I’m outgoing just like Alex is, but she gets into a lot of trouble, and I don’t get into trouble like she does, that’s for sure. I guess style-wise, we’re kind of similar. I like to dress very relaxed and Alex just wears Converse and jeans and cute tops, and that’s me, too.
– Selena in an interview with It’s My Life
Alexandra Margarita “Alex” Russo is the main protagonist of the Disney Channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place, portrayed by Selena Gomez. She is the only female out of the three Russo siblings, and the middle child. She is sly, rebellious, outgoing, and usually underachieves when it comes to school. She often gets into trouble because of her constant schemes usually involving magic. She is part Latina and part Italian. Even though she is infamously known for doing the worst in wizard studies and school, and relentlessly torments her older brother Justin, Alex became much more mature throughout the series. Although she’s relatively lazy, Alex is very smart. She becomes the Russo family wizard at the end of the series. She goes through a long term relationship with Mason Greyback, a purebred werewolf that they break up numerous times but get back together.
Alex was born in 1992 in New York City in Cab #804. Alex is of Mexican descent on her mother’s side and Italian on her father’s side. She spreads her roots by celebrating a Quinceñara for her fifteenth birthday. In the series, she is very clueless and cute when it comes to magic and performing spells, and Justin is always there to help her out. In “Get Along, Little Zombie”, she can speak “zomb-ish” and explains that every wizard learns it when they are little. As the show goes on, she becomes more mature and more wizardly trained. She even proved to do remarkable things with the world, mostly in Season 4. She saved the wizard world from Angels of the Darkness in “Wizards vs. Angels”, where she wins a Wizard of the Year Award of 2011. She defeats Gorog in “Wizards vs. Everything” with the help of her brothers. She even saves the world from an asteroid in “Wizards vs. Asteroid”. Despite her achievements, there have been several slips, like exposing the wizard world in “Alex Tells the World” during a test and gets bumped down from Level 3 to Level 1 in the wizard competition, along with Justin. In Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Alex and Justin are prematurely forced to do the full wizard competition and Alex wins, but in order to save her brothers and her family, she uses the Stone of Dreams and she gives up her powers, so it can go back to the way things are. Things do go back to the way they were before she did the spell. And everything goes back to normal, though, Alex has a stronger relationship with her mother, and brothers. Justin says that next time the Wizard’s Competition comes around, he won’t be easy on her. In the end, she becomes the “Russo Family Wizard” after “Justin” gives up his winnings to her as a reward for helping him. In the special The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex, she saves the world from evil wizard Dominic and a evil clone of herself.
Alex has dark brown hair. Alex constantly switches between long and short hair, layered and not-layered, and straight, curly and wavy hair, throughout the series. In the first episode of season 1, her hair is long and straight and she wears her bangs back with a clip. Sometimes, Alex’s bangs are clipped to one side of her head, or are let loose. When it is short, Alex’s hair is curly and she does not have bangs or wears her hair completely straight. Alex is always seen wearing mascara and eye shadow, with a touch of lipstick/lip-gloss. Her usual wardrobe always consists of many colors and patterns. She is almost always seen wearing tights with skirts or long shirts. Later on in the series, Alex starts to wear dresses and tank tops. There is sometimes lettering on her shirts, like the orange shirt she wore on Halloween that had the word ‘Costume’ printed on the front. Alex often wears jeans, throughout the last 2 seasons usually with a loose shirt/blouse or a T-shirt. At the beginning of Wizards of Waverly Place, she was seen wearing high tops with her outfits, but later began wearing boots (sometimes high heeled), slippers, and sandals. Alex accessorizes with chunky bracelets, long necklaces and dangly earrings. Every time she wears a type of boots, she slips her blue wand in the side of one of her boots. The young wizard never settles on a style, as she constantly changes. In a ‘behind the scenes’ video, Selena pointed out how Alex always had (and still does occasionally) a peace sign somewhere on her outfits in Season 2. “It would either be on my earrings, my rings, my scarves, my pants or whatever.” said Selena.
Alex is the middle and the only female child of the Russo family. She often argues and insults her older brother, Justin, though it is later revealed that she does so because she admires him and wishes to be like him. The fact that her parents seem to favor Justin in most cases also engenders hostility and jealousy toward her brother. She is kind and smart. It is later revealed that the reason that she acts mean is simply because she wants to be liked and fears being hated. She can be rude to her family sometimes but at the end, everything goes alright. Alex also loves to be the center of attention. Alex is usually the mean girl of Tribeca Prep and she is usually arrogant, egotistical and self-centered.
