Disney And Nickelodeon Stars Who Have Shared Behind-The-Scenes Secrets

JoJo Siwa wearing green Minnie ears and raising her hands at Disney World
instagram | @itsjojosiwa

What's it like to be a child star? You'd have to be one to know for sure, but over the years we've been able to glean a few details based on the accounts of some former Disney and Nickelodeon stars.

Is it tough to break into other roles after being a child star? What's it like to work such long days in your teen years? Read on to find out.

Alyson Stoner

Stoner appeared in a wide variety of Disney Channel shows including The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Camp Rock and Phineas and Ferb. In a YouTube video, she discussed the toll acting had had on her life, saying that it was detrimental to her mental health. She said she "narrowly survived the toddler-to-trainwreck pipeline."

Cole Sprouse

Cole (and twin brother Dylan) appeared on The Suite Life series of productions on the Disney Channel. While he described fame as "a trauma" and detailed the discomfort of being a child star, he acknowledged that his experiences aren't comparable to what female child stars go through.

Rowan Blanchard

Rowan Blanchard starred in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World. "I worked for a corporation for four years that is known for silencing and crafting your voice, so with that I just had to very much stand my ground and separate myself, which I think I did," she told W magazine.

Stefanie Scott

Stefanie Scott appeared in several Disney productions, describing it as an awkward experience. She also said that she was typecast following her run at Disney, saying that casting directors viewed her as a "sitcom funny girl who can't take herself seriously."

Selena Gomez

Selena got her big break on Wizards of Waverly Place after a guest role on Hannah Montana. "I had to have moments where I was crying and I was like, 'Why am I not in love with what I do?'" she acknowledged in an interview. "I was forced to get very uncomfortable for awhile in order to make the decisions I made.

Joe Jonas

Joe Jonas (and his brothers) got their start on Disney Channel musicals. In a 2013 interview he said that Disney kept the Jonas Brothers on a tight leash, making them change song lyrics that were even a little bit suggestive.

Ashley Tisdale

The High School Musical star had a similar experience to Joe Jonas, in that Disney micromanaged everything, right down to the lyrics of her songs. She pointed out that she was made to change a lyric from "kissing" to "dancing."

Josh Peck

After appearing in several Nickelodeon productions, Josh landed a starring role on Drake & Josh. He said that even though he made money shooting the show, he hasn't made any money from the show since because "kids' TV doesn't have residuals."

JoJo Siwa

Former Nickelodeon star and current YouTuber JoJo Siwa says she was notably not invited to the Kids' Choice Awards even though she acted on a kids' show. Many fans speculated that this was done because of JoJo's shifting image, as she had recently gone public about dating a woman.

Bella Thorne

After playing CeCe Jones on the Disney Channel's Shake it Up, Bella said she was forced to be a "very different person" than her true self, but felt pressured to keep acting in order to support her family.

Miley Cyrus

Years after she portrayed Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, Miley Cyrus said her experience was alienating.

"I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show. I was made to look like someone that I wasn't, which probably caused some body dysmorphia because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn't on that show, it was like, 'Who the [expletive] am I?" she said.


The titular star of That's So Raven says she was asked by a member of the show's lighting team to ease up on the tanning because her skin tone was "getting too dark," which forced the lighting team to relight the entire show.

Coco Jones

Coco is another Disney alum, appearing in a variety of acting and singing roles across the Disney Channel and Radio Disney. She says that she was promised her own show that never came to fruition and said the way she was managed traumatized her.

Demi Lovato

She's better known today as a singer-songwriter, but one of her earliest gigs was on the Disney Channel series Sonny With a Chance. She had harsh words for Disney in her series Dancing with the Devil, saying that she struggled with eating disorders and drug addiction while she was shooting the show. She also alleged that she was raped by a Disney employee.

Alexa Nikolas

Alexa appeared in the first season of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101. She says she experienced trauma after not being invited to the show's reunion and accused showrunner Dan Schneider of misconduct. She also had beef with Jamie Lynn Spears, resulting in a she-said, she-said situation between the two.

Daniella Monet

Monet is a veteran of several Nickelodeon productions. She said in an interview that while the experience was mostly positive, she had some reservations surrounding scenes that she felt were overly sexually suggestive given her age. She added that showrunner Dan Schneider also had characters wearing skimpy outfits that were anything but age-appropriate.

Jennette McCurdy

We're going to do a bit of a deep dive on Jennette McCurdy, as her recent memoir was the inspiration for this list. Jennette was in two Nickelodeon shows — iCarly and Sam & Cat, along with three Nickelodeon TV movies.

She detailed the abuse she experienced at the hands of her mother.

Her memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died, goes in-depth on the abuse her mother heaped on her early on in her acting career. Jennette's mom pushed her into acting at the tender age of 6.

Her mom contributed to body image issues.

Jennette described her mom applying makeup and other beauty supplies to cover up her perceived flaws. Then, as Jennette grew older, her mom encouraged her to restrict her eating so she could continue getting child roles. Unsurprisingly, this turned into an eating disorder.

She also gave some details on Dan Schneider.

Although she doesn't refer to him by name, Jennette describes a toxic environment created by executive producer Dan Schneider. She says that he micromanaged sexually suggestive scenes in a way that made actors uncomfortable. Schneider's alleged misconduct has been the subject of several recent exposés.