Being Dracula’s daughter can be a drag. That’s the lesson Selena Gomez learned making Hotel Transylvania, in which she voices the 118-year-old perpetual teenager Mavis, living in the titular lodging with her overprotective father (voiced by Adam Sandler) and longing to see the world.
Despite her character’s advanced age, Gomez didn’t have too much trouble connecting with Mavis.
“I’m not 118, but it’s fun for me to kind of grow up,” she says.
“I want to be able to see places, too. I get to travel and I’m very lucky to get to go to the places that I go to, but I never actually have been to the places alone or with friends, and I’ve never had that, so I think I’m going through that a little bit, doing things on my own a little bit more and having a little bit of that freedom.”
In that travel that she’s already doing — for work, mostly — she sees her fair share of hotels herself, though they don’t necessarily make much of an impression.
“To be honest, I’m in places for, like, a day so I don’t even know where I’m staying. My mom’s more about spas, so I just kind of follow my mom,” she says.
“We stay in different places all the time — fun ones, cool ones. I’ve stayed in haunted ones too, before. It was actually for my birthday, so this sounds a little weird, but I like getting scared. We were on tour and they had me stay in a hotel in Utah and it was haunted.
“Nothing happened, so I was a little bummed, but it was spooky being there.”
Having gotten her start on the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, Gomez clearly has a thing for the supernatural — even if the connection hadn’t occurred to her before now.
“I didn’t even think about that. I guess so,” she says with a laugh.
“With my show we were able to bring kids’ imaginations to life a little bit. We were able to be invisible and fly and walk on walls, and that’s stuff that every kid wishes they had the ability to do.
“We’re able to kind of bring that alive a little bit, which is something we’re doing with this movie as well. We’re bringing all the characters from Frankenstein to Dracula to new characters like the daughter.
It’s just fun to kind of bring that to life.”
And Gomez isn’t so worried about bringing those characters — along with mummies and werewolves and other monsters — to a younger audiences. “People have kind of changed their perceptions of monsters within tons of movies that have come out, so in a way it’s more fun for kids,” she says. “And it’s hard to scare kids now, it really is. Going to haunted houses, going to those things, watching those movies, it’s hard to scare them.”