Entertainment TV Selena Gomez Says She 'Felt Like a Joke' Transitioning from Disney to Adult Acting Projects "I'm grateful for where I am, but I think and I believe that I’ve barely touched the surface of what I’m able to do," Selena Gomez told The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast By Kelly Wynne Kelly Wynne Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 13, 2022 03:08 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Selena Gomez. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Selena Gomez had some growing up to do after she left Disney stardom. The Only Murders in the Building actress, 29, recently acknowledged it was anything but simple to step into adult acting roles after her child star days — especially because she didn't initially feel accepted by her peers in the industry. "I felt like it was very difficult for people to take me seriously," she told The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast. "I have slowly pushed through that, and I'm really glad, but it was very frustrating. I felt like a joke, you know?" Selena Gomez (left) and Jennifer Stone on Wizards of Waverly Place. Bruce Birmelin/ Disney Channel via Getty Gomez, who was a child actor who appeared in Barney & Friends, got her official start as Alex Russo on the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. When the show went off air in 2012, she hoped to break out of the mold by taking on heavier roles. Stars Who Were on Barney & Friends as Kids One of Gomez's first post-Disney roles was 2012's controversial Spring Breakers, which costarred Gomez's fellow Disney vet Vanessa Hudgens and Pretty Little Liars' Ashley Benson engaged in scenarios marked by violence, sex and drug use. Kevin Mazur/Getty Selena Gomez Reveals She's In the Studio Working on Her Next Album, Teases She's 'Open to a Tour' In the years since, Gomez has established herself across many industries and added "Producer" to her résumé with Only Murders in the Building, which premieres its second season June 28 on Hulu. The Grammy-nominated singer recently confirmed to Deadline's Crew Call podcast that she's in the studio working on her next album. "I'm grateful for where I am, but I think and I believe that I've barely touched the surface of what I'm able to do," she said. Selena Gomez Teams Up with Jill Biden to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis: 'Darkness Inside Can Feel Heavy' Gomez has also been an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness. She launched her cosmetics brand, Rare Beauty, in tandem with the Rare Impact Fund, with the goal of raising $100 million over the next 10 years to connect people in underserved communities with mental health services.