When on camera, "she turns it on," Brett Ratner says of the teen star

By Kristen Mascia Michelle Tan
July 18, 2008 03:35 PM
David Fisher/Rex USA; Evan Agostini/AP

Miley Cyrus is only 15 – but she’s already being compared to one of the world’s biggest pop icons.

According to director Brett Ratner, who shot the video for Cyrus’s new single “7 Things” off her upcoming album Breakout, Cyrus is a mini Madonna.”

“She turns it on,” he told E! News this week. “A lot like Madonna.

Ratner would know – the Rush Hour director worked with Madonna in 1999, when he directed the video for her Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me song, Beautiful Stranger.

“Where a lot of other artists are nervous or they’re primping, you know, Madonna walks on and is casual; cameras are on her and then all of the sudden, wow!” Ratner said. “Same thing with Miley. She’s hanging out, she’s telling the jokes, she’s laughing, she’s signing an autograph.” But then, he adds, “Camera goes on her and she was just unbelievable.”

Cyrus is “a hard worker,” he added. “She knows what her job is; she came and gave me 200 percent.”

And everyone wanted the scoop on the shoot, Ratner said: “I’ve shot for Madonna, Mariah Carey – some of the biggest artists in the world – and I’ve never had more calls. I had at least a thousand calls. ‘Can I just come by the set and watch Miley?’ and I’m like, ‘But you’re 40 years old!’ ”

The comparison Ratner draws is especially fitting, as Cyrus will be getting a Material Girl-esque makeover on Hannah Montana this fall – with leggings, fingerless gloves and eighties fluorescents. “Madonna always reinvents herself,” the pop star says in PEOPLE’s special Miley Cyrus issue, “and that s what I want to do.”