'Sonny With A Chance' Reunion: Demi Lovato says she suffered eating disorder while filming show
She said she was underweight and always freezing while filming the show
Demi Lovato got real about her time on the 2009 Disney show 'Sonny With a Chance'. The Sonny and its spinoff show, 'So Random!' casts came together in a pre-recorded virtual chat posted on April 25. The 27-year-old singer has come a long way since her Disney days replete with a number of ups and downs. At the reunion, she candidly revealed that she sought treatment, battled an eating disorder and felt overworked while working on the show.
Lovato was joined by Tiffany Thornton, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Doug Brochu, Sterling Knight, Audrey Whitby, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Shayne Topp and Damien Haas.
When Arm asked what everyone has been up to since the show, Lovato quipped, "I went to rehab. Several times!"
Lovato was 19 years old when she exited the show after its second season. The rest of the cast, among other new additions, went on to star in the spinoff series, 'So Random!'
She credited Thornton as an inspiration after she went to get treatment for the very first time. "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. I looked at that as 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 now and I'm like, man, it's a shame that we wasted any energy on what we wore on set." She later explained that she would spend hours in a fitting while on Sonny.
She also conceded that she "wasn't sleeping and I was so miserable and angry too because I felt like I was being overworked". She said she was surprised when the show continued its run after she quit. "When I left, you don't expect your show to go on without you, but it did," she said. However, there were no ill feelings. "But I couldn't have been happier for everybody… I just wasn't in a period of time when I was ready to be on camera again. I could not go back into that environment and there were other things that factored into it."
The singer also reflected on how some people swap the glitz and glam for a healthier and happier life away from the spotlight. She also admitted that she has thought about it several times and wondered if she should do the same. "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 pull a Tiffany and move to Texas, have a family, and have a farm."
The conversation also brought to the fore the harsh reality of Demi's life during her stint on Sonny after Thornton recalled that Lovato's dressing room was "98 degrees every day". After which the singer said, "I had an eating disorder and I was underweight and freezing!"
"I would have people over for meetings on my lunch breaks because that's how much I worked," she recalled. "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?'"
The singer said that despite everything, Sonny is dear to her but she would never consider revisiting it. She said she would rather do something else with the whole group that she's very close to and has shared amazing memories with.
"I love all of you guys so much, but I went through so much during that show that I would rather just start a whole new project with all of you. I had the best time with you guys and when I think about the show, I miss you guys. And I miss spending time with you and joking and going to Kitchen 24 on our lunch breaks… If we were ever to do anything, I think we should just do a whole new thing."
Lovato also shared some words of wisdom to child actors who are starting out in the industry. "I would just say, speak up for your needs, always tell the people around you (how you feel)," she shared. "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."