You would think Selena Gomez would have enough to keep her busy with working on a music career, starring in four feature films and being the focus of every tabloid magazine and TV show.
But despite everything going on in the life of the 20-year-old performer, Gomez decided one day -- while watching the Disney Channel -- that she needed a little more work.
Gomez picked up the phone and called Disney to see whether there was any possibility of making a reunion movie based on her former cable series, "The Wizards of Waverly Place." Like magic, her wish came true, and the Russo family returns Friday night, March 15, in the made-for-cable show, "The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex."
"I realized how much I missed the show. All of these people watched me grow up, and we are definitely like a family," Gomez says of the original series.
Also returning for the TV movie are former cast members Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, David DeLuise and Gregg Sulkin.
Gomez has a lot of reasons to be fond of the series. Before becoming the best-known female with magical powers on TV since "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," the Texas native bounced around TV shows making guest appearances on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and "Hannah Montana." She went from guest star to star with the launch of "Waverly Place" in 2007. By its finale in 2012, the cast had turned out 106 episodes over four seasons, making it the longest-running Disney Channel Original Series. It already has spawned one feature film, "Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie."
Since leaving "Wizards," Gomez has appeared in numerous feature films, including "Spring Breakers," which is scheduled to open March 22. She plays one of four college students who land in jail after robbing a restaurant to fund their spring break vacation. They get bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who has some criminal activities planned for them.
Her other upcoming feature films include "Aftershock," "Behaving Badly" and "Getaway."
Gomez was able to find two weeks to film the Disney feature between finishing work on the movies and relaunching a music career that was put on hold in 2012 so she could concentrate on acting.
Gomez was convinced she would be able to step back into the TV role with no problem, but it took her a couple of days to get comfortable playing Alex again. It didn't help that the plot has the young wizard casting a spell that creates both a good and a bad version of herself.
"I had to watch a couple of episodes to get back into the character," Gomez says. "Then there was the double duty of working with myself. The good Alex has always been very laid back and loose. To play the evil version, I did everything a little more aggressively.
"I tried to make her very cold and a little more sarcastic."
Most of the roles that Gomez has played in the past have cast her as a good girl. She says she enjoyed the chance to get to play the evil Alex and would jump at the chance to take on a character that's even darker. While she's waiting for that kind of acting role to come along, Gomez has gone back to work on her music and just finished her fourth album, which will be accompanied by a world tour, which is scheduled to start this summer.
Gomez says she loves acting, but there's nothing like the rush of being on stage.
"It's so much fun to tour. You get to watch the reactions of people when you get them pumped up. Performing on stage is just a different experience," Gomez says.
No matter how much success she finds in feature films and in music, Gomez remains loyal to the cable channel that made her a star.
She said she doubts that she would ever do another "Wizards" movie, but Gomez would love to do another project -- possibly in connection with her music -- with the Disney Channel.
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