Demi Lovato isn’t holding back when reflecting on her life as a child star on Disney Channel’s Sonny with a Chance. On Saturday, April 25, the "Sorry Not Sorry" reunited with her fellow cast members over a video call — and she got so real about some of the ups and downs that she experienced while on the show. Demi Lovato’s Sonny with a Chance Zoom reunion included references to her battle with an eating disorder, feeling overworked, and what she wished she’d known at the time
Although it’s been almost a decade since the former Disney star — who played the show’s title character Sonny Monroe — left the series in 2011, it’s clear that her fellow cast members were still near and dear to her heart during the reunion. Lovato had a virtual hangout with some of the key members of Sonny with a Chance and its spinoff series So Random!, including Tiffany Thornton, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Doug Brochu, and Sterling Knight.
Lovato made light of her struggles over the years, joking, "I went to rehab. Several times," when asked what she’d been up to since exiting the show, but the Zoom reunion took on a more serious tone as she recalled everything she was going through while the show was filming. That included struggling with an eating disorder, going to her first stint in rehab in 2011, and being "so miserable and angry" with feeling overworked while not sleeping.
While she admitted that it was a tough decision not to return to Sonny with a Chance in order to take care of her mental health back in 2011, she applauded her fellow cast members for continuing the show without her.
"When I left, you don’t expect your show to go on without you, but it did," she said. "But I couldn’t have been happier for everybody…I just wasn’t in a period of time when I was ready to be on camera again. I could not go back into that environment and there were other things that factored into it."
Lovato also delved into her struggles with an eating disorder after Thornton commented on how hot the actress’s dressing room would be during filming.
"I had an eating disorder and I was underweight and freezing," she responded. "People would come in and I’d be covered in a blanket and people would say, ‘Why is it 80 degrees in here?’ I would be like, ‘Because I’m freezing.’ They would be like, ‘Oh my god, what’s wrong with you?’"
Looking back, Lovato says she’s come a long way since that time and noticed the difference while getting ready for her guest appearance on Will and Grace earlier this year.
"I look back and I’m like, ‘Man, it’s a shame we wasted any energy thinking about what we wore on set,’" she said. "I went to Will and Grace this time and I literally spent 10 minutes in the wardrobe room. My fittings used to be an hour. But now I’m just like, ‘It doesn’t matter. What I’m wearing doesn’t matter to people.’"
During the call, Lovato also shared the advice that she’d give to her younger self and fellow child stars to prevent burnout.
"I would just say, speak up for your needs, always tell the people around you [how you feel]," she advised. "If you’re tired, tell them you’re tired. If you’re sick, be honest about being sick and not feeling good. Just speak up for yourself."
While Lovatics shouldn’t expect to see a revival of the beloved Disney Channel series anytime soon, the singer revealed that she would be down to reunite with her former co-stars on an all-new project.
"I had the best time with you guys and when I think about the show, I miss you guys," she gushed. "And I miss spending time with you and joking and going to Kitchen 24 on our lunch breaks… If we were ever to do anything, I think we should just do a whole new thing."
Only time will tell if we see the cast of Sonny with a Chance head back to TV screens, but this Zoom reunion is guaranteed to give fans plenty of nostalgia in the meantime.
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