At 30, Selena Gomez has accomplished quite a bit. The Texan is a popular singer, a working actor, a producer, and the founder of her own beauty company, Rare Beauty. In fact, it would be fair to say that Gomez is easily one of the most successful alums of the Disney Channel.
Selena Gomez became famous thanks to her show on the Disney Channel
Though Gomez got her start on Barney & Friends, she became a household name thanks to her work on the Disney Channel. For years, the Selena + Chef star portrayed Alex Russo in Wizards of Waverly Place. She was also featured in the Disney Channel Original Movies: Princess Protection Program, and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.
Throughout her Disney tenure, Gomez also starred in a handful of movies that had no affiliation with the mouse house. The Only Murders in the Building star nabbed roles in Another Cinderella Story, Ramona and Beezus, and The Muppets, which were all family-friendly. However, Gomez managed to ruffle some feathers with her first post-Disney project.
The ‘Boyfriend’ singer found out about ‘Spring Breakers’ thanks to her mom, Mandy Teefey
In 2013, Gomez starred in the A24 movie Spring Breakers, which Harmony Korine directed. The film followed four college-aged students as they head down to Florida for their spring break. Considering the film’s adult themes: drugs, violence, crime, and sex, it earned an R-rating. Because Gomez had a ton of young fans, many people were disgruntled by her decision to join the cast of Spring Breakers despite the fact that she was 20 at the time.
Interestingly enough, Gomez wasn’t the one who found out about the film initially. It was her mom, Mandy Teefey, who first read the script and fell in love with Spring Breakers. As Gomez’s mom was her manager at the time, Teefey passed the script along to her. She encouraged her daughter to look at Faith’s role and consider auditioning. In an interview with Collider, Gomez explained how she came to be in the movie.
“I was intrigued because I wasn’t familiar with Harmony Korine’s work, so I was interested in why my mom really loved the script,” Gomez shared. “And then, we watched all of his movies together and I watched a couple of his interviews, and I just got extremely excited. I thought this was a great way to throw me into a huge acting camp, basically. It was going to be a low-budget indie. Harmony was giving us opportunities to improv, and he let us play. That’s really refreshing and rare. It was an actor’s dream, in a way.”
Gomez had a wonderful time filming the R-Rated movie
Ultimately, it seemed that Teefey had the proper instincts. Gomez has been candid about the fact that she absolutely loved working on Spring Breakers. Not only did she enjoy the acting experience, but she also made friends on set. Gomez bonded with Ashely Benson and fellow Disney alum, Vanessa Hudgens while working on the film. So while the film may have ruffled a few feathers at the time, it was clearly the right choice for Gomez.