“Hannah Montana: The Movie” just reeled in $34 million at the box office opening weekend (April 10-12, 2009). Last week I interviewed actress Emily Osment, who is best known as Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart’s best friend Lilly Truscott/Lola Luftnagle. In real life, Emily, 17, is the younger sister of Academy Award-nominated actor Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”).
How has your character Lilly changed since you started playing her back in 2006?
That’s a really good question. Um, the first time I played Lilly I was 13 and the character description was kind of like “tomboy” and “big drama queen.” I think she sort of sticks true to that but over the years she’s gotten more girly. She’s grown up a little bit. She’s got a boyfriend now. She can drive. I think she still is a tomboy, but with an edge of reality.
Do you ever get to add on character traits from your personal life or do you just try to stick to what the script gives you?
Our writers have been with us for so long and they catch on to everything that we do in our personal lives. There is definitely a little bit of Emily in everything Lilly does.
Are you ready for everything that comes with the movie – the fans, the constant attention? I’m sure you’re used to it from the TV show.
It’s not old-hat yet, but it adds onto the excitement. I really hope these kids will really like this movie because I do. I think it’s a really nice, heartfelt movie – a really down-to-earth kind of thing.
Do you think kids that don’t watch “Hannah Montana” on TV are going to go out and see the movie?
I think they will. If you love the show then you’re going to love the movie. If you don’t love the show then you’re going to love the movie.
Lilly is Miley’s best friend. Do you consider yourself her sidekick or how would you describe their relationship?
We’re best friends and bring our own certain thing to the table when it comes to the friendship. Lilly is sort of Miley’s rock. She’s always there to bring her back down to earth and keep her normal. That’s kind of what the movie’s about. It’s about remembering who you are and what’s important in your life.
Do you have a best friend in real life?
I went to a regular high school so I have all my friends from high school. I have a bunch of guy friends. I am such a tomboy. I honestly have so many guy friends! I recently almost killed myself playing football with my friend Chad. He tried to kill me. He’s a quarterback for his high school. I just like to go run around and have fun and be a kid because it’s not going to last very long.
On that note, do you ever feel like your missing out because of the career you’ve chosen?
You know, it’s funny because homecoming and the Emmys landed on the same night. I was like, “Hmm. Which one do I go to?” [Note: She went to the Emmys]. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s tough to choose. I just got asked to prom today. I’m like, “I can’t! I’m working that night!” It was so sad, but it’s totally worth it.
Lola’s fashion sense it a bit crazy on the show. Can you tell me where you’re personal fashion taste and hers are similar?
Yeah, Lola is crazy. She has changed so much over the years. She is still wearing those rainbow color wigs, but the clothes have changed. We went from like bag lady to anime character with the tutus. Lola is kind of pushing the envelope a little bit with Disney. She is wearing the high heels and tight clothing. She is almost a little bit sexy, which is kind of cool for me because I am playing Lilly so much. I get to experience the other side when Lola is out with Hannah. She has become this other person because she can get away with it and nobody knows who she is.
Do you think Lola would be on the Best Dressed or Worst Dressed list in People Magazine?
I don’t know. It’s so funny because her style has changed so much. She’s definitely got a unique style because she wears a lot of black and a lot of purples and reds. Some of those clothes are actually really cute. I would definitely wear them, but not so much with the gigantic bows and zippers and that kind of thing.
Do you always leave your characters on set or do you ever catch yourself saying something Lilly or Lola would say in everyday conversation?
I definitely try to leave the characters on set. It’s funny because I hang out with Miley [Cyrus] way too much and I end up saying things that she says. She has her particular sayings like, “I’m just sayin’, I’m just sayin’.” So, I end up saying that a lot. We all have our things that we do, so we’ve just adjusted to that. But it’s crazy because we’re together all the time. We’re becoming each other.
Lilly doesn’t really have too much luck with boys on the show. What kind of advice would you give to girls who are watching the show that may have had their hearts broken sometime in their life?
Lilly has matured and she kind of does have a steady boyfriend now on the show. She’s evolving. I don’t know [what kind of advice I would give them]. People see me and think, “Oh, she plays Lilly in ‘Hannah Montana!’” I am kind of this role model for kids but that doesn’t mean I am the best at giving advice. I’m an actor, I’m not a superhero. So, as far as giving advice, I mean, I don’t know. Um. Be yourself.
Lilly has a crush on Orlando Bloom. Have you met him in real life?
Wow, you really have watched your episodes! I have not. Lilly and Miley are kind of obsessed with Orlando Bloom. We kind of like reference him in everything, which is funny. But, no I have not actually. I want to see if he’ll make a guest appearance. That would be fun.
Is there anything you’ve learned about Hollywood since you started acting that you didn’t know before?
Ah, man, Hollywood is very fleeting. I’m in this business not for the celebrity. I’m in it to act and do what I love. It’s not about Hollywood. It’s not about the partying. If you get mixed up in that you forget why you’re here. I’m here just to work.