In Los Angeles, a land where "oh-my-gosh" celebrity sightings happen on practically every street corner, Madison Pettis usually can maintain a cool exterior.The 14-year-old from Arlington, who co-stars in the new TeenNick sitcom Life With Boys, has been a successful actress in Hollywood long enough that famous faces rarely faze her any more."It's part of living in L.A.," Pettis says. "You see people here all the time. Like, randomly, at the grocery store: 'Hey, wasn't she on The Lying Game last week?'"But Pettis does have her own celeb-sighting kryptonite. "If I see Raven-Symoné, I would not be able to speak," she admits. "If it's the right person, I still have the capacity to be completely star-struck."Pettis, too, is starting to have that power over fans more and more these days."I've had a few girls break out into tears when they met me," she says. "It's so sweet."There's no knowing what Life With Boys, a hit Canadian comedy that premieres in the States at 7 p.m. Wednesday, will do for her next.The show stars Torri Webster as Tess Foster, a 14-year-old girl in a houseful of guys (three brothers and an arrested-development single dad). Pettis is Torri's scene-stealing best friend, Allie Brooks."I love Allie because she's so different from any other character I've ever played," Pettis says. "She's a cheerleader and a total girlie girl, and she's obsessed with fashion and makeup and boys."Allie rocks a different stylish outfit for every occasion. She has a fashion philosophy of "one and done," which is to say you'll never see her repeat herself. Her wardrobe closet at home must be enormous."She's always dressed up, so much more over-the-top than I ever do in my own life," Pettis says. "Even going to school, she'll be wearing something spectacular. It's a lot of fun to go to work and be her."Life With Boys, from the same creative team that made Hannah Montana and That's So Raven, premiered in Canada last year and is already showing in countries all over the world."I'm so excited for everyone here finally to be able to see it," Pettis says. "I'm really hoping that kids will love the show and have as much fun watching it as we had shooting it."Pettis' previous credits include playing the president's daughter in Disney Channel's Cory in the House (2007-08), playing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's daughter in The Game Plan (2007), co-starring with Kermit in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008), being a recurring smart-kid guest on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader (2009) and playing a recurring character on Disney XD's Lab Rats (2012).Pettis feels like she was always meant to be an entertainer. No one in her family has showbiz experience of any kind -- "my mom doesn't even like having her picture taken," she notes -- but Madison discovered a love for performing at age 4."It started with being on stage dancing in recitals and competition," she says. "Then I got into commercials and did Barney the TV show in Dallas and got the acting bug."Sometimes I talk with my friends and they'll say, 'I don't know what I want to do when I'm grown up.' And I love being able to say, 'I already know. I want to be an actress for the rest of my life.'"I think it's awesome that I've already discovered what my biggest passion is."Pettis lives in Los Angeles now, but she still tries to get back to North Texas to visit friends and family from time to time."The last time I was in Dallas was last Christmas," she says. "And I'll be coming back in a few weeks because I'll be doing meet-and-greets all over Texas with Pastry Shoes, which is the brand of shoes that I model for. I can't wait. It's always fun to come back home."Meanwhile, in her "civilian" time, Pettis still tries to lead as normal a nonshow-biz life as possible. She attends high school in California and has nonshow-biz friends."I feel like I really get the best of both worlds," she says. "I'm so happy."
Life With Boys
7 p.m. Wednesday