Miley Cyrus Created a ‘Characterized Version’ of Herself Just Like Hannah Montana

Starring as Hannah Montana may have brought joy to millions of her fans, but for Miley Cyrus, playing the iconic character wasn’t always the best of both worlds.

During a recent appearance on Spotify’s Rock This with Allison Hagendorf podcast, Cyrus opened up about her lead role on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, revealing that even though the show brought her immense fame, it also caused her to create a “characterized version” of herself.

Miley Cyrus at the Germany premiere of 'Hannah Montana The Movie"
Miley Cyrus on the red carpet for Hannah Montana – The Movie in German | JOERG KOCH/DDP/AFP via Getty Images

Miley Cyrus says she faced an ‘identity crisis’ while starring as Hannah Montana

In 2006, Cyrus shot to fame starring on Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana. In the show, Cyrus played a regular girl ― named Miley Stewart ― who transformed into her alter ego ― pop sensation Hannah Montana ― outside of her normal life.

Though the show was fictional, the “Midnight Star” singer recently revealed that the show’s concept hit closer to home than she anticipated.

While appearing on the Rock This with Allison Hagendorf podcast on Mar. 5, the pop star opened up about her experience playing the iconic Disney Channel character.

Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana
Miley Cyrus performing as Hannah Montana during her “Best of Both Worlds” tour |Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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According to Cyrus, starring as Hannah Montana made her feel like she was the character in real life, which caused her to have an “identity crisis.”

“I was a character almost as often as I was myself,” the Disney Channel alum explained. “The concept of the show is that when you’re this character, when you have this alter ego, you’re valuable. You’ve got millions of fans, you’re the biggest star in the world. Then the concept was that when I looked like myself … when I didn’t have the wig on anymore, no one cared about me. I wasn’t a star anymore.”

Cyrus said the show’s concept was “drilled into her head.”

“Like, without being Hannah Montana, no one cares about you,” she continued. “And that was the concept.”

Miley Cyrus eventually found her identity outside of the Disney Channel character

After starring as Hannah Montana for five years, Cyrus realized that she “really had to break” the mentality that she was the character in real life.

This led the singer to almost create what she called a “characterized version” of herself to present to the world, starting with her over-the-top Bangerz persona.

“I never created a character that wasn’t me, but I was aware of how people saw me and I kind of played into it a little bit,” she said.

Eventually, Cyrus started to embrace the person she is in real life and has never apologized for being her authentic self.

But despite moving on from her Disney darling image, the singer still thinks about her days as a teen pop sensation and how there weren’t clear boundaries between the show and her life.

“Some of my audience was so attached to a character, which wasn’t me,” she said on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show in December 2020. “So, then that does a lot of psychological stuff, where it’s like, ‘Am I valuable as myself?'”

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Cyrus continued, “The whole show’s premise was that when I had my normal hair and looked like myself, no one gave a sh*t about me. And then when I got all dolled up and put a wig on, all of a sudden, I’m being chased by people chasing my tour bus…When they go and kind of groom you to look like something else ― something that you’re not ― and you’re really young, and it’s a lot of makeup and, you know, wigs and all this stuff, it does something psychologically.”