By Chris Schonberger
July 19, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Yesterday, Bethonie Butler and I skipped our Wednesday tradition ofwalking to a Chipotle that is not the closest one to our office (!?!?) to checkout a press conference for this year’s Scream Tour, which kicks off in NewOrleans on August 3. Promoter Michael Mauldin (a.k.a. Jermaine Dupri’s dad) and 106 & Park‘s Terrence and Rocsi hada lot to say about this year’s event, but T.I. (pictured) quickly established himself as the tour’s King, court jester, and marketing impresario.Joined onstage by the whole Screamfestlineup (minus T-Pain), he held court and displayed an impressive knowledge ofhis fellow artists’ hit records as he broke down the tour:

“This is not the same Scream Tour that you’re used to.I’m referring to it as the new and improved, grown and sexy Scream Tour.Everybody who’s under 16 or 17 and you ain’t got a grown man or grown woman,you might wanna bring your parents so they can explain to you what you’reseeing up there. I know Lloyd gonna ‘Get It Shawty,’ and I know Yung Joc gonnamake sure ‘It’s Goin’ Down.’ T-Pain gonna ‘Buy U a Drank,’ and you already knowCiara gonna do it just ‘Like a Boy.”’

Addressing the tour’s historically female-dominatedaudience, T.I. added that it might not be the worst thing for guys looking fora good ratio: “It’s gonna be like three or four to one, man. That’s likethe population of Atlanta.”

Ever the hustler, he promised to personally sell each ofhis tourmates’ CDs — Yung Joc’s sophomore album Hustlenomics drops mid-tour on August 28. In T.I.’s own words: ”I do take creditcards…. I take cash, you can bring your roll of quarters, pennies, nickels — whatever you got.” Talk about Trap Muzik!

Of course, Ciara will be representing for the ladies — andbringing the boys to the arena — as the Scream Tour’s first female headliner.We caught up with her to talk about the evolution of the tour, Tranformers, and her favorite MichaelJackson show. Check it out after the jump.

addCredit(“T.I.: Chris Schonberger; Ciara: Chris Schonberger “)

EW: You made”Like a Boy,” so you obviously know how to hold your own with theguys. How do you plan on doing that on this tour with Lloyd, Yung Joc, T.I.,and T-Pain?

Ciara: I’ve hadthe experience of being the only girl surrounded by a lot of males before andit’s truly an experience. It just pushes you harder — you’ve got to find yourplace in all of it because, of course, the girls love to see the guys. So I’mlike what can I bring for the girls that they’re gonna love from me. I’m justgonna have to go out there and give it my all and bring something that’s gonnacater to my ladies as well as the males. And have fun! I think that’s the mostimportant part of touring.

EW: Are there anysongs from The Evolution that you’relooking forward to performing?

Ciara: Yeah.”I Proceed,” “My Love,” of course, “That’s Right”and “Like a Boy.” And “Crush.” Those are a few of theregulars that stand out in my mind instantly.

EW: Being sowell-known for your choreography, how are you going to adapt to this year’scircular stage at Screamfest?

Ciara: Oh mygoodness, you gotta really balance things out and make sure that all sides arepleased. It’s kind of cool because it really puts the spotlight on you evenmore. It’s like, “Don’t let nothing go wrong, because it’s [going to beseen] all around. Besides that I just think it’s gonna be fun. It’s somethingdifferent for me, I’ve never been in the round before, so I can only imaginethe excitement of being in the round, but I’m looking forward to theexperience.

EW: Will there beany collaborations with the other artists? Something with T.I. maybe? “Goodies”remix”?

Ciara: Maybe. [Laughs]

EW: Do you thinkthere are going to be some parents and kids who have been to previous Scream Tourswho will be surprised by the lineup?

Ciara: Oh,absolutely. I think there will be kids who have been to the Scream Tour thathave grown up. They’re older now but they’re gonna want to come back because Ithink the Scream Tour is definitely more mature than what it used to. T.I.calls it the “Grown and Sexy Tour,” and the artists are definitelyolder than before.

EW: What’s onCiara’s “Must List” these days?

Ciara: I love Adventures in Hollyhood and I like Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge. Ilove that show. The most recent film I saw was Transformers, and I loved it. I’d like to be in a film like thatone day.

EW: Do you seeyourself as an action star?

Ciara: Absolutely!I think the sky’s the limit when it comes to acting. I want to do action,comedy… I don’t know, I want to do everything!

[Editor’s note: Ciara has already done some acting. She starred inMTV’s All You’ve Got last year andwill make her feature film debut in the Broadway to film transfer, Mama, I Wanna Sing!]

EW: Have you seenthe new Harry Potter yet?

Ciara: I’ve seen1 and 2, I think… I get lost in trying to figure out which ones I’ve seen, but Iwill say I think that’s a great sequel. But I need to catch up. And I also wantto get into Shrek. I never got achance to see those so I just went and bought the first two.

EW: From yourexperiences with Harry Potter, do you have a favorite moment?

Ciara: I thinkone big moment was… was it a fight or something? I’m not good with the names! ButI think that the lead, that guy… he’s adorable. I forget his name.

EW: DanielRadcliffe.

Ciara: Maybethat’s him…

EW: Harry Potter!

Ciara: Yeah! Ithink he’s adorable!

EW: Is there aparticular tour that you went to, maybe as a kid or more recently, that reallysticks out in your mind?

Ciara: Well, Ididn’t get to go to this tour, but the one that really stand out to me is Michael Jackson Live in Bucharest. Crazy! Oh my gosh, to have that many people out there at your show? That is adream. I can’t forget some moments like him flying out of the stadium. He did”the lean.” He did a lot of great things on that tour.