Selena Gomez Looks Back On Demi Lovato and Her Disney Channel Days

princess protection program selena gomez demi lovato

On the Awards Chatter Hollywood Reporter podcast, Selena Gomez recently chatted about Demi Lovato and her own time on Disney Channel. For several years at the height of Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato’s careers with Disney Channel, the girls were famous for their off-screen friendship (so much so that they ended up playing best friends onscreen, too)!

During the podcast interview, Selena Gomez (who has been trending again lately due to her well-received performance as Mabel on the Hulu show Only Murders in the Building opposite Martin Short and Steve Martin) also spoke about the difficulties of being a child star and working for the “machine” that is Disney.

wizards of waverly place

Selena Gomez, David Henrie, and Jake T. Austin as Alex Russo, Justin Russo, and Max Russo in ‘Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie’ Credit:

Gomez had filmed three different pilots for Disney, one of which ended up becoming Wizards of Waverly Place. The other two were based on Lizzie McGuire and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (which Gomez had guest-starred on). It took three years to give Selena what she called a “home” with Disney Channel — but once she did, Selena Gomez became one of Disney’s most recognizable actresses and starred in other Disney Channel projects.

Demi Lovato herself got her own show, too: Sonny with a Chance. The singer and actress then went on to star in the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock and its sequel Camp Rock 2 as well. In 2009, the two girls starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Princess Protection Program together, playing girls who become best friends.

princess protection program

Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato starred in the 2009 Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Princess Protection Program’ Credit:

Both Disney actresses also had high-profile relationships with celebrities around the same time: Gomez with Justin Bieber and Lovato with her Camp Rock co-star Joe Jonas.

Many Disney alums have expressed a mix of emotions when it comes to their time on Disney Channel, particularly Cole Sprouse and Austin Butler, but Selena Gomez did speak fondly about her memories of working with Demi Lovato — particularly since the pair of them actually first came into each other’s lives on the children’s show Barney!


Kevin Jones, Demi Lovato, and Joe Jonas in the Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Camp Rock’. Credit:

The children’s show Barney (which lasted from 2002 to 2004) was Selena Gomez’s ticket into the world of television, particularly since her family didn’t have the money to head to Hollywood or New York City as an actress. Ironically, Demi Lovato (who of course became a Disney Channel star and pop star in her own right) was right next to Selena during the audition process, and Selena remembers envying her!

Gomez’s mother had seen an open casting call for Barney, and Gomez and Lovato were competing against 1,400 other kids for roles. “The wildest part [of that day was]…she actually was the girl standing in front of me. I remember she had a red bow on…I remember thinking ‘wow she’s so pretty, she probably comes from, like, a really nice house. I didn’t have a lot growing up but just because she had a really pretty bow and a nice outfit, I just thought the world of her,” Gomez remembered.

“We just had this mini-reunion when we saw each other when we got the part. It was really fun,” she added enthusiastically. Do you remember the days of Sonny with a Chance and Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney Channel? Did you watch Princess Protection Program when it premiered in 2009?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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