From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
AGE: 15
BIRTHDAY: NOVEMBER 23
ZODIAC SIGN: SAGITTARIUS

When you have two No. 1 albums, a blockbuster TV show and movie, and a sold-out concert tour by the time you're 15 years old, there's really only one way to approach the rest of your life. "Madonna always reinvents herself, and that's what I want to do," says Miley. "Whatever comes my way that sounds good, that's what I want to do. Whether it's designing clothes or photography or whatever." But at the moment, Miley's just busy being thankful for what her life is like right now. "A lot has happened," she admits. "There have been a lot of changes, but it's all good. I've been really blessed." Taking a break from filming the Hannah Montana movie in her native Tennessee ("I'm so happy to be home! I love it"), Miley sits down to talk a mile a minute about her favorite pastimes, her present style and her future as a mogul.

How would you describe yourself?

Coolest. Person. Ev-er! [laughs] Really, I think I'm chill. I am very hyper but I'm very carefree. That's something that I definitely inherited from my dad. As I've gotten older, I've noticed I've gotten more like that.

What do you have in common with your character Hannah Montana?

She's changing up her style and that's how I am too. That's how I think my real personality shines through. I change it up so much. My grandma and my mom have used the same makeup their whole lives. I'll never be able to do that. My favorite thing one day will be my least favorite thing the next because I find things that I like so much better.

How are you not like Hannah?

Her style is more typical-girlie, and I'm very much a tomboy. That's what I get in trouble for a lot. Mom is like, "It's not going to hurt you to be a girl for one day."

You seem to like getting dolled up.

For photo shoots, yes. But in real life, if I'm wearing a dress, I'm wearing Chuck Taylors with it. I've never been super girlie.

You have had an insane year. What's one lesson you've learned?

I think knowing which people I can trust and being more aware of my surroundings. I really had to work on that. It's like Dorothy—I'm not in Kansas anymore. I'm not at home in Tennessee.

What's the biggest difference between L.A. and Tennessee?

It feels safe in Tennessee with all my friends. It's not about what you wear or this and that. In L.A. it's hard not to think about that stuff. So it's nice to be where it doesn't matter.

What do you do for fun when you're in Tennessee?

There's so much to do! Daddy and I went horseback riding. My sister Brandi and I went to Pinkerton Park, where there's lots of slides and walking trails. That was really fun.

You went to public school up until sixth grade. What were your extracurricular activities?

I was a hard-core cheerleader. I definitely miss it.

A while back, your allowance was taken away after you lost your debit card. Did you ever get it back?

It's back! I've gotten on this new shopping kick [laughs]. But I'm not spoiled where I can just go out and buy whatever I want. I'm trying to be careful. My mom's like, "Do what you want, but when the balance says zero you're going to be really upset."

What do you like to shop for?

Shoes. Bags. I love bags.

What do you carry around in your bag?

A makeup kit. A wallet. A planner. Sunglasses. A first-aid kit...

Um, a first-aid kit?

Yeah. Nick Jonas is diabetic, so on tour he'd poke his little finger and he'd be like, "Dang, I ran out of Band-Aids" and I'd be like, "I got a Band-Aid!" I've got Band-Aids, Neosporin, Benadryl—just in case I get a rash.

The Big Sweet 16 is coming up this year. Have you asked for anything?

I want a car, but we'll see. I don't want to name a certain kind. I want my parents to know that I'm happy with anything that they get me. I know I'd be really lucky to even get a car.

You're in the process of trademarking your name. Are you planning on building a Miley empire?

I like that word [shifts into a deeper voice]. Empire! There are a lot of options and a lot of it is because of who I am now. I just want to become something more than what I'm known as now.