"Honestly, the reason why I take certain parts is not because I feel like I could just accept it," Gomez, 22, told Us. "I want to be the person who earns it. I've auditioned for every movie I've been a part of, and I've wanted to genuinely feel like I earned it."
Without disclosing names, the multi-hyphenate reflected on advice she took to heart. "One of my best friends always told me, 'If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room,'" revealed Gomez, who counts celebs like Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato as close confidantes.
"I would rather be in a smaller part and learn from people like Bill [William H. Macy], Felicity [Huffman], and Billy [Crudup]," Gomez mused of her Rudderless costars. "That makes me a better actress. Even though I feel like it can be uncomfortable sometimes, that's honestly what's going to make me grow."
The "Come & Get It" singer said she's constantly looking to push boundaries in her life and career. "I'm extremely lucky. I could be doing certain films that I'm comfortable [doing]," she continued. Instead, being challenged has been "an insane blessing," according to the star. "I love to push myself. I can't say I got this [role] because of who I am. I got this in spite of who I am. That's what I love about acting. I can escape from the madness. This project in particular made me feel like I get to be a real actress."
In fact, Gomez told Entertainment Tonight at Tuesday's premiere, "Lately, I've been begging people to just take an audition with me."
Shifting the focus from acting to her stardom, Gomez revealed her response to the perpetual pressure from the outside world. "I just don't listen," Gomez told Us, while adding that social media was something she doesn't "think about too much to be honest."
Her new movie Rudderless hits theaters next Friday, Oct. 17.