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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When animated movie "Despicable Me" debuted last weekend at the No. 1 spot atop box offices with roughly $56 million in ticket sales, it surprised many industry watchers, but perhaps it shouldn't have.
The voice of one character, a Margo, is that of teen star Miranda Cosgrove, whose Nickelodeon TV series "iCarly" is currently the network's top-rated show for kids, and Cosgrove's following of fans is among the main reasons for its success.
The 17-year-old talked with Reuters about "Despicable Me," which now has around $80 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales in its first week, as well as 'iCarly,' her new album, school and why she doesn't yet have a driver's license.
Q: "Your counterpart, 17 year-old Miley Cyrus over at the Disney Channel, has called it quits on "Hanna Montana." Being the same age, have you given thought to wrapping up "iCarly?"
A: "I've thought about it before because we started the show when were 13, 14 years-old and now we're 17. But this season the writers really made the characters more mature. We're having romances and doing things we would never have done in the first season. It's cool because we've grown up on the show and our characters have, too."
Q: Your album, "Sparks Fly," recently came out. Seems like every teen star on television is also recording music. Is that a prerequisite these days?
A: "I wanted to make an album so people could see what I'm really like because with "iCarly" I'm playing a character. It took me a long time to find my own sound. I worked on it for two years. I recorded about 30 songs and ended up narrowing it down to 12 for the album."
Q: The music video for your first single "Kissing U" is now out. But it's far more tame than Miley in her latest video.
A: "'Kissing U' is about that feeling you get when you're falling in love with somebody. I wanted the video to have a lot of sweet moments that you have when you're in the beginning of a relationship. Most of it is me walking on the beach singing the song."
Q: Are you conscious of being a role model to young kids?
A: "I don't feel pressure about it, but I do try to make the right decisions in general. When I think about all the little girls that watch the show, I definitely want to do the right thing."
Q: You must be driving already. How do you like your newfound freedom?
A: "I don't drive yet but I want to really bad. I had to put it on the backburner because I got behind in math during the school year. So even though it's summer, I have a math tutor trying to help me finish in time for the new school year. I owe my best friend Nina, like, 500 rides."
Q: If you weren't acting, what would you be doing now?
A: "I'd probably just be in high school. I love English, so hopefully I would be writing. I still want to go to college. Maybe NYU (New York University) or USC (University of Southern California). I'd love to be like a Tina Fey and write. I think she's awesome. I've been watching '30 Rock' like crazy the last few months. I think it's cool she writes the show and is the creator."
Q: Your dad owns a dry cleaning business. What's that like?
A: "My friends call me all the time to ask me how to get stains out of things. But my pajamas are always pressed, so that's pretty cool!"
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte