Demi Lovato has been candid about her life experiences over the past few years. The singer opened up to her former castmates from the Disney Channel show “Sonny With a Chance” about her time in and out of rehab, along with her other personal struggles as a young woman in Hollywood.
Lovato broke the ice at the beginning of the Zoom reunion, answering Allisyn Ashley Arm’s initial question on what everyone has been doing since the show ended in 2011 after two seasons.
“I went to rehab… several times,” the 27-year-old singer joked, earning a laugh from the rest of the cast from the popular Disney series and its spinoff series, "So Random!", including Sterling Knight, Doug Brochu, Tiffany Thornton, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Shayne Topp, Audrey Whitby and Damien Haas.
Despite Lovato’s joking nature, her former castmates expressed their support for the singer, praising her performance of her single “Anyone” at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, as well her turn singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl in Miami just weeks later. Throughout the pre-recorded reunion, the former stars of the show discussed their experiences on set, their characters on the show, and where they're all now in their lives and careers.
After the “I Love Me” singer broke the ice on what she’s gone through over the course of the last decade, she shifted her tone later in the conversation to thank one of the former stars of the show, Thornton. The two both described their personal experiences with body image issues from being on TV.
"When I went away to treatment for the first time, you were my biggest inspiration coming out of it because you dealt with all of those pressures of being a woman on TV," she revealed to her co-star.
She continued, adding, "I looked at that as, 'God, I wish I had that so bad.' Yes, I probably was happier in my head with whatever I looked like at the time. But I'm so much happier now with the mentality that you have. I look back and it and I'm like, 'Man, it's a shame that we wasted any energy on what we wore on set.'"
Lovato has been open about her past struggles with drugs, alcohol and her eating disorder, especially during her days as a Disney Channel star. The 27-year-old revealed a lot of her struggles in her 2017 documentary “Simply Complicated” and has been open in interviews about her mental health, both now and when she was a teenager in the spotlight.
"I would have people over for meetings on my lunch breaks because that's how much I worked," she revealed during the call. "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?'"
Lovato admitted the reason she would be bundled up was because of her eating disorder causing her to become underweight and, as a result, cold.
"I'm realizing that as I've gotten older because when I was young... when you start off in the industry as a 7-year-old, 8-year-old, you kind of value your self-worth with your success," she explained. "I have moments all the time where I'm like, 'Do I want to continue this? Or do I want to just pull a Tiffany and move to Texas and have a family and have a farm?'"
Before the pop star signed off, she gave her advice to her younger self and any young actors and actresses in the industry.
“Always speak up for your needs,” she said. “Always tell the people around you… 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.”