Why Selena Gomez Quit Disney And Signed On For Spring Breakers

selena gomez wearing a bikini

Selena Gomez has been in the limelight for quite some time now, transitioning from a Disney child star to an adult actress in her own right. The transition from child star to grown-up actress was even more marked, thanks to the first project that Selena Gomez chose after leaving the Disney brand behind. That project was none other than Spring Breakers. And while many of us might have believed Gomez took the over-the-top and overtly rowdy film in order to shed her formerly pristine image, as it turns out, taking on Spring Breakers wasn't totally her idea.

My mom wanted me to work with a director who would really push me. I watched Kids, Trash Humpers, Gummo, and I was like, 'Mom, are you crazy?' But it was fun to imagine how you might behave if you were set free of whatever was holding you captive. I'm a late bloomer. I grew up around adults, but in terms of getting out, having friends--at times I really didn't know anything but my job.

It's probable that many people have a general understanding of life as a child actor. We know kid actors often work on schoolwork while on the set rather than in a regular school setting. We know their acting choices and experiences are more limited than the offers given to adults. According to Selena Gomez though, her specific life experiences made her kind-of a late bloomer, and it was actually her mom that pushed her to take a role that was very different from what she had experienced in the past--and on a set that would give her contact with a bunch of cool actresses that were somewhat near her own age and had had similar acting experiences.

Speaking out in this month's Vogue, Selena Gomez also mentioned off-handedly that Disney is a "machine," which helps us to get a picture of the sort of acting situation Selena Gomez was in when she was on Wizards of Waverly Place.

It's a very controlled machine. They know what they represent, and there was, 100 percent, a way to go about things.

I'm sure that Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine also had ideas for how his movie would turn out, but I'm sure the way he did things was unlike the way Disney does things. I'm just talking off the cuff here, but somehow spring break gone sideways doesn't really seem to be Disney's regular fare. In the time since, Gomez has played a chainsmoking hitchhiker in The Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix and a badass lady in Taylor's Swift's famous "Bad Blood" video. Her career only seems to be getting started, and there may be plenty of more adult roles in her future. We'll keep you updated. In the meantime, she is set to return to kid-friendly fare with Hotel Transylvania 3.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.