I love you, you love me… and Demi Lovato loved Barney.
In a new interview on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, the "Cool for the Summer" singer reflected on one of her earliest crushes: the man inside the purple dinosaur suit.
Lovato's first screen role was on Barney & Friends in 2002, when she was around 10 years old. "By the time I was old enough to work on Barney, it wasn't cool anymore to watch it. That's why I think I got teased at school," the singer recalled.
"He was so nice," Lovato said of the performer in the Barney suit. "And you know what's funny? He was really attractive… I had a bit of a crush on him, even at a young age."
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images; Michael Bezjian/WireImage Demi Lovato and Barney
Lovato, who uses both she/her and they/them pronouns, justified her infatuation by explaining how physically fit the Barney performer had to be due to the demands of the part. "You had to be really muscular because the suit weighs, I don't know, 50 to 100 pounds," she said. "So he was like ripped, and he happened to have a good-looking face."
"Wow," Stern responded. "What a great story if you would've run off with Barney."
Though multiple performers donned the Barney costume over the years, the man in question would have been Carey Stinson, who took over for longtime Barney actor David Joyner in the series' seventh season. Stinson is the credited physical performer for the titular purple dinosaur in all 10 of Lovato's appearances on the series, according to IMDb.
Neither Stinson nor Joyner provided the voice for Barney, however — that responsibility was first handled by Bob West, and later by Dean Wendt, David Franks, Duncan Brannan, and Tim Dever (the father of actress Kaitlyn Dever).
Lovato wasn't the only future star in Barney's gang: Princess Protection Program costar Selena Gomez appeared alongside Lovato in several episodes of the series, while Debby Ryan, Madison Pettis, and Jaren Lewison (of Never Have I Ever fame) appeared in later seasons of the show.
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