The bright lights of fame and Hollywood have always been tempting. Probably more so than ever (with the help of social media), because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be popular? Who even knew you could make a career out of popularity? All you need is one big break. Every single famous person you’ve ever heard of had their one shot at stardom and nailed its bull’s-eye. Disney, the biggest and most well-known brand in the entire world, has given many youngsters their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing, dance, and act their way into America’s preteen hearts. Disney has given these youngsters their own sitcom shows, and threw them into the lions den of the fast-paced (but cruel) entertainment industry. At first, all seems great. Unfortunately, many naive actors and actresses fall prey to the traps of sleazy industry politics and the pressure to keep up their ‘fame’. All this nonsensical peer pressure to be ‘cool’ and to act ‘mature’ can make people go crazy or full of b***s***. Eventually, these young entertainers grow up. Depending on how grounded these kids are from the jump, they can grow up into being obnoxious jerks or really sincere and grounded individuals. Having a strong and grounded family support system is probably the key into how some of them grow up. There are a multitude of reasons, which influence how young celebrities grow into who they are. We’re about to explore some of them below in 10 Disney stars who grew up into jerks, and 10 who didn’t.
20. Sweetheart: Hillary Duff
Hilary Duff has really grown into a fine adult. She’s a mom with a smoking hot body, and clearly someone who works hard by finding motivating projects instead of fueling nasty rumors and being caught wasted in the public eye. Duff got her start on the Disney channel’s Lizzie McGuire show, which aired from 2001 to 2004. The show was such a hit with its young audience that it even became a film. There’s something about Duff that was relatable to her fans, and as she grew up in the public eye, she kept herself grounded. It seems like, for the most part at least, she distanced herself away from doing things that would cause negative media attention. Besides the regular outplayed rumors in her youth, Duff didn’t let that affect her. She also came from a pushy stage-mom background. Nevertheless, she kept her cool and sustained her wholesome ‘girl next door’ image.
19. Jerk: Ariana Grande
It’s unfortunate about the recent circumstances surrounding Ariana Grande‘s Manchester concert performance. She even seems to have done well in changing people’s perspective on her personality, even to the point where Piers Morgan apologized on Twitter about his opinion on Grande. Granted, people can change, but Ariana wasn’t some gullible naive 14-year-old (even though she still kind of looks it) when she made some interesting adult choices by making irresponsible comments about obesity on the country that’s given her fame and popularity. She’s also been known to treat her fans like dirt when under pressure. Instead of being cool, calm, and collected (as she shows on her Instagram), she manages to tell fans to “kill themselves,” allegedly. I mean, where did those acting chops go girl? I guess being smart isn’t easy. Nowadays, it’s impossible to get away with any immaturity because there are cameras everywhere to capture your every move.
18. Sweetheart: Christy Carlson Romano
Christy Carlson Romano is another Disney sweetheart who has kept a relatively low profile outside of her Even Steven show days. She played the leading protagonist’s older sister, Ren Stevens. Some might not know this, but Romano also had a second gig on the Disney Channel where she voiced Kim in the Kim Possible animated series. This is a star that kept her focus on working hard. Being part of the Disney family, you not only have to act but should know how to dance and sing as well. So, of course, Romano was no stranger in belting out a few tunes for a few soundtracks. She’s stumbled a bit in her career, but mostly through faulty contracts and unreliable people. Romano pushed on, never looking back. In 2013, she wed her beau, Brendan Rooney, and in 2016 of last year, she had given birth to their first child (a daughter).
17. Jerk: Shia LaBeouf
It’s definitely a far cry from his squeaky-clean image from his Even Steven days, but there’s always something about being too famous that just seems to ruin your sanity. After his roles in Transformers, Indiana Jones, and a plethora of indie film projects, Shia LaBeouf seems (on the outside) to have grown up into the typical Hollywood A-list man. He’s no longer the childish, awkward boy. Well, is he? Shia’s been through a lot in the media. He’s stolen French fries from a homeless man. He’s been arrested. He’s watched all his films in a public theater back-to-back. He doesn’t seem to bathe much or care to. He wears paper bags over his head on red carpets. And, he went on a recent tirade about racism in front of a group of people who have been historically segregated, oppressed, and marginalized. The list of jerky embarrassments can literally go on and on. Well done, Shia.
