Selena Gomez's Former Disney Co-Star Says Catholic Faith Keeps Him From Falling Into Hollywood's Wildness

Former Disney Channel star David Henrie will release his first short film 'Catch' in June 2014.
Former Disney Channel star David Henrie will release his first short film "Catch" in June 2014. | (Photo: Benjo Arwas)

Actor David Henrie, who appeared alongside Selena Gomez in the Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place," among other television shows, could have easily fallen into the out-of-control party lifestyle Hollywood is known for, but he credits his Catholic faith for giving him the strength to survive in Tinseltown with his moral values intact.

Henrie, 25, who recently debuted his first short film "Catch" as a director, admitted that being in showbiz is not easy due to constant temptations.

"I've been lucky to have friends who are not in the business, who aren't enablers to the whole crazy lifestyle that can go along with Hollywood ... I think the people in Hollywood who are always working on their craft, those are the most successful people because they don't buy into the whole lifestyle that goes along with it," said Henrie in a "Freefall" audio interview with The Blaze's Billy Hallowell and Raj Nair.

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Henrie, a devout Catholic, admits that it is much easier to "party every night and do ridiculous things," but he notes that makes the difference between "a virtuous guy and a guy who is pleasing his emotions or passions."

"My morals and beliefs are very important to me and will always impact the choices I make," he said.

As a child star, Henrie said that he never knew how difficult Hollywood would be, especially the part about avoiding the negative aspects of the entertainment industry. He credits his faith, family and friends for keeping him grounded, while acknowledging the reality that celebrities oftentimes get lost along the way because temptation is everywhere.

"Sometimes you can start something out with noble intentions but once you gain those things, it can easily turn into something else when temptation comes into play," said Henrie.

Stars like him are a rarity in Hollywood, especially since his generation includes celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez who have shed their Disney personas to portray a more provocative and racy image.

When asked why entertainers like Cyrus and Gomez give into the quintessential Hollywood lifestyle, Henrie noted that they live life without regarding that others look up to them.

"I don't know about their state of minds or where they're at but from my personal experience when I first started acting, I didn't ask for people to look up to me or have an audience behind me. I just wanted to be an actor ... a lot of actors say, 'I don't ask for this to be on my shoulders, I don't ask to be a role model so I'm going to go out and do whatever the heck I want,'" said Henrie.

However, he says once he realized that others looked up to him, he began to question whether he should be accountable for being a role model to those fans even though he did not want to.

For those who want to enter Hollywood, Henrie advises:

" ... You need a supportive family and friends. That's why there are so many cases out there where kids go down the tube ... people build up actors and the business so much but at the end of the day, you're just an actor and you've got to stay detached and pop the bubble in your head and let the steam come out and say, 'I'm just one person, not a big deal in any respect or in comparison to what's going on in the world," said Henrie.

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