Camp Rock was a huge hit for Disney in 2008, despite being a straight-to-TV movie. Starring Demi Lovato, and Jonas brothers Joe, Nick and Kevin, it's hard to believe that it's been a full 15 years since the movie first aired.
Set in a rock'n'roll summer camp, the movie revolved around aspiring singer Mitchie Torres, played by Demi. While she and the Jonas Brothers remain household names, the actresses who played camp queen bee, Tess, and aspiring music producer, Caitlyn, aren't as prominent. So what ever happened to them?
Alyson Stoner (Caitlyn)
Camp Rock wasn't actor Alyson Stoner's first foray into the Disney family. In fact, Alyson, who now prefers they/them pronouns, was just seven when they became the co-host of Mike's Super Short Show on Disney Channel.
Alyson's first big break came when she danced in Missy Elliott's iconic Work It music video, then as one of the children in the Cheaper By The Dozen movie franchise. Alyson also appeared in a number of pre-teen TV shows before landing the role of Caitlyn in Camp Rock.
However, the former child star has since spoken out about just how damaging growing up in the entertainment industry was. "Being in the public eye growing up brought a lot of criticism especially about my appearance," Alyson revealed in a YouTube interview five years ago. "We strive to keep this illusion of unattainability. But behind the scenes, we're hurting ourselves to reach that limit.
"I ended up going to rehab for three different eating disorders," Alyson admitted. "Anorexia, exercise bulimia and binge eating. I believe it was just a response to a chaotic and unpredictable environment."
Despite continuing to work in acting and dancing, as well as specialising in voice work over the past few years, Alyson also continues to speak out about their experience as a child star on their new vodcast Dear Hollywood, launched on their 30th birthday, August 11.
Alyson came out in 2018 in Teen Vogue, with an essay about falling in love with a woman, although since then, they've said they're "attracted to men, women and people who identify in other ways".
They even tried conversion therapy to suppress their true identity. "I felt like everything was wrong with me," they revealed. Ultimately though, Alyson realised they had been trying to change something that is actually just "very natural".
Alyson also spoke about how they'd lost work after coming out, revealing they were discriminated against on a children's show. "I did end up getting fired from a children’s show," they revealed. "Because they felt that I was unsafe now that they knew I was queer, to be around kids. So there was like, definitely discrimination," Alyson added.
With their new vodcast only a few episodes in and already so interesting, we can't wait to hear what else the former child star reveals about the pressures of growing up in Hollywood.
Meaghan Martin (Tess)
Disney star Meaghan Martin got her showbiz start in commercials from an early age and by her mid-teens, she was already somewhat jaded by the industry. "I think I'd learnt by 15 that rejection was inevitable," she said in an interview in 2021.
While she largely enjoyed the experience of filming Camp Rock, when it came to the sequel two years later, it wasn't what she expected. "There was more money, more pressure," Meaghan explained. "There was a new director and it was not as positive an experience."
She even doubled down on the experience in an Instagram post last year, revealing she was actually suffering mononucleosis while filming the sequel. "I was 17, working mostly outdoor night shoots, during a very cold Canadian autumn," Meghan vented. "I was so so sick and being berated, bullied and manipulated by men at least 2x my age," she revealed.
"I recognise how much privilege I've had," the former child star says. "It's part of why I haven't spoken out more about the uglier parts, but we are at a crucial point in history where we can acknowledge that not everything is as shiny as it seems, perhaps especially when it comes to the entertainment industry."
After landing the lead in Mean Girls 2, Meaghan decided to turn her back on Hollywood, but not on acting. She met her future husband, fellow actor Oli Higginson, a Brit, and the pair set up home in London, with Meaghan studying at the acclaimed London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
"London was this reinvention, a reminder of who I was and what I wanted, what creatively fulfilled me," she told The Independent in 2021. "I wanted to do Shakespeare and classical texts."
"I think there's more respect for artistry here," Meghan added. "It's an energy I feel much more comfortable in, rather than the more superficial, competitive nature you get in LA."
Meghan recently starred in the theatre production, Smoke — with her husband Oli too.
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