16. Sweetheart: Sprouse Twins
Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the adorable twins on Disney channel’s Suite Life of Zack and Cody, became huge stars. They were cute, adorable, relatable, and had perfect chemistry with the cast. Yet, the twins’ resume didn’t start there. If you can recall way back around 2000, the twins starred in multiple episodes of Friends, playing the role of Ross’ son. Still, their big break can be traced as far back as 1999, when they starred with Adam Sandler in the smash-hit comedy Big Daddy. These twins really grew up to be outstanding guys. Except that one nude-pic hiccup, these boys maintained their charm and innocence. They both decided to attend NYU and both graduated together. Dylan got some backlash for working at a restaurant as a host, but he explained that “working somewhat below the means I’m used to, [was a] way to socialize and get out of the house.”
15. Jerk: Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has definitely tried her best to prove to people that she’s no longer Hannah Montana. But she’ll forever be known as the whitest girl who tried TOO hard to be ‘hard’. There are 15-year-olds who probably lived a rougher “bangers” lifestyle than she has ever lived in her spoiled-country privileged life. There’s really nothing organic or grass-roots about Miley’s rise to fame. She appropriated urban trends in music and fashion, but now that she’s promoting “serious” music (with her tongue back in her mouth), she becomes critical of hip-hop and states, “It’s not ‘Come sit on my d***, suck on my c***.’ I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my c***’ – I am so not that.” What’s good, Miley? Please, tell us how you really feel, Miss Miley Cyrus.
14. Sweetheart: Emily Osment
Emily Osment was definitely no stranger to the performing arts. Having a strong family support of the arts, and her father and mother as an actor and an English teacher, respectively, she didn’t really need to splurge on any other acting coaches or help. Like most Disney starlets, Osment knew how to sing, dance, and act her way into several notable Spy Kids films. Yet, it wasn’t until Miley Cyrus decided to join the Disney family, where her fame and career really took off. Osment got her big break in Disney’s Hannah Montana series, where she played Hannah’s best friend, Lillian “Lilly” Truscott. The show became Emmy-nominated and ran for four seasons. After the show ended, Osment pursued a singing career and other film projects. She’s pretty low key in the spotlight, but she seems to prefer it that way by focusing her attention on music and her philanthropy projects against cyberbullying.
13. Jerk: Lindsay Lohan
The fall from grace that is Lindsay Lohan could be written as a trilogy. There were the occasional arrests to rehabs, to Oprah. Listen. If the queen of basically everything can’t help you by providing you with your own show, then obviously, nothing will. However, since then, Lindsay Lohan has kept a low profile…sort of. The former child star seems to have found religion and also a new language to butcher. Lohan has been caught frequently speaking Arabic, and making up different accents. Is it because she wants to look more cultured than she is? I mean, you have to give her credit by doing more charitable work, but when you’re going about town speaking incoherent Arabic, it gets pretty offensive. Nobody wants to hear their language being butchered. If she can speak the language fluently, then pronounce it and speak. Don’t mumble and then half-fast it as if you’re hiding the fact that you can’t.
12. Sweetheart: Kyla Pratt
Kyla Pratt, listed as VH1’s 100 Greatest Child Stars, had a pretty well-established career in her youth. She’s been successful in both films and television series, including the Dr. Dolittle franchises and Disney’s animated series The Proud Family, which ran from 2001 to 2005. Pratt even dove into a more physical role by playing a tomboy in the coming-of-age story about teenage life titled Love and Basketball. The franchises helped Pratt out, and after making several notable appearances in other works, she decided to go after what mattered to her—family. Pratt took a break from the spotlight, and began a low-key relationship. In 2010, she gave birth to her first daughter, Lyric Kai Kirkpatrick. Three years later, she gave birth to her second daughter, Liyah Kirkpatrick. Motherhood sure changes life and its priorities. For Pratt, it suits her well. On her Instagram, she spreads nothing but positivity and love.
