Entertainment behind the scenes
The heat has been cranking up for months around 15-year-old singer and actor Miley Cyrus, and it rose even higher this week as the star fended off a much-publicized advertising offer from a condom maker and confessed to feeling overworked on her hit Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana.”
From the media firestorm around Miley come conflicting reports about her life and career, and one wonders if the young woman is more pawn than princess in a red hot Hollywood chess game. It all brings to mind the recent, personal meltdowns of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, who also broke through to fame as teenagers.
Dr. Kimberly Williams, a pediatric neuropsychiatrist at New York University’s Child Study Center, said the national media spotlight can be too much for young stars like Cyrus. “This is just a typical teenager who just has peer pressure, social issues at school to worry about, and so now we add the weight of the nation and that kind of scrutiny,” Williams said.
Even though Cyrus wears a purity ring signifying her chastity until marriage, media reports this week said she received a $1 million offer from LifeStyles condoms to appear in an advertising campaign for the company.
Cyrus’ representative told E! News the star had not even received an offer and that she would not even consider it. A spokeswoman for Lifestyles declined to comment.
Separately, Cyrus told E! News in an interview that she think her Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” may be nearing its end. Cyrus portrays Hannah, who at school is just an average teenager but has another, secret life as a pop singing sensation.
“We’re thinking this is our last season,” Cyrus told E! The star said that she has played Hannah Montana since she was 11, and she added that the heavy work load included shooting “two seasons in one last year.”
But her representative downplayed Cyrus comments, telling E! that “Hannah Montana” not only starts production on a third season August 4 but also has an option for a fourth beyond that. A “Hannah Montana” movie is scheduled for a spring 2009 release.
“You’ve got a stressed out, depressed teenager who still has to go and go and go, and no one has time to hear, ‘Oh Miley, you’re tired,’” Williams said.
In April this year, a photo of a Cyrus apparently topless and covered with a only sheet emerged from a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot by famed photographer Annie Liebovitz. Many Cyrus watchers saw it as far too adult for a 15 year-old, and Cyrus had to apologize to her fans. Yet this month Cyrus released a new pop CD called “Breakout” that she described as “grown up.”
Spears, 26, is an alumnus of the Disney star factory as she appeared on the Disney Channel as part of the Mickey Mouse Club when she was a child. Like many child stars, she encountered personal problems later in life and was briefly hospitalized twice earlier this year for psychiactric evaluation.
It’s not the most modest self-description, but one must remember that Miley Cyrus is only 15 years-old and a Hollywood celebrity. The singing star of “Hannah Montana” fame, has three words to describe herself “Coolest. Person. Ev-er!” she tells People magazine in a special Miley Cyrus issue set to hit newsstands on Friday, July 4. ”Really, I think I’m chill. I am very hyper but I’m very carefree.”
She also tells People her approach to life is to take things as they come. “Madonna always reinvents herself, and that’s what I want to do,” said Miley. ”Whatever comes my way that sounds good, that’s what I want to do. Whether it’s designing clothes or photography or whatever.”
It’s an age-old solution for when a celebrity finds themselves in trouble with their fans — do charity work. For a while it seemed that nothing could stop the meteoric rise of fresh-faced Miley Cyrus, better known as “Hannah Montana.” Then, she made the mistake of posing topless, wrapped in a satin sheet, in a photo shoot for Vanity Fair magazine by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. Cyrus, 15, has apologized to all her fans for an error in judgment and for letting them down, and she’s now out there with her mother to help a charity for women battling breast cancer.
The Libby Ross Foundation said Miley and Trish Cyrus were among a list of celebrity mothers and daughters helping raise funds for the charity by decorating yoga bags with Swarovski jewels that will be listed on eBay for sale from May 5-15. Other celebrities duos include Susan Sarandon and daughter Eva Amurri and Hayden Panettiere and her mother Lesley Panattiere.
Tween sensation Miley Cyrus sang up a storm on the “American Idol” charity special “Idol Gives Back” but it turns out the Disney star is no fan of the most popular TV show (apart from her own) in America.
Cyrus, 15, aka “Hannah Montana”, performed two songs live at the Hollywood taping of the fundraiser at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday and recorded a mini segment highlighting the plight of impoverished kids in Kentucky, where her dad Billy Ray Cyrus was born and raised.