Tag Archives: Disney Channel

Teen Stars Bella Thorne and Zendaya Have Everything But Free Time

Life is a whirl — and then some — for Disney Channel stars Bella Thorne and Zendaya, who are ages 13 and 15, respectively.   Their “Shake it Up” series is No. 1 with kids and tweens.  There are clothing and shoe lines fashioned after their CeCe and Rocky characters on the dance-themed comedy.  CeCe and Rocky dolls are coming out.   The two have a Disney Channel movie called” Frienemies” on the way.   Zendaya also appears on tonight’s (9/23) “PrankStars” — convincing the unsuspecting subject of her practical joke to help out at her family’s pirate-themed restaurant.  Aaargh!

Bella Thorne, Zendaya & friends Zendaya appears on 'PrankStars' tonight

“I’m still shocked about it.  To go into Target and see these clothes — it amazes me every day,” Bella tells us.

And Zendaya says that seeing her doll for the first time “was a surreal feeling.  I felt a whole bunch of emotions.  I felt excitement, and I also had a little tear in my eye.  I had to kind of absorb the moment and realize what is happening.  Little girls are going to playing with me.  I just remember that feeling, when I was  playing with dolls.”

Bella says that interacting with their young fans is her favorite part of the job.  “When the little kids come up to you, it’s so cute.  We were at Disneyland, and this one little girl was crying, because she didn’t know we were real,” recounts the young talent.  “That’s why we do what we do — to make them laugh and make them smile.  They come to the show and they’re so excited.  It warms our hearts to hear them laughing in the audience.”

 Between learning new dances and lines every day, doing promotional chores and keeping up with their schooling, there’s not much down time for the girls.  Have they learned to pace themselves?

 “Not really,” admits Bella.  “But it’s not like I’m being held away from my friends and stuff.  They come to the set, and we eat dinner after the show.”

  As far as vacation time, “That’s usually the time we travel or do promo stuff,” Zendaya says.  “But either way, I’m with Bella and we’re having fun.  As long as it’s fun, it’s okay.” 

Still, she says, “I think the most challenging aspect of doing this is being able to balance school and work, and still be a regular girl.  That’s the most important thing, and the hardest thing to deal with.”  In the interests of regular girl time, “I have my fiends visit all the time.  They always come here, because it’s really hard for me to visit them.  We’ll do simple things like go to the movies.  I just had my birthday party and it was the best experience.,” she adds.  “I had friends from home and friends from out here that I’ve met, and had a big, fun celebration at my auntie’s house on the beach.  We had henna tattoos, and glitter tattoos and played volleyball.”

Matt Damon Put Teen Costar Colin Ford At Ease Right Away

Colin Ford

Colin Ford, 14, reports that Matt Damon put him at ease right away after the juvenile actor was cast as Damon’s son in Cameron Crowe’s forthcoming “We Bought a Zoo.”

“He was really down to earth, one of the nicest, greatest actors I’ve ever met.  We got to do some general scenes together and got to know each other, before we did any scenes where we were arguing or really close or anything like that,” notes Ford, who also worked with Elle Fanning and Thomas Hayden Church in “We Bought a Zoo.”  The story of a father who moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo also stars Scarlett Johansson.

Ford’s voice is already quite recognizable to the Disney Channel’s preschool set.  He plays the title character in the daily animated adventure show, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” — which is the highest-rated preschool show on the channel, ever.

However, the affable teen actor says, “I go to a normal school, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Sometimes I’ll get out of school 20, 30 minutes early to record.  There are friends of mine who don’t really even know I do the show.”  He has been caught, “when a little brother or sister kind of recognize my voice — ‘Hey, are you kind of like the main guy?’ They laugh.  I didn’t really keep it quiet, but some people know and some don’t.”

Debby Ryan Stepping Up to Disney It Girl Status

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan seems to be taking her designation as the Disney Channel’s newest It Girl in stride.  With her stint as a supporting player on “The Suite Life on Deck” wrapping up as the series airs its grand finale graduation episode tonight (5/6), she’s deep into preparing for her own “Jessie” series to begin production next month.  The question has been raised, can she be the next Miley Cyrus?

“No one will be the next Miley Cyrus,” responds the highly self-possessed actress, who turns 18 May 13.  “She’s had such an iconic journey, and she’s still on it.  Selena (Gomez) has the same thing, and Vanessa Hudgens.  I always say I don’t want to be the next anyone.  I want to be the first Debby Ryan.”

Not that she doesn’t admire predecessors in the Disney talent stable.  “It’s a small circle.  Of course I know these girls,” she says, referring to Miley, Selena, Vanessa, Ashley Tisdale, Chelsea Kane and others.  “Young Hollywood is a small circle, a small town.  You run into people like Abigain Breslin or Dakota Fanning and say hello.  It’s like being a theater kid in school, you have the same friends and tons in common.  I’ve gotten some great advice from these people.”

Such as?  “Someone said — and I’m paraphrasing it a little to make it my own — people are going to love you and people are going to hate you, and you can’t find your identity in it either way.”  She also, she says, gives advice to younger talents on the Disney Channel ladder, like Bella Thorne of “Shake It Up,” and her soon-to-be “Jessie” cast mates.

“Questions will come up and I might say, ‘I’ll meet you at Starbuck’s and we’ll chat it up,’ so it goes around.”

Debby has been spending “a lot of time in the writers room” as well as in casting sessions for “Jessie” — on which she’ll play the nanny to a multicultural brood of a wealthy and prominent New York City couple.  “Disney has thanked me for coming in to read with the kids, but of course I want to read with them     and see how we interact,” she says.  “Once we get the cast all nailed down, I want to take them all to Disneyland, which is going to be awesome.”    Of course.