Miley Cyrus has become a teen idol playing the squeaky-clean heroine of "Hannah Montana," the smash-hit television series about a normal adolescent who leads a double life as a pop star.
Yet as the 16-year-old Disney protege continues her meteoric rise in cinemas this week with the release of "Hannah Montana: The Movie", Cyrus admits there is one role that she is still getting used to: superstar.
"People are always saying I?m over-working and over-exposed and that I want the attention but that's not what I want at all," Cyrus told a recent press conference ahead of her film's release in North America this Friday.
"I can?t help it if there are 40 photographers outside my house, I try to keep my life as private as I can," Cyrus adds.
"If I had known coming into this that I would have all those photographers outside my house I might have given it all a second thought."
In just three short years since the first season of "Hannah Montana" made its debut on the Disney Channel, Cyrus has become a fully-fledged phenomenon.
As well as the success of "Hannah Montana", which is now into its third season, Cyrus has launched a successful solo singing career with both of her first two albums debuting at the top of the charts.
The Nashville-born teenager has also enjoyed record-breaking concert tours, helped create designs for a "Hannah Montana" clothing line and recently voiced a character in the hit animated film "Bolt."
The youngster's success led to her inclusion on Forbes.com's "Celebrity 100" list, where she ranked at 35 with estimated earnings of 25 million dollars between 2007 and 2008.
Cyrus's emergence has not been without the occasional hitch, although she has never suffered the sort of negative publicity that has bedeviled two other former Disney child stars, Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
A semi-naked portrait of the child star by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair magazine last year triggered an outcry, with parents reportedly outraged by the shoot.
Cyrus, who later distanced herself from the photos, freely admits that she has to follow a steep learning curve.
"I'm going to make mistakes and I wouldn?t trade that for anything because I always say the minute you stop making mistakes is the minute you stop learning," she says.
"I never want to disappoint people and my decisions sometimes not only disappoint other people, but disappoint myself as well. If I don?t then, all of a sudden I am not real and then you really can?t look up to me."
Nevertheless she is uncomfortable with being regarded as an idol.
"If you look at me as a role model I agree with it, but if you look at me as an idol, I don't," Cyrus said.
"An idol for me is someone you want to replicate, you want to be them and I don't wish that on anyone, to lose what they have personally."
Cyrus' father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has had a ringside seat at his daughter's spectacular emergence as a showbusiness powerhouse, having appeared in both the television series and the movie.
"This movie is for all of us a celebration of our lives and art imitating life imitating art," Cyrus says.
"We are celebrating the journey we've been on for the last few years. It's about remembering who you are, where you're going and where you've come from."
"The most important law to me is to stay Miley's best friend, sometime I'm her psychologist. We came into this thing as best friends. I have full confidence in my daughter and her professional decisions."
Meanwhile "Hannah Montana" director Peter Chelsom says Cyrus has a star quality comparable to some of Hollywood's most famous names.
"I didn't know who Cyrus or Hannah Montana were when my agent asked me if I'd be interested in directing the flick," Chelsom said. "Later, I caught an appearance by Miley on Oprah. I was blown away.
"I just thought, you know there is no way this girl shouldn't be ranked with Shirley Temple or Judy Garland."
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