Remember Wizards of Waverly Place? Here's what the original Disney cast are up to now | The Sun
THE Disney Channel has had its fair share of tweenage cult-followed shows over the decades.
One such favourite was The Wizards of Waverly Place, which ran from 2007 to 2012 and centred around the magical Russo family.
Russo kids Alex, Justin and Max all had wizard powers, but only one of them would be able to retain them and carry on the family's magic legacy.
Battling it out in dramatic scenarios within the wizarding second dimension and at home in their restaurant, the sit-com style comedy had teenagers all over the world laughing.
And with a memorable star-studded cast, including Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jennifer Stone, it quickly became an iconic hit.
But with almost a decade passing since the show drew to a close, what have the cast been up to since then? We've got the lowdown.
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Selena Gomez – Alex Russo
Selena, who played the Russo's only female sibling Alex, is easily the biggest name to come out of the Wizards of Waverly Place.
Her character was focal in the series, ultimately beating her two younger brothers to retain her magical powers in the Disney finale.
Following her TV career, Selena went on to release chart hits one after another, following in the footsteps of other Disney Channel stars like Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato.
With MTV, Billboard and American Music awards until her belt, she's released songs like Bad Liar and Lose You To Love Me.
Other catchy songs include The Dead Don't Die and Spring Breakers – as well as releasing Spanish pop album Revelación.
She's starred in films as a voice actress, including the daughter of Dracula in Hotel Transylvania, which is due to release its fourth film this summer.
Gomez has also been busy doing some impressive charity work, becoming an appointed UNICEF ambassador when she was just seventeen years old.
Hayley Kiyoko – Stevie
Stevie was introduced as Alex's friend, played by actress Hayley Kiyokoask, in the third season.
In a recent interview executive producer Peter Murrieta shared that he had always imagined Gomez's character Alex Russo having a gay relationship with Stevie.
While speaking on the Wizards Of Waverly Pod show with co-hosts Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise, he said: "I wished we could have played more with what was quite obvious to a lot of us.
"We weren't able to in that time, but it was pretty clear to all of us what that relationship was."
Following the show actress Hayley came out as gay.
She is now a pop star and is currently on tour around Europe, with 1.9million fans on Instagram.
David Henrie – Justin Russo
David played the oldest of the three Russo children, Justin – an extremely intelligent and fiercely competitive wannabe wizard.
Even though Alex triumphed him in the wizarding competition, he got to keep his too after he was rewarded by the WizTech headmaster.
Henrie already had an impressive resume before he even joined Wizards of Waverly Place, with recurring acting roles throughout his childhood.
He was a part of Method & Red and That's So Raven, another hit tweenage TV show, before he got further recognition from Disney.
In 2016, the star took a break from his career to get married to former Miss Delaware 2011 Maria Cahill in an intimate ceremony.
Since then, he's kept a lower profile, getting in trouble with the law in 2018 after being arrested in LAX airport carrying a loaded gun.
Nonetheless, David has still starred in a number of high-profile films including Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Warrior Road.
In 2020, he directed a film for the first time – This is the Year – ahigh school comedy about friends on a road trip to a music festival.
He regularly takes part in meet and greets with fans of Wizards of Waverly Place for charity.
Jake T Austin – Max Russo
Jake played the youngest of three in the Russo brood – Max – who was frequently overshadowed by his more talented siblings.
Max was the only one of the three siblings to miss out on keeping his wizard powers in the final contest, but ran the family store instead.
He seemed happy enough to take his consolation prize, but in real life, Austin has found more success in live action and voice actor.
Austin landed the role of Jesus Foster on The Fosters, as well as the voice of Diego in Dora the Explorer and the spin-off Go, Diego, Go.
He has also voiced actors in box-office hits Rio 2 and The Emoji Movie, as well as Angel Reyes (aka Blue Beetle) in animated DC projects.
Jennifer Stone – Harper Finkle
Jennifer was not one of the Russo's – but appeared in every single episode of Wizards of Waverly Place as Alex's best friend.
Harper didn't have any magical abilities and was oblivious to the Russo's for quite some time, but soon became a de facto member of the clan.
Since the Disney show, she hasn't built up a large list of credits as she battled Latent Autoimmune Diabetes – a type of Type 1 Diabetes.
Following her diagnosis in 2013, she stepped back from acting to get a degree in nursing to help others who suffer from her disease.
While she is now a registered nurse, she did return to the TV world in 2019 to co-write and star in The In-Between, a film about two women with medical issues.
She now hosts a podcast about Wizards of Waverly Place with former co-star David DeLuise.
Maria Canals-Barrera – Theresa Russo
The Russo family matriarch was Theresa, played by Maria Canals-Barrera – and she was the only non-magical member of the family.
Since her Wizards days, she has had a fairly long run of voice acting, mainly for comic book properties, and television series.
Maria has voiced characters like Hawkgirl and She-Hulk in video games, as well as Rio Morales in Ultimate Spider Man, Dr Vargas in Vixen: The Movie and Ellen Yindel in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
Her live action roles include ABC series Cristela, where she played Daniela.
She regularly attends Comic Cons representing the Wizards of Waverly Place cast.
David DeLuise – Jerry Russo
David DeLuise played the family patriarch – but was already a member of acting royalty before starring in Wizards of Waverly Place.
He is the son of Dom DeLuise, a comedy star who appeared in classic films Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, The Muppet Movie and Cannonball Run.
His mum was actress Carol Arthur, who starred in The Sunshine Boys as well as numerous Mel Brooks movies.
David's brothers Peter DeLuise and Michael DeLuise have also starred in a number of films including 21 Jump Street, Gilmore Girls and Encino Man.
Since Wizards, David has continued to have success in the acting world including in series NCIS, Shameless and Grey's Anatomy.
He has also been in a number of films including Pup Star, Sox, Abner the Invisible Dog and Beethoven's Treasure Trail.
Bill Chott – Mr. Laritate
Funnyman Bill Chott had been in a number of films before being cast as the hilarious school principal Mr Laritate in Wizards of Waverly Place.
Often having to deal with whatever hijinks the Russo's were stirring up,he was constantly trying to stand in their way and spoil the fun.
But in real life, the star has been in a number of comedic (and fun) films, including The Ringer, Dude Where's My Car, Galaxy Quest and Dana Carvey Show.
He has also appeared in a number of TV series, including ER and CSI, Monk and This Is Us – as well as comedy series Legion.
Chott has also voiced a number of animated characters in Christmas film Klaus, Young Sheldon and Curious George.
Gregg Sulkin – Mason Greyback
Any tweenage series needs a romantic entanglement – and that's where Gregg Sulkin's character Mason Greyback comes in.
Mason was a werewolf that made sparse appearances on the show, but he was very important to the Russo's only daughter Alex.
Since his Disney stardom, Gregg had a short stint on Pretty Little Liars, as well as MTV series Faking It and MCU series Runaways.
Originally living in Britain, Sulkin got his American citizenship in 2018 – and he now lives across the pond where he continues to work.
He was the lead character in animated film The Adventures of Bunny Bravo and is currently filming Netflix's new series Pretty Smart.
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Daniel Benson – Zeke Beakerman
Daniel Benson played Justin's best friend Zeke, who often found himself involved in the crazy lives of the Russo's.
Of all the cast members, Zeke has remained the most under-the-radar since the Disney show, only having a few credited film roles.
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