We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Selena Gomez says she’s “beyond proud” of Disney work as Steve Martin hits back at “ominous headlines”

The former child star returns to television this month with Only Murders in the Building.

Selena Gomez in Wizards of Waverley Place

Selena Gomez has clarified that she is “beyond proud” of her work for the Disney Channel, following recent headlines that implied otherwise.

Advertisement

The actress and singer broke out as the star of children’s fantasy comedy Wizards of Waverley Place, where she played teenage witch Alex Russo for more than five years.

Earlier this month, Gomez said at the Television Critics Association: “I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age and I didn’t know what I was doing”.

The quote was picked up by numerous entertainment news outlets, some of which took the statement seriously, while others claimed she was joking, causing some confusion among readers.

In an interview with RadioTimes.com and other press, she and her Only Murders in the Building co-star Steve Martin set the record straight, confirming that the comment was indeed made in jest.

When asked if she had any reluctance over returning to television, Gomez said: “No, definitely not. I was looking for another show to do. And by the way, I’m beyond proud of the work that I did with Disney as well. It kind of shaped who I am in a way.”

Martin added: “I have to jump in because I was there when Selena said that [at the TCA] and it was said in the most light-hearted, funny, jokey way.

“And then I see it gets interpreted – sometimes they’ll say she was joking and sometimes they have it as an ominous headline – but it was completely just all in fun. I’ve signed my life away to Marty Short, you think I like that?”

The former child star takes on her first regular television role since Wizards of Waverley Place in Disney Plus original Only Murders in the Building, which drops its first two episodes at the end of the month.

Gomez plays Mabel, a young woman who teams up with out-of-work actor Charles (Martin) and eccentric theatre director Oliver (Short) to solve a murder that takes place in their building.

Their investigation is spurred on by their shared love of true crime podcasts, with Charles and Oliver attempting to create one of their own based on their new case (if they can stop bickering long enough to finish the recording).

Over the course of eight episodes, the truth behind the killing is gradually revealed, with each of The Arconia’s larger-than-life residents – including special guest star, Sting – holding another piece of the puzzle.

Gomez went on to say that she was well taken care of on the set of Wizards of Waverley Place, with particular praise going to her parents for keeping her safe in the early days of her career.

“I have to say, I’m very lucky,” she said. “As a female in my position, I was taken care of and I’ve only had lovely experiences, so I’m grateful for that.”

Advertisement

Only Murders in the Building premieres on Disney Plus on Tuesday 31st August. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.