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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Meet the Disney Channel's Newest Golden Girl, Debby Ryan

[Via abcnews.go.com...]

Debby Ryan may not be a household name right now, but you can bet she will be in a year.

The vivacious 19-year-old is the Disney Channel's newest golden girl, with hit movies, music and her own TV show. Ryan stars on the wildly popular 'tween sitcom "Jessie," in which she plays a young girl from Texas who moves to New York City to chase her dreams in the entertainment industry and ends up becoming a nanny for four children.

But unlike Disney starlets who came before her, Ryan tries to keep her distance from the tabloid spotlight. On a Friday night, you'll find her at home with her makeup off, jamming out with her band and eating Taco Bell (she's a big fan of the Doritos Locos taco), not hitting a nightclub.

"I leave Debby Ryan at work the same way I leave the script at work," she told ABCNews.com. "I go home and watch people falling off of ATVs on 'Ridiculousness' on MTV."

Ryan doesn't play into the "crazy," as she calls it. She gets uncomfortable in front of large groups of people screaming her name and taking her picture, making red carpet events "stressful." The young star also credits her strong self awareness and tight group of loyal family and friends for helping her keep a level head.

"You need to have people who are not afraid to fight you," she said. "You need to fight yourself in order to be the person you ultimately want to be one day."

Ryan also has an insane amount of determination. She got her first major acting gig on "Barney & Friends" before scoring the role of Bailey on Disney's "The Suite Life on Deck." Now she hopes to transition into more adult roles, including indie films and maybe even some screenwriting.

But climbing trees with her brother Chase while growing up gave Ryan a love of adventure and a desire to do action films like "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" or "Colombiana."

But at the end of the day, Ryan said, she loves making people laugh and any episode of "Jessie" shows her comedic timing, which rivals that of Lucille Ball, one of her idols. She also has the red hair to go with it.

"I would love to have the career of an Emma Stone/Sandra Bullock, a little bit kick butt but also artistic with blockbusters and features," she said. "I love variety and that's the fun part of being an actor. I don't understand the people who play the same character over and over."

Unlike Stone and Bullock, Ryan's career will also most likely be filled with music. She has recorded songs for "Jessie," "Suite Life" and her 2012 Disney Channel movie, "Radio Rebel," and in her spare time she loves to write original songs, a process she says gives her butterflies.

"I always joke that acting is my spouse and singing is like my lover," she said. "I go every day and act and it feels very fulfilling for me and it's definitely a part of me and then there's a secret rush behind closed doors with my music."

No matter what Ryan's future holds, she has big plans for it. And if you ever see her at the Oscars, plan on her pulling a Jennifer Lawrence in front of her Hollywood crush when she goes up to accept her Best Actress statue.

"When I'm at the Oscars I will be definitely be throwing myself on the stairs in front of Hugh Jackman," she said.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.