Disney Channel has been known to be a powerhouse when it comes to producing the best young Hollywood actors. Famous Disney stars Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears all got their start in the Mickey Mouse Club. Selena Gomez, Raven-Symoné, and Zendaya shaped their careers by becoming the stars of various Disney shows. Now all these Disney Channel child stars are prominent names in Tinseltown.
But have you ever wondered what it is really like growing up with Disney? Some of the most famous Disney stars have spilled the beans and you can read all of their confessions below.
Famous Disney Stars: The Pros and Cons of Being a Child Star
1. It is one big family
In an interview with SheKnows, The Descendants actress Dove Cameron stated that the company is filled with “exceptional people.” Cameron is currently one of the channel’s biggest stars, playing both of the titular characters in Liv and Maddie. While being the star of your own show can bring an unimaginable amount of pressure, Cameron credits her Disney family for helping her handle it with ease.
2. Playing someone younger can be . . . awkward
At one point, the Jonas Brothers were the hottest Disney stars around. They were the lead actors in the movie Camp Rock and its sequel, and they were awarded with their very own show, which aired for two seasons. But being Disney’s most popular commodity was not easy as the boys were literally growing up in the front camera while their characters weren’t.
Lead singer Joe shared how awkward it was to perform slapstick humor that was fit for a 10-year-old when he was approaching his 20s. In an essay for New York magazine, he laughably recalled how he needed to shave every day just to portray his 16-year-old character for Jonas.
3. Disney stars never have trouble expressing their opinions
Joe and his brothers may have had trouble talking about what they really wanted, but the Sprouse twins did not. The Sprouse twins were one of the longest-standing Disney stars, and they grew up without controversy whatsoever. In response to Joe’s lamentations to New York magazine, Dylan Sprouse recounts the many times he and his brother gave Disney’s major execs a hard “no” when it came to certain scenes.
So why did the Jonas brothers have such a difficult time during their stint with Disney? According to Dylan, they, along with many others, may have fallen to what he calls the “allure of fame.”
4. You literally go through puberty in front of the camera
Without Disney, Miley Cyrus would never be a household name. The former Hannah Montana actress began working on the show when she was just 11 years old! Ever since then, Cyrus has been candid about her time with Disney. She recalled in an interview with Marie Claire how she had her first period while on filming on set. Luckily, Cyrus’s mom was around to help her put a tampon on, one can only imagine how mortifying that experience must have been!
5. Breaking away from your “Disney image” may be difficult
Disney Channel stars, like all child performers, often feel the need to break free and do other things to build a more successful career. Many have admitted that entering that phase can be quiet challenging. For one thing, the media has been so accustomed to viewing them with a wholesome image, so progressing to more daring roles can call for some negative feedback.
So what is the secret to overcoming this? According to Hilary Duff, it is important to be “grateful for the experience.” After all, these child stars can all thank Disney for the successful careers they have now.