When the first Descendants film came out on Disney Channel I (and everyone else) knew it would be a hit. I mean really – the kids of our favorite Disney princesses and villains all together in a modern-fantasy musical? It was bound to happen. And now Descendants 2 will be released on not one, but 6 channels simultaneously this Friday. It’s bound to be an even BIGGER hit than the first!
I got to meet with the stars last month while in Los Angeles and they are SO excited about Descendants 2! Here’s what they each had to say:
Dove Cameron (“Mal”)
Everything that Mal was in the first one, we all are as a team, because a movie is such a collective experience. Kenny (Ortega), the writers, and myself all threw strict notions of Mal’s character out the window because she, as a human does, goes through life changes and experiences. She never had anyone growing up and she couldn’t ever really find her footing with the one person that she did have to rely on [her mother, Maleficent]. So she learned to rely on herself. In the second movie when we pick back up, she now knows what it feels like to be authentically loved and to have a space held for her to be supported. Just like any other human, you gravitate towards whatever you’re used to, and so she has no idea how to deal with that. It’s almost impacting her negatively, because she’s thinking, “Oh, I only know how to build up my walls. I don’t even know how to function without my walls.” Now she has to start over and find what is [her authentic identity] for the first time in her life. Throughout the movie she goes through a lot of incarnations of what she thinks Mal is, and doesn’t really find herself until the end. That was a weird experience for me as an actress, to feel like I knew the character really well, and then to lose her as she’s losing herself, and then to find her as she finds herself.
Sofia Carson (“Evie”)
The first “Descendants” was my first movie. It changed my life and I fell in love with Evie and loved being able to tell her story. We’ve become such a family and working with Kenny and everyone is just always a dream, so when we found out the sequel was green lit, we were just beyond thrilled. It was surreal to return to the characters and to tell their stories and see how they’ve evolved. The movie is just so much bigger in scope. It’s so epic and beautiful and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Cameron Boyce (“Carlos”)
After the first movie we knew we were going to do the second one. The whole time we were thinking, “Okay, how are we going to top that? How are we going to make something that’s bigger and still better?” You don’t want to just go bigger but you also want to go deeper with the characters, but the physical sets themselves are just insane in the second one. You guys haven’t seen anything like this. I’m really excited for you guys to see it. But it’s just like I said, everyone was really committed to taking the next one to bigger and better places, and I feel like we accomplished that. I think that you guys saw that, especially in the pirate set. It was all green screen and then through the magic of whatever they do in post-production, they made it amazing. In the beginning of the process, they showed us all the renderings of what it was going to look like. It helps you as an actor to get in that space where you’re thinking, “Okay, this is what I’m around and it’s really cool.”
Booboo Stewart (“Jay”)
For Jay, specifically it’s the ability to change. There’s a really nice, subtle storyline that he has with the character Lonnie. He’s the captain of the Swords & Shields fencing team and it’s in the rule book that it’s a guy sport. [Lonnie] shows up and pushes him to let her be on the team. As far as rules go, Jay has to decide between sticking to tradition or breaking the rules and being kicked off the team and losing his title. So he has to accept change and his decision there is a nice storyline.
China Anne McClain (“Uma”)
Joining the cast of “Descendants” was surreal for me. It was an honor because everyone loved the first film and I was a fan of the first film. I thought it was beautifully put together. And Kenny Ortega is just great. I really wanted to work on it so when I got the call saying I got the role, I said, “Yes!” Ursula is one of my favorite movie villains ever. She has so much attitude. In preparation, I watched “The Little Mermaid” about 20 times before I went to Vancouver to shoot. I was looking at her mannerisms, how she talked and everything that she said, and that helped me a lot on set.
Kenny Ortega (Director)
We’re nothing without the words. The writers are so responsible for why I’m here today. Sara Parriott and Josie McGibbon, who have created “Descendants” and who wrote both the first and second movies, really deliver. It’s feature work, and the kids and myself, all of us, everyone, the production designers, choreographers, music people, we get so much out of what they place there. It gives us permission to travel in the capacity that we travel in, to adventure, to journey, to play, to take chances, to sing and to dance and to develop these characters. It all starts right here with the writing and we’re so appreciative.
Descendants 2 Premieres Friday night on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, Freeform, and ABC at 8pm/7c!
*all photos courtesy of Disney Channel. Thanks to Disney for hosting my visit.