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  • Writer's pictureBrandon West

Former Disney Channel Actor Talks "Harsh Reality" of Being a Child Star

A former Disney Channel actor on the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place shares the "harsh reality" of being a child star

zeke wizards of waverly place dan benson
Dan Benson Then Vs. Now

Dan Benson who played the recurring, beloved character Zeke on the hit Disney Channel show Wizards of Waverly Place is opening up on social media about what life is really like as a former child star from a popular network and show, including the expectation to keep the momentum of being famous and reveals if he stays connected to his former costars.

"It was an incredible experience. It changed my life," the former child actor says nostalgically. But... he then admits it's not all it's cracked up to be.

"After the show, I struggled to find any way to replicate the massive success and I continued to fall into pit falls of getting parts that were not very good, and getting parts that were something I'm not," he admits.

He continues, "I fell away from doing what made me successful in the first place."

"After I struggled and didn't get on any major project after Disney, I, uh, ran out of money and needed to go find a normal job," Benson shares. "There was a guilt I felt from doing that."

The former Disney star goes on to discuss the negativity amongst fans and in the media that shame former child stars for growing up and getting 'normal' jobs instead of continuing their acting success -- a feat that is not so easily achieved. Many former child stars also work 'normal' jobs like his Wizards of Waverly Place love interest Jennifer Stone (who also played Selena Gomez's character Alex's best friend, Harper Finkle) now works as a nurse.

The star reveals in a follow-up TikTok that one of the questions he is most frequently asked is if he keeps up with his costars, most notably David Henrie who played his onscreen best friend Justin Russo. And while they have connected a few times and were all very close on set as cast mates, he admits that, much like people with 'normal' jobs, they aren't as close now that they don't work together and that everyone is "doing their own thing."

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