Selena Gomez Says She's 'Beyond Proud' of Past Work After Joke About Signing 'Life Away to Disney'

As a teenager, Selena Gomez starred on the Disney Channel show Wizards of Waverly Place

Selena Gomez is clarifying that her past comments about her time on the Disney Channel were all in good fun.

While promoting the upcoming Hulu series Only Murders in the Building earlier this month, the 29-year-old singer joked about being a teen actress, having starred on Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007 to 2012.

"I signed my life away to Disney at a very young age, so I didn't know exactly what I was doing," she said at the Television Critics Association press panel, alongside costars Steve Martin and Martin Short. "I was a kid I didn't know what I was doing, I was just running around on set, and now I feel like a sponge and I soak up all the wisdom that I can."

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Selena Gomez. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

In a recent joint interview with Martin, Gomez addressed the comment and told reporters that it was made in jest, according to RadioTimes.

When asked if she had any reluctance about returning to TV, she said: "No, definitely not. I was looking for another show to do. And by the way, I'm beyond proud of the work that I did with Disney as well. It kind of shaped who I am in a way."

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Selena Gomez. Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Martin, 76, then chimed in for his costar. "I have to jump in because I was there when Selena said that [at the TCA] and it was said in the most light-hearted, funny, jokey way," he said.

The Father of the Bride actor continued, "And then I see it gets interpreted – sometimes they'll say she was joking and sometimes they have it as an ominous headline – but it was completely just all in fun. I've signed my life away to Marty Short, you think I like that?"

Gomez added that she had an overall positive experience on the Disney Channel.

"I have to say, I'm very lucky," she said. "As a female in my position, I was taken care of and I've only had lovely experiences, so I'm grateful for that."

The "Lose You to Love Me" singer made her acting debut on PBS' Barney & Friends from 2002 to 2004 before she landed at Disney for a brief role in Hannah Montana from 2007 to 2008.

She was then a series lead on Wizards of Waverly Place, starring alongside Jake T. Austin, David Henrie, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, and David DeLuise.

Gomez's role in Only Murders in the Building marks the first time she's acting in a TV show since Wizards. In the upcoming series, she plays a resident of an Upper West Side apartment building who teams up with two of her neighbors (played by Martin and Short) to discover the truth behind a neighbor's sudden death.

Of her latest role in the comedic murder-mystery, Gomez told press at TCA, "The level of sophistication of the material is the first reason why I wanted to do this."

She added, "It's really nice to be back on TV and it's nice to be cast as my actual age, which never happens."

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