The actress made her Disney debut in 2005 when making an appearance on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana. After that, she appeared in her own Disney Channel Original Movie, Princess Protection Program, and nabbed a starring role in the fan-favorite comedy Wizards of Waverly Place. From 2007 until 2012, the actress appeared as the fictional wizard Alex Russo before saying goodbye to Disney Channel for good.
Over the years, Selena went on to appear in other movies and TV shows before taking a brief break to work on music. Prior to her television return in August 2021, the “Lose You to Love Me” musician compared her time on Wizards of Waverly Place to her Hulu series, Only Murders in the Building.
“I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age and I didn’t know what I was doing,” Selena said during the Television Critics Association press panel in August 2021, per Us Weekly. “What I’d say is the level of sophistication of the material is the first reason why I wanted to do this.”
While comparing the two shows, Selena noted that the biggest difference comes from her actions on set. “I didn’t know what I was doing [as a kid],” the Texas native explained. “I was just running around on set.”
During the same interview, Selena also reflected on what it’s been like returning to a TV show environment.
“It’s really nice to be back on TV and it’s nice to be cast as my actual age, which never happens,” the Monte Carlo alum added. “I don’t know if I’m a good actor. I just do my job.”
Aside from acting, Selena has also become known for her music career. She’s since released three solo albums — Stars Dance, Revival and Rare — since parting ways from the Disney Channel. The 13 Reasons Why producer has an entrepreneurial side and founded the Rare Beauty brand, which launched in September 2020.
“When I was younger, I was lucky enough to find my passion, and from that point on, I kind of had to go with it no matter what happened,” Selena said during the December 2020 Teen Vogue Summit when talking about growing up in the public eye.
While Selena officially parted ways with Disney years ago, the actress is still close with her former costars — especially onscreen brother David Henrie — and has spoken openly about her time on the children’s network. Scroll through our gallery to read Selena’s most honest quotes about her Disney Channel days.
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