11. Jerk: Keke Palmer
If you don’t know who Keke Palmer is, then let me tell you that she was a former child star who’s most known for her role in Akeelah and the Bee. She’s now all grown up, and thinks Rihanna shouldn’t have all the fun stripping down and showing off her womanly curves. Keke is outspoken, but also very articulate in what she has to say, especially when it comes to standing her grounds on some of her views. However, this comes off as arrogance. Instead of squashing beef, she’s fueled tensions for being too outspoken. In return, Palmer said, “You see me clapping because I’m a real person…just because I’m on TV I [don’t] have to hold myself to the standard you think that I should. Everyone…stop believing and buying into ‘Just because you’re famous.'” Unfortunately, that’s not the way it is.
10. Sweetheart: Kyle Massey
Kyle Massey is perhaps best-known for playing the goofy and lovable little brother “Cory” on Disney’s That’s So Raven. The show did well. In fact, it lasted for four seasons. Disney was impressed with Massey’s character and his popularity on the show that they soon created a spin-off for his character, Cory in the House. Unfortunately, the show only ran for two seasons. Again, like most Disney tykes, Massey dove right into music. He made several rap/hip-hop tunes to various projects, which coincided with his shows and films. After Disney, Massey went on to appear in Dancing with the Stars in 2010, and took a ten-year hiatus from music. He then appeared on a reunion episode of the That’s So Raven cast on The View in 2015. He returned last year by releasing a featured track on SoundCloud, and seems to be actively producing music. He’s even friends with Justin Bieber now.
9. Jerk: Raven-Symone
Raven- Symone is one of the most famous child stars on the planet. She got her start on The Cosby Show, then went on to star in Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper in the late ’80s until the early ’90s era. Raven came back to the mainstream limelight in her own Disney show That’s So Raven. She’s also done The Cheetah Girls and other multiple projects for the brand. Raven’s jerk-like attitude has ruffled some feathers ever since landing on The View. Before that, she had an interview with Oprah and caused quite the racial stir. While on The View, she let her mouth get away and justified how people (especially the First Lady of the U.S.) looked like animals. The last one was the whole ‘watermelondrea’ fiasco, where Ann Coulter (of all people) checked her attitude on live television. See kids? Get a well-rounded education first, and then go after fame and glory.
8. Sweetheart: Ashley Tisdale
Ashley Tisdale is the bright Disney starlet who got her start on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, where she played Maddie Fitzpatrick. The character embodied a girl who didn’t come from much, but worked hard by holding multiple jobs throughout the show with her go-getter mentality. Tisdale’s stardom really went mainstream when she landed a spot on the High School Musical franchise, the first one being released in 2006. After the major success of High School Musical, Tisdale then went on to sign a singing contract with Warner Bros. But in 2009, her second record flopped, and the High School Musical ride was coming to a stop. Never discouraged, Tisdale went back to television and film. Throughout that phase in her life, she laid low and focused. She got married in 2014, and as of last year, embarked on her own makeup line. She’s also said to be working on a third album.
7. Jerk: Amanda Bynes
Recently, Amanda Bynes has resurfaced looking better than ever after this former child star fell off into the deep end a few years ago. Only time can tell if she’s truly taking responsibility for her past actions. If we can recall, Bynes went on tirades bashing every celebrity, and calling them “ugly.” At one point, she hit below the belt with remarks like someone beating someone in a domestic violence situation simply because someone was “ugly.” When she sat down for a brief interview with Hollyscoop, after four years of hiding from the spotlight, Bynes was quick to justify that most of her actions were fueled by drugs. She also admitted that her style was completely copied off of Blac Chyna. It just seems like Bynes was always the good girl who never had time to “act bad” because she was too focused on being good. Well, the past is in the past.
6. Sweetheart: The Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers are among the most popular and most successful Disney stars ever. They were real brothers who formed a pop-rock band back in 2005. Hollywood execs took notice, and in 2008, the brothers starred in Disney’s Camp Rock. That same year, they were nominated for a Grammy. Just a year later (in 2009), they released their third and final album as a trio. Their fame and success has garnered them millions and millions of adoring fans, yet they stayed true and humble. Even through the mockery about their “purity rings,” the Jonas brothers eventually came clean and seemed unfazed by all the nonsense drama that surrounded their personal lives. All three went on to build their own successful lives. Kevin Jonas got married, had a kid, and went on reality TV. Joe Jonas started his new band, DNCE, to wide success. And Nick Jonas reinvented his solo artist image as a “s*x symbol.”
