Selena Gomez Almost Starred in a ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Spinoff
In a new episode of the Wizards of Waverly Pod featuring Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise, who both starred in Wizards of Waverly Place, actress Maria Canals Barrera talked about her role as the iconic matriarch Theresa Russo and shared she had almost played mother-and-daughter with Selena Gomez on a Lizzie McGuire spinoff show.
"What was your audition process like? Because the [Wizards] pilot was [called] The Amazing O'Malleys," DeLuise asked.
"I had done a different pilot with Selena. Did you know that?" Barrera shared.
"It was the spinoff of Lizzie McGuire. I was cast as her mom, and it did not get picked up, but they obviously believed and loved the star that they found in Selena, and they put her in something else," she continued.
"They brought me in to play her mom again. I did have to audition," Barrera added, confirming she had to do chemistry reads with Gomez. "So it started off with a different project, and then they brought me in for our show. And it was just a freaking blast."
Watch Maria Canals Barrera's interview on Wizards of Waverly Pod, below:
The Lizzie McGuire spinoff would've seen Gomez star as 12-year-old Stevie Sanchez, the little sister of Lizzie's best friend Miranda. According to IMDb, the show was titled What's Stevie Thinking? and would follow Stevie's junior-high adventures along with her animated alter ego, similar to the premise of Lizzie McGuire.
The cast included Barrera as mom Daniella Sanchez, Lalaine as her Lizzie character Miranda and Suite Life of Zack & Cody actor Charlie Stewart.
According to a November 2004 Variety article, the pilot for What's Stevie Thinking?, also known as Stevie Sanchez, was set to film in January 2005, around the same time the Hannah Montana pilot was filmed.
Gomez first auditioned for the Disney Channel when she was 11 years old. The audition took place in 2004, according to PopSugar, which would have been right before What's Stevie Thinking? began production.