Miley Cyrus is all set to shake off the alter ego that launched her into superstardom.
Cyrus' blockbuster show Hannah Montana is getting ready to wrap production forever in 2010, reps for Disney confirmed to the New York Post Friday. The Disney Channel series — about average teen "Miley Stewart" who secretly moonlights as pop star Hannah Montana — begins shooting its fourth season Jan. 18. But Hannah's swan song won't actually air until next year: a source tells UsMagazine.com that episodes for season four will begin airing "this summer and will carry over to 2011, which is when series finale will take place."
Hannah Montana's season-three finale, "Is Miley Saying Goodbye?" airs in mid-March, and mirrors the actress-singer's own growing pains. "It's one of the things [her character Miley Stewart] has been wrestling with for months," Disney Channel executive Andy Bonnett tells the Post. "Whether it's time to make a decision to continue being Hannah Montana or just be a regular, ordinary girl."
In September 2008, Cyrus squashed rumors that she was trying to get fired from the show, telling UsMagazine.com at the time, "I am fully committed to Hannah Montana. It's what gave me this amazing opportunity to reach out to so many people."
Now 17, Cyrus is leaving her show at a high point; it still averages nearly 5 million viewers a week, the Post notes. The maturing star has certainly turned heads over the past year and a half: a half-naked Vanity Fair cover, a stripper-pole performance at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards, a precocious tattoo and countless provocative remarks.
In fact, tween site JSYK.com voted Cyrus the worst celebrity influence of 2009; out of nearly 45,000 votes, Cyrus garnered 42%, beating out Britney Spears (27%) and Kanye West (19%).
But the star has plenty of other projects to keep her occupied: She headlines the Nicholas Sparks romantic film The Last Song (which premieres in April) and makes a cameo in the Sex and the City sequel, which arrives May 28. "It's the best job I've ever done," Cyrus said of her appearance in Sex. She has called her burgeoning film career "my main passion."