Disney star Sabrina Bryan is best known for being one of The Cheetah Girls and for her shocking elimination on season five of Dancing with the Stars. The 24-year-old starlet sat down with Just Jared Jr. on Tuesday at the Virgin Megastore in NYC’s Times Square to talk about her new book, “The Princess of Gossip”, her upcoming fitness DVD, “BYou2″, and her biggest splurge since she hit it big.
JJ: Hi, Sabrina! Nice to meet you. As you know, we’re a blog. Do you go online often and check out the gossip blogs?
SB: I have to be honest, I really donâ€™t do that enough. I just havenâ€™t been addicted to those kind of things.
JJ: How do you keep in touch with your friends? Facebook? MySpace?
SB: I have them all in my phone. When I was in India, I did iChat a lot.
JJ: The Cheetah Girls are on tour right now. How’s it going? And how is your ankle, I heard you injured it?
SB: Itâ€™s going really well. Weâ€™re actually going to be in Newark tomorrow night (Wednesday) at the Coliseum on Friday. Itâ€™s just been so much fun. Weâ€™re traveling the country again and one of our favorite things to do is perform in front of the fans and do the live music and watch all of them sing a long with us. So itâ€™s been a lot of fun. [My ankle] is so much better. Iâ€™m actually, finally back in heels. I had to wear flats for a while just to make sure that the ligament was all set. The show didnâ€™t really suffer from it. I just kind of had to take it back as far as not wearing spiked heels. That was not working for me.
(Click inside to read the rest of JJJâ€™s interview with Sabrina Bryanâ€¦)
JJ: All of the The Cheetah Girlsare all coming out with their own albums. How does your sound differ from the other girls?
SB: Adrienne mostly, is going to be focusing on a Spanglish-type album. Sheâ€™s also really into R&B. Iâ€™m more into the pop-dance world so I want my stuff to me more like Kylie Minogue-esque, remix-Britney Spears kind of stuff; more dance inspired. And then Kielyâ€™s extremely eclectic, so sheâ€™s gonna go in totally different genres. Thatâ€™s kind of the flair that you get with the Cheetah Girls. We all have different styles that we bring to our group. This is gonna get a chance to kind of separate those.
JJ: What is your background?
SB: Iâ€™m a Â¼ Spanish, Â¼ Mexican and a little bit of Cherokee Indian. Iâ€™m like a mutt, Iâ€™m everything.
JJ: Your second fitness CD BYou2 is coming out. How is that different from the first one?
SB: The first one is predominately all hip-hop based movements. Itâ€™s got that aerobic feel. Itâ€™s not really like Jazzercise in any way, itâ€™s more just intense cardio workout. When I went to India, I got so inspired by the Bollywood style of dancing and Fatima Robinson is the choreographer on it. I got to talk with the producer and said it would be really cool to teach young girls, especially when theyâ€™re going to have so much fun watching us do it. I definitely got inspired there. Itâ€™s going to have a section of Bollywood, a section of hip-hop and then a collaboration of the two. We filmed it back in June.
JJ: And your new book “The Princess of Gossip”–what was the writing process like?
SB: It was kind of hectic because this last year with Dancing With The Stars, India, BYou2 and with everything that has been going on with getting ready for the tour. But I worked with Julia DeVillers, who is the co-writer and she is phenomenal. She just guided me through that process and made it so easy. We did a lot of brainstorming sessions. I brought her the idea of the book and she was like â€˜Wow, that sounds really good.â€™ We had already talked about writing together and she called me a couple of days later. She was like â€˜I can not get that idea out of my head. What do you think about thisâ€¦â€™ and we just started brainstorming and bounced ideas off each other. Sheâ€™s so good at making it reader-friendly and knows exactly the young mind of young girls and how they read things and how to just make the picture come to life. She really helped me through that process.
JJ: How did you come up with the idea for “The Princess of Gossip” in the first place?
SB: Basically, it came from a MySpace page. I found out that a lot people created MySpace pages where they posed as different celebrities. And I found one of mine. At first, I would just go on them to see just how accurate they were. It was crazy that they really had the correct info and all that kind of stuff. It was very innocent and then at some point, it turned into a negative thing and it made me nervous because the fans really thought it was me. So when inappropriate comments were being made or just lies were being made, I realized that this gossip on the internet can be just exploited in just such a crazy way.
JJ: How has your Dancing With The Stars experience impacted your life even to this day?
SB: Well, Iâ€™ve truly gotten obsessed with the show. I love watching it and watching other celebrities go through the process of just this hardcore training. There always seems to be so much drama on that show â€“ everyone gets injured. Iâ€™ve gotten to know so many of the pro-dancers so itâ€™s fun to watch them with different partners. I had such a great time and I definitely hope to one day expand even more on learning the different styles of dancing that I got such a slight touch of.
JJ: If you could put anyone from the Disney family on Dancing with the Stars, who would it be?
SB: Mitchel Musso is hysterical. Heâ€™s one of the funniest kids Iâ€™ve ever met. Either him or one of the Sprouse twins. Not so much beacause of their dancing ability â€“ Dylan and Cole â€“ but how funny they are when theyâ€™re put in awkward positions, as many of us on the Disney channel constantly are. Theyâ€™re hysterical.
JJ: Do you think that people like the Sprouse twins, with no dance training, could get into Dancing With The Stars?
