'THE CHEETAH GIRLS ONE WORLD'
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 22
Where: The Disney Channel
By Gail Pennington
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MCT)
Sabrina Bryan was heading for the stage to answer questions about the latest "Cheetah Girls" movie when she was momentarily distracted by a flat-screen TV showing the latest "Cheetah Girls" movie.
Bryan froze in her tracks, apparently mesmerized by the sight of herself and co-stars Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams singing and dancing in lush Bollywood costumes in "The Cheetah Girls One World," set in India and filmed amid the historic palaces and colorful bazaars of Udiapur.
"We haven't seen it yet," said Bryan, better known to older TV viewers as an impressive "Dancing With the Stars" competitor than as a member of the Disney Channel girl group, without taking her eyes off the screen. "It looks great, doesn't it?"
With a curry buffet and tables dressed in pink and orange, the Disney Channel introduced "One World" to TV critics meeting in Los Angeles last month. The 'tween-friendly network fully expects this third "Cheetah Girls" movie to appeal to the millions of young viewers who have made Disney Channel original films (including "High School Musical" and the recent "Camp Rock") a top draw with the 6-14 set and turned the Cheetah Girls into an enormously popular recording and touring group.
When she finally tore herself away from the movie, Bryan and her co-stars had this to say about making "One World." (Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.)
Question: How did you like India as a location?
Bailon: Everyone was just so helpful on the set. There were no, like, lines between departments. Everybody just wanted to be helpful in anything they could be helpful in. So that was really awesome.
Williams: They made shooting a lot easier. They're actually happy that Americans came and wanted to make a movie.
Bailon: We didn't get to see the Taj Majal. That's our one big regret.
Bryan: It was a two-day trip. My parents did get to see it. They showed us pictures.
Bailon: We got to see Mumbai, which was an amazing experience. That actually was the first place we ever went to, and it's like the third-noisiest city in the world. So oh my gosh.
Q: What was it like to ride an elephant?
Bailon: We're not going to lie. It was scary at first. Definitely, it's not something I would ever do if it was not a part of this movie.
Bryan: Actually, the elephant lies on her belly.
Bryan: Even being on her belly, she was super, super big, and we still had to take a ladder to get up into the basket. Then from there she puts her front legs straight, so you're on this roller coaster with no tracks.
Williams: And you're all good once she stands up.
Bryan: Not really, because then she walks.
Williams: Like bom, bom, bom.
Bryan: And we're trying to lip sync and wave and trying to look kind of pretty.
Q: Is the absence of Raven-Symone's character explained? (Symone was the fourth Cheetah Girl in the TV series but didn't become part of the pop group. She appeared in the first two movies.
Williams: She got into Cambridge.
Bailon: Off to college a little early.
Williams: Long time, no see.
Q: What was the best part of this experience?
Bryan: I think the best part is that we were there together. This is our third movie. We've also done two tours, and "� when you get to travel the world together with your two best friends, it's just incredible.
Bailon: So much more fun.
Bryan: We got a chance to really take this movie and step it up like four notches with the dancing, with the musical numbers. Everything about this movie has improved from the last one. We loved doing the last one. We loved being a part of it, but it was just such an awesome experience to know that, as we're getting older, our work is getting better and better.
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