Miley Cyrus

The young singer/actress talks about her role of Penny in the film

Miley Cyrus is the star of a long-running television show and films, a recording artist and an accomplished stage entertainer. Now, the 16-year-old Cyrus is adding another credit to her resume. She stars in Walt Disney Animation Studios' latest project, Bolt, as Penny, a young girl with her own action-adventure show that she shares with her best friend-her dog named Bolt. But off-screen, Penny isn't allowed to enjoy time with the pup, because that would spoil the illusion painstaking created and maintained by the director and crew...Bolt believes he actually possesses the special effects-driven super powers that save Penny on a weekly basis. Cyrus recently took a break from her dizzying schedule to speak to us about Bolt.

You're an actress and a performer. In animation, we only get to hear your voice. What was it like just relying on your voice?

Miley Cyrus: Ever since I was little, people would always make jokes about my low voice. But they also complimented me on it-'it's so different, it's so low.' But still, in school, people would make fun of it. But now, I think it's so cool that you don't have to have the picture-perfect, girly voice to do an animated film. I think it's great for kids with different voices to know that they could do something like this.

How many dogs do you have? It comes across in your voice when your character is playing with Bolt.

Miley Cyrus: I have six. You could tell? You could hear the baby voice? 'Come on, boy, c'mon Bolt!' Everyone was laughing when I was doing that part-they thought it was the greatest thing that I was speaking to Bolt like he was real. Yeah, I have six dogs, and I love 'em!

When your fans and friends come see Bolt, what sort of message do you think they'll get?

Miley Cyrus: There are certain movies you go and see, and then after, you wanna go home and talk to your best friend and tell her that you really love her. I hope on this one, people will want to go home and love on their dog. I hope that they realize, one, that you love your pets and know what great friends they can be. And two, that no matter what you do for a living, realize that that can go away in a second's people, like Penny or your best friend, that matter.

What was the process of making this animated film like for you? How long did it take?

Miley Cyrus: I recorded it in about five sessions, so it was pretty quick. That was great. I loved going in there in my sweats-that was my favorite part. 'All right, I'm a mess, let's roll it, let's get it done!' Then I'd go home and take a shower!

What was it like, working with the directors?

Miley Cyrus: I worked mostly one-on-one with Chris [Williams]. It was great, working that way, having the director right there to tell me what was needed. That really made things easier...and fun, too.

But if you're recording sporadically, you have to remember what you were doing the last time, what your character was feeling...did that come easily to you?

Miley Cyrus: Yeah, it was something that came easily. The only thing that was hard is that I'm really strict with myself-I want everything to be perfect, if I'm going to do it. I had to realize that this wasn't me on-camera, I wasn't animating and that I didn't get to use my hands or anything. It was hard not to be able to use my body to get across what I was trying to do. I thought that was a little frustrating.

How is your character of Penny compared to you? How are you different, how are you alike?

Miley Cyrus: Penny is a little hard core-I love the opening scene, that is my favorite. Everyone was always asking me what my favorite scene was, and I'd say, 'I love it when she comes in with her hair all chopped off, and her Doc Marten boots and she's riding her skateboard.' I think that's so cool, something that I've never been able to do. I've always kind of wanted to be that girl. And I love how vulnerable she gets when she loses Bolt. So she shows that that's just a persona.

Tell me the set-up of the film.

Miley Cyrus: I think it's a wonderful film, it's really well done. It's about Bolt, a dog, who thinks he has all of these super powers because he's on a television show. He comes to realize that what makes him special isn't all of these things that he uses to catch the bad guys, to fight them off, but that it's Penny-she's the one who gives him his strength and confidence. When he's not with her, he becomes vulnerable, and not as confident.

Bolt hits the shelves on March 24 and the three-disc Blu-ray/DVD is on the shelves now.