By Jeff Holder, Managing Editor
The cast and crew of the new Touchstone/Disney movie THE LAST SONG assembled to give some insight about making the movie, the meaning of the movie and why it’s an important one for Miley Cyrus.
As most know, Miley has become a teenage phenomenon first as the star of the Disney Channel’s hit series HANNAH MONTANA, then as a recording artist, and last summer as the star of a movie based on the series. HANNAH MONTANA THE MOVIE was honored at the most recent MOVIEGUIDE® Faith and Values Awards Gala as a top movie for families in 2009.
But, that was then.
Miley says she is looking to “get out of her comfort zone” and to try new things. She says, “The other film (based on the series) was easy. I was, like, on automatic pilot since I was so comfortable with the character. But, here, it was different.”
Miley says that her performance in THE LAST SONG was a steep learning curve for her. She credits director Julie Anne Robinson with being a phenomenal coach who taught her much.
Miley says, “Julie would say, ‘Okay, how would Ronnie (Miley’s character) feel here?’” Miley says Julie helped her to learn to pace herself with her emotions throughout the arc of the story.
“Otherwise, I’d just be crying through the whole thing,” she said.
Miley has announced the final season of HANNAH will air shortly, and there are no other HANNAH inspired projects in the works. Instead, she is going to focus on acting with more serious and emotional subject matter.
THE LAST SONG has strong themes of forgiveness and acceptance of others’ weaknesses, something that Nicholas Sparks, the novelist and the film’s screenwriter, tried to weave throughout the story.
Sparks says, “I met with Miley, and we identified some things that she wanted in the movie, so I set out to make the best story that I could with the most interesting characters.”
Greg Kinnear, who plays Miley’s father in the movie, says that what he admires about Nicholas’ story is “it was about a group of people trying to get through stuff and coming together.”
THE LAST SONG has Miley’s character being a classical pianist instead of a pop star.
“I don’t think I’ll always play characters that are musicians, but I do love music,” the budding actress says.
The movie’s title refers to a song written by Kinnear’s character for Miley’s character.
MOVIEGUIDE® has given THE LAST SONG Four Stars for quality and a caution for older children for some negative content and serious themes. You can read the full review at here.
As Miley transitions to “grown up movies,” we hope that, unlike other child stars, she will not forget the family audiences that have watched her grow up onscreen.