Since her arrival as the star of the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place in 2002, Selena Gomez has been on an incredible journey that has seen her move from TV to movie star, recording artist and now producer (perhaps you've heard of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why?).
Today when you read about her roles, words like "edgy" and "departure" are continually used. The bottom line is that she's grown up, but while she's definitely finding her place in a more adult world, unlike so many others she refuses to leave her fans behind or forget the road that brought her to where she is today. It's a journey that began on July 22, 1992 in Texas, and it was only seven years later that she went out on her first audition and nailed it: as part of a group of kids who would be hanging out with Barney the Dinosaur and his friends (which happened to include Demi Lovato, igniting a friendship between them that has gone on ever since).
That job lasted two years at which point she had aged out of the show, leading to a talent casting call for Disney that in turn led to her being hired for guest star appearances in shows like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Hannah Montana, the Lizzie McGuire pilot for a series spin-off that didn't go, What's Stevie Thinking?, and, of course, Wizards of Waverly Place. And, as noted above, her success there has led to far more complex roles, though the road wasn't always an easy one for her.
"My intention was always to be an actress and a singer," she pointed out to Variety. "Unfortunately, it just kind of got clouded. I never really wanted to be on tabloids or anything like that. I think it’s wonderful now. I’ve been able to build my platform up because of who I am on the inside and just doing what I love, which is film, which is music. I’m not oblivious to that being the road bump. But I’m also prepared to keep fighting through it." We'd say — and the following film guide proves it — she's winning that particular fight.
Click through the gallery to see Selena's film and TV roles over the years.
When Selena turned seven, she decided to forget about a birthday party and, instead, participated in an open casting call with thousands of other hopefuls for a role in the then enormously popular television series Barney & Friends. "I was definitely nervous," Selena reflected in the pages of Life Story magazine. "I remember had to wait in this line with about 1,400 other kids and I didn't know what I was doing. But then when I got to the audition, I realized it was just running lines, just like I always did with my mom. It was scary, but fun at the same time." She got the part and that's where she met best friend Demi Lovato. Interestingly, when she hit the ripe old age of nine, she was told that she was too old for the show!