Selena Gomez Is Elle's It Girl

Selena GomezSelena Gomez is an international pop singer with three hit records, a budding young actress who got her start on Disney's hit show "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and now she's trying her hand at an indie drama called "Spring Breakers"—certainly the makings of Hollywood's latest It Girl. But Selena wasn't always a successful starlet.

In the July issue of Elle magazine, she recalls a time when money was tight and her family was struggling.

"I can remember about seven times when our car got stuck on the highway because we'd run out of gas money," she said. "[Still my mother] saved up to take me to concerts. She took me to museums, aquariums, to teach me about the world, about what's real."

That supportive nature of her mother allowed her to audition for roles and follow her dreams. In 2007 she landed the key role in "Wizards," jump-starting her career. "Disney is a machine, so people automatically assume that you can't work for the channel unless you act and sing and dance and sign up for all that. That's absolutely not true," she said of her breakout gig. "I always did everything the way I wanted to do it."

And while her role on the show was the underachieving, detention-going rebel Alex Russo, she is still sought after for parts catering to the young bubble gum crowd. "I get offered the teenybopper movies, and I've done that," she said. "I haven't done a mega-hundred-billion-dollar 'Transformers' movie, but that's not what I want to do either."

Will you be picking up Selena's Elle cover on newsstands? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!