Selena Gomez Talks Rehab & Her Next Acting Challenge in 'GQ'

Victor Demarchelier for GQ
Selena Gomez photographed for GQ.

The past year has been a huge one for Selena Gomez. She scored her first top five hit with "Good for You" from her most mature effort to date, Revival. And she continued her slow re-emergence into the spotlight after a publicized January 2014 trip to rehab, which, she tells GQ magazine in a cover story, was not what it appeared to be.

"First off, this is something that everyone always wants to fixate on. I got diagnosed with lupus. My mom had a very public miscarriage. So I had to cancel my tour," she explained about the events that led her to check into the Meadows rehab facility in Arizona. "I needed time to just be okay. And I was going through leukemia." [The writer believes she meant chemotherapy to treat the auto-immune disease lupus and a spokesperson for Gomez confirmed that she misspoke]. "And I went to two different locations for those treatments. It’s really frustrating, because I am 100 percent allowed to have that, but I think people just want to have some sort of... my past seems to be way more fascinating for people than my future, which bums me out."

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Which might explain why, after parting ways with her momager, label (Disney's Hollywood Records) and longtime boyfriend Justin Bieber, Gomez, 23, has tried to scale things back over the past year.

The child star, who had a memorable cameo in the Oscar-nominated The Big Short, has a TV series in development at Netflix, co-stars in Neighbors 2 and recently became the most-followed person on Instagram (27 million and counting!), attempted to avoid the limelight by moving into a low-key house in Calabasas non-stars Ashley, a real estate broker, and Courtney, who works for a non-profit. They watched movies and had sleepovers until recently, when Courtney and Selena moved back to the city.

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After spending more than half of her life in front of the camera amd appearing in more than a dozen movies, Gomez is still looking for the next challenge. If she has her way it would involve working with one or both of Hollywood's notoriously gifted, but super intense, directors: David Fincher and David O. Russell. In fact, reminded of a story about how Amy Adams was often in tears on the set of Russell's American Hustle, Gomez described how that was even more reason to get on the director's radar.

"Because I saw her performance," she said. "There’s a deleted scene that’s not even in the movie that I think is her best scene that she’s ever done. It’s five minutes long, and it’s her hysterically crying and laughing at the same time, and it’s so beautiful. Because I know -- I mean, I don’t know -- but I know what maybe happened for her to get there. And it was fucking amazing. It was beautiful."

Gomez knows it not that easy, and besides, there's that still-pesky transition from kid star to adult that the press seems obsessed with. "We’re easy targets," she said about why the move is so hard. "Every single kid who was brought up like this is an easy target. It’s disgusting, because it’s interesting to grown adults that these kids go through weird things because they’re figuring out, ‘Do I like this? Do I love this? Maybe I love this person. Oh, I’m exposed to this, people are reporting my every move and this and that because of Instagram and Twitter and you can find out everything.’ There’s a difference between being a fan -- there’s a difference between that and what you have to do."

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The road has had some bumps along the way, but Gomez is working with her mom, Mandy Teefey, again. They're developing the YA novel 13 Reasons Why with Tom McCarthy and partnering with Kevin Spacey's production company on a TV series she describes as "Entourage meets Girls." The story line Gomez -- who is an open book when it comes to her Christian faith -- describes sounds familiar. It's about "what girls deal with, even the perception of religion and things like that, how it affects you, and how impressionable Hollywood is."