Many tweens across the nation eagerly await Miley Cyrus' every move, twittering about the starlet's latest song or boyfriend. But Julie Anne Robinson, who directed Cyrus' first dramatic role in "The Last Song," barely knew who the young actress was before the two met on set.
"I was sort of dimly aware of her," admitted Robinson, who used to live in England, where Cyrus is not as popular as she is stateside.
These days, however, Robinson is acutely aware of Cyrus' star power: The director's feature debut, which was written specifically for Cyrus by modern romance master Nicholas Sparks, is likely to make $10 million at the box office on its opening day alone.
"The Last Song," which hits theaters Wednesday, stars Cyrus as a rebellious teenage girl who falls in love with a hunky local (Liam Hemsworth) while spending the summer at the beach house of her father (Greg Kinnear).
The story is a far cry from some of the projects on Robinson's resume, which include work on productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court and the Royal National Theatre in London. She later went on to work alongside directors Stephen Daldry and Sam Mendes before landing a spot in the BBC director's training course. But it was her work on the BBC miniseries "Coming Down the Mountain" -- a 90-minute film about two teenage boys, one of whom has Down syndrome -- that got her noticed by Disney.
Before the film's release, Robinson took a few minutes to chat about how to avoid making a Nicholas Sparks story trite and what it's really like to work with Miley Cyrus.