just bit­ter­sweet. That’s what it’s like with kids too. Luca does some­thing that I’m ob­sessed with and it only lasts three weeks be­fore it’s gone. It’s re­ally painful to see it go by so fast. You want kids to be in­de­pen­dent and strong, but it ac­tu­ally hurts when they start to pull away. It’s grow­ing pains.” n

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