Disney Channel's hottest teen star: Debby Ryan

Photos courtesy of Everette Perry

Debby Ryan might be a comic actress, but she's no joke. Best known for her role as Bailey Pickett in, The Suite Life on Deck, the 18-year-old Texas native and teen superstar returns to the small screen as a "starry-eyed" teen in a live-action comedy series Jessie, this September.

The sitcom follows a girl who after graduating highschool moves to New York City and becomes a nanny to a high-profile family of four kids, their imaginary friend and a seven foot Asian Water Monitor Lizard.

"I was throwing around ideas with the executive producer, and she came up with this one, and I was like, 'Oh my god, I really love this, let's get this to production,' and a few weeks later, we had a script, and a few weeks later, we pitched it to Disney, and Disney loved it," Ryan explained.

The young star has been in Vancouver since July. She's filming a TV movie, Shrinking Violet, a working title, and returned to L.A. in late August to film the second-half of first season of Jessie.

With a sort of "multi-personality" and an eagerness to step into different roles, this child actor with an old soul knew that she wanted to go into acting for a while. Still, she was never sure.

"I never thought it was a career that people actually did," Ryan said. "Fortunately -- I was wrong." 

While in Vancouver, Ryan said she was "loving every minute."

"I actually spend a lot of time here," Ryan said. "It's one of my favourite places ever."

From Main Street's vintage shops to Granville Island's music finds, she enjoys the city's laid back West Coast vibe. Plus, the food here is pretty good. 

"Sushi here is amazing," she gushed. 

When not working, Ryan and friends love to geek out, experimenting with creating new sounds (she bangs around a bag of change for the effect), playing piano, and watching "really dorky movies" like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars."

But while she's constantly learning about different ways to create sounds and record them, she isn't planning to pursue singing as a career.

"It's something that I completely love as an industry and as an art; however, I am more interested in the writing and the production side of things," Debby said.

"I write songs and sets of lyrics and they come with melodies, and I work on the production, and my brother and I together developem them into a track, and most of them never leave our house, our home studio, but sometimes we'll do something with them for movies or shows or something."

Ryan is currently working on two songs, producing and writing one, and recording the other.

She listens to everything from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to Jessy J to random Danish stuff. "'Young Dumb and in Love,' by Mat Kearney, that's a really good summer song, and, obviously, the Adele record is amazing," she said.

Currently in between a movie, show, writing/producing/recording songs and thinking years in advance (she sees action movies and fashion in her future), her energy and unbridled enthusiasm are inspiring for young women.

Whether she's wearing cat eye glasses and a high-waisted vintage skirt or  black combat boots and a cut-up T-shirt, this busybee flaunts a one-of-a kind style.

"I don't like ever leaving the house in something that I think that there's any chance that someone will ever be wearing," Ryan said. "So, if I get a blazer at Forever 21 or H&M, I'll kind of take in the weight with a little sewing kit, and I'll add ribbons."

"I like things that are just a little bit bizarre and make you second guess, but not things that are way crazy."

She looks up to Emma Stone, Tina Fey, Amanda Bynes, "kind of the comedy greats who are just really serious about doing comedy," Ryan said. 

"You can never learn too much, you can never learn enough."

A sneak peek on Jessie premieres Friday, September 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel.

Details on Shrinking Violet info will be released soon.

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