I’m sure you know that Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez have been friends since FOREVER. Like, they both grew up on the Disney Channel, right?
Well, Demi and Selena’s friendship actually dates back fifteen years ago, way before Disney, when they both starred on Barney & Friends from 2002-2004:
International Business Times reached out to the production team from Barney & Friends in honor of the show’s fifteenth anniversary and we learned quite a bit about the pop divas’ childhood pasts and their instantaneous friendship straight from those who were on the set:
Demi and Selena met in line waiting to audition for Barney & Friends and according to the director Fred Holmes, they were inseparable on set:
Very early on, you could just tell, they clicked. Certain kids got along with other kids and they were just two of those that really clicked. They were pretty inseparable and ate lunch together and all those types of things.
Holmes also gushed about Demi and Selena’s maturity as kids:
I particularly remember Selena and Demi because they were really cute and very motivated. And the challenge with kids that age, especially boys, is finding kids that can stand up to the rigors of television. It’s a tough thing to do. They had to have a level of maturity that most kids that age didn’t have. And they were both great.
Barney & Friends producer Linda Houston, revealed that both of the girls (obviously) nailed the singing part of their audition:
We would do a call where we would bring the kids in, one after another and have them read a little bit and sing a song. They would have to come with a song prepared, because that was essential that we tried to always cast kids who could sing, or at least be teachable somewhat to carry a tune. They both passed with flying colors, of course.
Houston also revealed that Demi was very shy but Selena was very outgoing:
I know, Selena started out really strong. Demi was maybe not as outgoing as Selena, perhaps, at that time. She was a little more reserved and shy, which is surprising now, but Selena was very strong.
Houston said she knew Selena was “going to go somewhere” after filming a story called Fisherman and his Wife:
I remember there was a little story we did called the Fisherman and his Wife and after we looked at her performance on that shoot, we just looked at each other and said, “She is really something, she’s really a good actress.” And she was probably like nine years old and we just looked at each other and thought, “She’s going to go somewhere,” and she did.
According to B&F’s hair stylist Julie Janes-Love, Selena was carefree as a child and chose to wear a blue tutu on her head for a particular episode:
Many of the episodes, the wardrobe department would include hats and scarves for the children to wear. One of my favorite times with Selena was when she wanted to wear a blue tutu on her head in one of the show’s episodes, and I remember having a blast playing with her and her hair especially on that day.
Janes-Love also revealed that Demi loved to corner Baby Bop to make her sing with her:
Demi was always smiling and we would corner Baby Bop and sing together the Barney song “If all the rain drops were lemon drops and gumdrops oh what a day that would be.” I felt so goofy being a kid with Demi while opening our mouths pretending and imagining that the candy would just fall from the sky into our mouths.
According to the costume supervisor Ken Weber, Demi was always kind and grateful just to be on the show:
A lot of children at that age, girls especially, they want to look a certain way and dress a certain way. Demi was just so kind, and she was always so grateful to whatever she was given to wear. It was so sweet. She never turned her nose up or battled what we wanted to put her in, she just took it in stride and was happy about it and was just happy to be there.
And none of them are surprised at the success both of the girls continued to have after leaving Barney & Friends:
Holmes: You never know which kids are going to go on and do something, but we were pleased, but I don’t know that everybody was completely surprised because they were both talented and both great kids, very professional, very focused, very motivated. So I don’t know that I was hugely surprised, but I was very pleased.
Houston: When I saw Selena landed Wizards of Waverly Place, I was impressed. And I watched it. I just watched it and I was like, “Wow, good for Selena.” I had thought it was wonderful. And same with Demi, too.
Janes-Love: I am very proud of Demi and Selena and how they have rose to the top.
Aw! And we’re not surprised either. Keep slaying the game, Demi and Selena!