SB: Yes, definitely. I just think it takes a lot of focus and dedication; getting past that frustration point that everyone goes through. So pushing through that, I think anyone could do it.
JJ: Thanksgiving is coming up. Do you have any holiday traditions that you and your family have?
SB: Thanksgiving has been the holiday where weâ€™re all kind of in different places. Like I did the Macyâ€™s Day Parade a couple years of ago with The Cheetah Girls, so Iâ€™m not always in town for Thanksgiving. Christmas is the holiday for my family. My dad has a tradition where he puts notes around the house and we do a scavenger hunt–my sister and I–for our last gift. Weâ€™ve been doing it since we were little girls but the notes aren’t as good anymore. Theyâ€™re not as clever. (laughs) Heâ€™s kind of getting a little bit older but he love doing it for us. It actually is one of our favorite things on Christmas morning.
JJ: What was the best gift that you’ve received for Christmas?
SB: Iâ€™ve had a lot of great gifts, a lot of thoughtful ones. I think my favorite gift is one that we gave to my mom â€“ it was her puppy. She wanted one so bad after I got mine, so for us to completely be able to surprise her. She just like burst into tears. It was such an awesome moment, she was so happy.
JJ: What is your and your momâ€™s dogs names?
SB: My dogâ€™s name is Rocky and my momâ€™s is Teddy. And theyâ€™re both Shitzuâ€™s. And now my sister has one and his name is Stevie.
JJ: You attended Chapman University for a bit. Did you graduate?
SB: I went there, trying to get my degree. I have one year left so Iâ€™m still enrolled and trying to internships and things like that. Iâ€™m in Chapman and I love it. Itâ€™s just been kind of tough with The Cheetah Girls being so busy.
JJ: You were just announced as the spokesperson for the Healthy Kids Challenge Dance for Health. Can you tell us about it?
SB: Healthy Kids Challenge is an amazing program that Iâ€™ve been able to be involved in and itâ€™s just basically just going into different schools and starting to try and reform their nutrition programs whether itâ€™s through their cafeteria and helping to plan out a better menu options for kids with healthy choices or actually helping to participate in educational programs for the kids and for their parents to learn a lot more about nutrition. Itâ€™s kind of hard to know where to go on the internet and to know exactly whatâ€™s good and whatâ€™s not for kids. You donâ€™t want to take away a lot of the nutrients by trying to deduct certain things from their dieting. Itâ€™s important for them to get certain things as they are growing.
JJ: How do you stay healthy?
SB: Itâ€™s definitely hard having such a crazy schedule all the time. I try to keep up with a good cardio regiment and dancing has always been my favorite way to do that. Having a realistic lifestyle with the nutritionâ€¦trying not to go so far left and every once in a while let yourself have fun and go out with the girls and grab some pizza.
JJ: How do you choose what to eat? Do you go out or have people cook for you?
SB: I kind have done it all, actually. Iâ€™ve had trainers before and thatâ€™s really whatâ€™s helped me the most–the longevity of it. And learning what are good snacks that are easy to take in your bag. Like right now, I have a little packet of raw almonds in my bag. Just in case you get hungry, instead of picking up French fries at McDonalds, itâ€™s a little bit easier. Iâ€™ve also done the home delivery system. Thatâ€™s definitely the easiest. Itâ€™s just unrealistic because Iâ€™m never home. So itâ€™s kind of hard.
JJ: For your album, who do you look to for musical inspiration?
SB: Definitely Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears. Iâ€™m so excited for her [Britney] to come out with her new album in December. Madonna has always been a huge influence. Janet Jackson. All the artists that have come out with a true dance album. I really love Rihannaâ€™s stuff right now.
JJ: Have you seen them all in concert yet?
SB: I have only seen Madonnaâ€™s special. I own Janet Jacksonâ€™s DVD and Iâ€™ve seen Britney Spears live. I also loved N’SYNC when they were out. I just saw The New Kids on the Block concert. Amazing, so fun, such a great concert.
JJ: Besides the Cheetah Girls, whoâ€™s your best friend in show business?
SB: We lucky have been able to have each other that weâ€™re kind of like sisters so we donâ€™t have to venture out too much. But Iâ€™ve enjoyed getting to know people like Ashley Tisdale. Weâ€™re not super close, but weâ€™re close to the Jonas Brothers. They actually opened for us a while back on our Christmas tour. We got to know them pretty well then and always keep running into them now that theyâ€™re part of the channel.
JJ: How did you get into show business? What was your big break?
SB: I got into show business just starting in background work. I was doing extra stuff for a little bit and kind of wanted to move on from that pretty quickly and the first thing I did as a principal character was a Hallmark movie with Angela Lansbury. It was a Christmas movie called Mrs. Santa Claus. My characters name was Fritzie. Fritzie was a factory worker kid that was working for a toy factory. There was a bunch of us that were likeâ€¦it was like we were that child labor laws. I think it was set back in the 1920s. Mrs. Santa Claus â€“ Angela Lansbury â€“ comes and helps us to make better toys and helps us get our worker rights.
JJ: What was your biggest splurge since you hit big?
SB: My car. I have a 2007 hard top BMW convertible 335. I love it, I miss it so much. I havenâ€™t driven it since we came on tour.
JJ: Thanks so much, Sabrina. It was great interviewing you!
SB: Thank you so much, it was great meeting you too!
Posted to: Sabrina Bryan