5. Jerk: Orlando Brown
Orlando Brown is best known for playing Raven’s best friend, Eddie, on Disney’s That’s So Raven. Yet, when the show ended, things took a turn for the worse. Brown fell on some tough times; and when he fell, he fell hard. Recently, things haven’t been looking so good for Brown. In 2016, Brown has been arrested for drug possession, to battery and obstruction. However, he also went through a physical transformation. After shedding some body weight, Brown’s been trying his best at shedding his clean image and a filter as well. He’s known to speak off the cuff bluntly. Sitting down for several interviews discussing his outrageous behavior, to even inappropriately discussing s*xual activities with his co-star Raven-Symone. This landed him in a lot of hot water. From discussing intimate body parts, to very intimate and personal experiences, Brown has garnered some tough criticism for jerky ways and obnoxious over-the-top attitude.
4. Sweetheart: Tahj Mowry
Tahj Dayton Mowry was never on a Disney original series, but he was still part of the Disney franchise and family. If you look closely, he might look really familiar. Does a certain pair of famous twins come to mind? Tahj is actually the real life little brother of Tia and Tamera Mowry. His sisters had their own show, Sister, Sister, which ran for six seasons. Tahj began his career at a very young age by landing guest spots not only on his sisters’ show, but also was a regular guest on Full House. He played Teddy, the Olsen Twins‘ character’s [Michelle Tanner] best friend. He would then go on to do other Disney-affiliated projects, and lived a pretty much normal life—normal, as in not becoming a typical child star mess. But when you have two level-headed sisters, it’s hard to go off down a more rugged path.
3. Jerk: Adrienne Bailon
Before Adrienne Bailon landed her hot Jennifer Lopez-wannabe booty on The Real, currently a gossip-centered daytime talk show (think of The View, but more self-centered and a bit corny at times), Bailon actually used to be a part of a girl group, 3LW, and also part of Disney’s Cheetah Girls. What makes her qualified on this list is how she got to where she is. Allegedly, she’s clawed her sleazy way past the Kardashians by ruining their brother, Rob, into obesity and had a fling with a married man (who then quickly divorced his [ex] wife to be with Adrienne). Well, let’s not forget how much of a jerk she was to fellow band mate, Naturi Naughton, who recently made an appearance on The Real to talk about their past drama. All seems calm and peaceful until you see those shady 3LW YouTube videos, which are still viewable publicly.
2. Sweetheart: Justin Timberlake
In the late ’90s, before America’s Got Talent and way before American Idol, there was once a little show called Star Search. Everyone and anyone went on that show to showcase their talent to the world. Justin Timberlake was no exception. Disney came knocking and gave Justin his first big mainstream break on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. This was the new and improved revival of a long past and outdated show, which began in the ’50s. It was mostly a sketch-comedy series, with some musical acts in between. Justin was just one among the other huge talents like Ryan Gosling. Obviously, Justin’s fame really took off when he joined his boy band, N’Sync, and dated former Disney mate, Britney Spears. Rumors and drama spread, especially at the height of his boy band days. Nevertheless, he’s managed to revamp his image, his style, and even became a new father. Time sure does fly.
1. Jerk: Britney Spears
We can’t have Justin Timberlake on this list without having Britney Spears. Where do we begin with Ms. Britney? Well, she made her debut on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. When that was over, she broke out to mega-mainstream success with “Baby One More Time,” her first colossal hit. After that, it was a whirlwind of commercial collaborations with other artists like Beyoncé for their Pepsi ad, and even getting dubbed as the ‘princess of pop’. She was the definitive new ‘it’ girl for the new millennium. But then, s*** got too real. It was one fumble right after the next. She makes this list based on her interactions with her fans. She doesn’t seem to like nor enjoy her fans. In addition, as a judge on X-factor, she infamously critiqued singers that they were “bad” when she herself lacks vocal range and needs autotune. The pot calling the kettle black, really.