Selena Gomez does it all, at just 28, the actress and singer has recorded three solo albums, starred in dozens of hit movies and television shows and designed her own fashion line. And now she’s adding amateur cook to her résumé with her new HBO Max project, Selena + Chef.
In the 10-episode series, the star tries her hand at various recipes — with some much-needed virtual help from professional chefs.
“I love cooking,” says Selena. “I just don’t always know how to do it!” (Case in point: In one instalment, a fish dish goes up in flames in her oven!)
Mishaps and all, Selena hopes to offer viewers a fun escape.
“There's a lot going on,” she explains, “and this was an opportunity to do something that could make people smile. I hope they laugh, because I look like a fool!”
Here, the former child actor talks about branching out and staying sane.
How did it feel having cameras inside your home to film Selena + Chef?
I definitely try to keep my life private, but this was different for me. I'd just moved into my house — that's my new kitchen in the show. I felt very comfortable.
Are you worried fans might try to analyze stuff in the background and look for clues about your life?
I can post a picture of the ground and my fans will cry to dissect what it means. So that’s going to happen no matter what!
You had pro chefs helping you out. What was that like?
Intimidating. But everybody was great — and that's one of the best parts of my job. You step on a film set or you work in music and you meet all of these incredible people.
What was the toughest dish to cook?
The octopus. I really didn’t like the whole process, and I'm OK never doing it again. But it was delicious, I'll say that.
What do you like to make when you want to impress guests at home?
Miso soup. That’s impressed my friends.
What about when you're in a hurry?
I can make some squash and zucchini and mushrooms and put it on a bed of rice or chicken. And I make a killer PB&J!
Do you have a favorite comfort food?
My Nana’s chicken and dumplings. I’m from the South, and it’s got yummy biscuits and all this chicken.
You have so much going on with your career. How do you juggle it all?
I pay as much attention as I can to each individual thing. And I don’t do anything I don’t want to. I make sure that every new thing I step into is something I care about.
Everyone’s been forced to slow down the past few months. How has that affected you?
What we’re going through hasn’t been easy for anyone. I have great friends and I see a therapist and I’ve just been trying to stay positive. I’ve learned so much about myself — I'm very grateful for that.
5 Fast facts about Selena Gomez
1. Selena was just 7 when she landed a role on the kids’ show Barney & Friends — alongside former bestie Demi Lovato.
2. She wears lots of different hats: She’s an executive producer on Selena + Chef and the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
3. Her first kiss was at age 12, with actor Dylan Sprouse while filming an episode of Disney’s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. “It was on camera and was one of the worst days of my life!” recalled Selena, who had a huge crush on Dylan’s twin brother and co-star, Cole, at the time.
4. She was named after the late Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. “My dad and mom were huge fans. My name was going to be Priscilla, but my cousin actually took the name when she was born six months before me. They loved Selena’s music, so they just named me after her."
5. Earlier this year, Selena got a tattoo reading “Rare” below her right ear to commemorate her most recent album. “I want to represent a person that’s just saying, ‘You are who are; you’re unique and you’re rare,’ she said of the ink.