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Selena Gomez visits county to promote movie

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Singer and actress Selena Gomez answers questions in front of a packed crowd at the Mall of Georgia on Thursday evening while promoting her new movie, "Monte Carlo," which comes out July 1.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Singer and actress Selena Gomez answers questions in front of a packed crowd at the Mall of Georgia on Thursday evening while promoting her new movie, "Monte Carlo," which comes out July 1.

BUFORD -- Cindy Kearney left Oklahoma to visit her granddaughter in Lawrenceville.

She had no special plans but to spend time with her family, in particular her 8-year-old granddaughter Ashlynn.

But things took a drastic turn when she saw an article about famous actress/singer Selena Gomez coming to visit Buford as part of a mall tour.

"I read about it in the paper," said Kearney. "And I was like 'Oh my God, I have to take her to see this.'"

Kearney knew her granddaughter was a fan of Gomez and decided that this would be a great way to spend time with her.

They stood in line waiting to take have their photo taken at the green screen with a backdrop of Gomez and a few other cast members in her new movie "Monte Carlo."

The movie stars Gomez -- known for the Disney Channel series "Wizards of Waverly Place" -- as Grace, who is mistaken as a British heiress named Cordelia during a summer trip to Paris. Grace and her two friends, Emma (Katie Cassidy) and Meg (Leighton Meester), pretend to be socialites and live like royalty until the real heiress makes her appearance.

Ashlynn, who was holding a poster of Gomez, said she was a big fan and that she was excited that she was able to come see her.

"I'm very glad to be here," Ashlynn said. "The best part is that I actually get to see Selena Gomez in person."

Ashlynn and thousands of other fans waited at the Mall of Georgia's Village Amphitheater, anxious to see Gomez finally hit the stage. The Mall of Georgia event was a part of a 10-city tour to promote "Monte Carlo," which opens July 1.

Gomez said that she was glad to be there and see all the fans that she has in Georgia.

"It's so awesome," Gomez said. "I love Atlanta and I love the fans and being able to meet them. And I love the Southern hospitality down here."

During the production of the movie, Gomez traveled to Budapest, Hungary, Paris and Monte Carlo. She said that it was cool shooting in Budapest and that it was a great experience.

"It was so cool," Gomez said. "The culture is so different over there, but it was interesting. I had a lot of fun."

Along with green screen photographs, the tour featured mini-makeovers and a 45-minute Q&A session where fans got the chance to enter questions for Gomez to answer.

When Gomez finally made her appearance, die-hard fans screamed, cried and waved their posters hoping to get her attention.

Through the Q&A session, Gomez showed nothing but love and appreciation for her fans, and the fans got to learn a bit more about her career as a singer and actress but also a little about her personal life.

Ten-year-old Sarah Willis said that she came with her friend who had an extra ticket for the meet and greet and was just glad to be there.

"I like Selena because she's not prissy," said Willis. "I love everything about her, but I love that she acts like a normal person."

Gomez shared her hobbies of baking and spending time with her family. She also had a fan come onstage to dance with her.

Her fans showed her appreciation when they sang "Happy Birthday" for her birthday coming up in July.

The tour ended with Gomez thanking her fans for coming out and supporting her movie and career.

"This movie is important to me because it is the first step in what I love, which is acting," said Gomez. "This movie is something everybody can go and see, I worked hard on it and I hope when you guys get a chance to see it you will enjoy it."

Gomez said that after the mall tour, she will be back in Georgia for another tour Aug. 2 at the Chastain Amphitheater in Atlanta.