Alex can be very sneaky and tricky. Her best friend since childhood is Harper Finkle, who mostly tries to keep her out of trouble, and is also her voice of wisdom. Alex later says that Harper is like a sister to her.
Though Alex likes tormenting Justin, the two share a close bond that neither seem to have with any other character on the show. Alex often uses magic to solve her problems, which frequently ends up causing more problems than she began with. Alex underachieves when it comes to high school, however, she excels greatly at Art. Art is her favorite school subject and is the only class she takes seriously, being the best in it, and even being the co-art teacher at one point.
Alex and Justin act as foils, as the two are near-polar opposites; Justin is responsible and fair in judgment, though easily insecure at Alex’s great magical feats. Alex is lazy, carefree, sarcastic, stubborn, and biased when it comes to herself or others. She feels insecure when seeing Justin accomplish much with his hard work and responsibility. In the film, Alex says that Justin was everything she ever wanted to be while Justin responds, saying that he is jealous of how everything comes easy to her, especially magic, which is why he strives to be perfect.
Despite her flaws, Alex is far from heartless and has numerous instances of generosity, loyalty, and compassion. Her actions and pranks are typically free of any malice. She deeply cares for her best friend Harper, going as far as to reveal her secret to her in “Harper Knows” out of guilt for lying. She also loves Justin dearly despite their constant antagonism. Alex feels remorse and guilt for her actions and has apologized and taken responsibility for them. At times, she often goes out of her way to set things right whenever her disregard for the consequences directly affect her friends and/or family. Though these instances are rare, Alex does occasionally use magic with good intentions. Alex has a strong sense of justice and hates “fake” people. In Season 3, Alex is rarely the source of magical problems, instead often being the one to solve them, though she is still always the first to blame when magic causes a situation to go haywire. Alex later begins dating Mason (Gregg Sulkin), a werewolf she falls in love with. She quits the wizard competition and becomes mortal after deciding that there is no way she could win. However, this action puts her relationship with Mason against wizard law, since she is a mortal and he is not. Therefore, Alex decides not to give up the competition so that she and Mason can be together. Alex is named Wizard of the Year for saving the wizard world from the angels of darkness, which also puts her back in the wizard competition. When a misunderstanding ensues between Mason and Alex, Mason crashes Alex’s “Wizard of the Year” party, after which Alex decides that she and Mason “need a break.” After Mason saves her from becoming trapped in the Bermuda Triangle however, she realizes that they can’t stay apart and the couple get back together.
In the end of the series, during the Family Wizard Competition, Alex takes the lead in the final round of the competition. However, in second place, Justin gets trapped in a tangle of tree roots. Not wanting to win the competition unfairly, Alex turns back to save him. While Justin crosses the finish line first, he in turn tells Professor Crumbs that Alex turned back to save him and that he does not deserve to win. By clearing himself of the guilt, Justin gives the title of “Family Wizard” to Alex.
- Spellcasting: Alex is a mistress in the art of casting spells to cause all kinds of magic effects.
- Enchantment: Alex can place enchantments to gain temporary powers or activate powers.
- Power of Three: The powers of the Russo siblings together allow them to enhance the above listed powers.
- Spell Improvisation: Alex knows how to create or use spells in the exact moments she needs.
- Use of Magical Objects: Alex can use magical objects to counter-effects places where normally her powers would be weakened, such as the Guardian Angels Wings to fly to the Dark Angels HQ or the Bermuda Shorts to neutralize the magnetic forces of Bermuda Triangle.
- Elemental Affinity: Alex has a natural affinity for the magic of the four classic elements as she could use element-based spells in the premature Wizard Competition.
- Creation of Alternative Realities: If in possession of powerful artifacts such as the family wand, Alex can create alternative timelines.
- Family Wizard Capabilities: Being the Russo Family Wizard, Alex’s magical capabilities have been greatly enhanced.
- Hand-To-Hand Combat: Without her wand, Alex is shown to have combat skills as she was using against her evil self.
Despite her skills in wizardry and magic, Alex is far from invincible:
- Plastic: Like other wizards, Alex’s spells are useless against plastic.
- No wand: When Alex has no wand, her powers are a lot weaker. She can still perform magic, but just not as strong. For example, when trying to persuade her mother into making her go to a party with wand less magic, her mother quickly resists. She then groans, saying it didn’t have “enough juice”.