Hilary Duff and Raven Symoné made up the original Disney generation. Then came the second generation with Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato. Now we are witnessing the uprising of the third generation of Disney stars and Dove Cameron is dominating the ranks. Move over Hannah Montana because a new songbird’s in town.
Her charisma and remarkable talent landed her not one, but TWO roles in the hit Disney show Liv and Maddie as she plays both of the twin sisters with completely opposite personalities. Alongside her crazy schedule of working on Liv and Maddie, attending the Radio Disney Music Awards, doing photo shoots and appearances, she has managed to find the time to star in an episode of The Mentalist and land a leading role in the Disney Channel original movie, Cloud 9.
Her latest project involves her taking on the role of an iconic Disney villain’s offspring. Dove is playing the daughter of infamous Maleficent in The Descendants which is set to release this summer (July 31, 2015 on the Family Channel to be exact). Having begun her journey of acting on stage, Dove also has quite the vocal chords. Her melodious voice will soon be available for everyone to indulge in as she is set to release some original music very soon.
Faze got the chance to chat with Dove about becoming an actress, and her experience throughout the filming of her highly anticipated, upcoming movie, The Descendants
How did you know you wanted to pursue acting at such a young age? What inspired you to take such a huge step?
Dove: Honestly, I started acting a heck of a lot later than a lot of the other Disney actors because I was in the middle of nowhere in Washington. I lived on a tiny little island and I had only done local theater. What started me in local theater was actually the fact that my mother won the “Most Likely to go to Broadway” award in high school and so my mom told me growing up that she was an actress and since I was in the middle of nowhere, I thought she was an actress in movies. So I grew up thinking that I’m meant to be an actress as well. I also had a lot of energy and my parents didn’t know what to do with me so they put me in a theater class. So I started out onstage as the red hot candy in the Nutcracker. I did great work in a big red afro! And then I Just started to work my way up through the theatre ranks from there. I convinced my mother to move to LA when I was 13 because I figured if I got in when I was younger, the pool would be a lot smaller because everyone goes to LA when they are 18 since their parents don’t want to move with them. So we packed our house into a tiny little apartment and I guess I started working when I was 14.
What was it like stepping away from the sweet characters you play on Liv and Maddie, and entering this dark role as Maleficent’s daughter in The Descendants?
Dove: As a little girl, you know when you go to the dentist office and they ask “what’s your favourite princess?” and then you get the princess toothbrush? I always got really mad about that because what if I didn’t want to be a princess, what if I wanted to be the villain, what if I wanted to be a little more edgy? My mother always told me “don’t be boxed in by society” so I always wanted to be the evil characters. I also thought, as an actor, they were more challenging anyway because it is not very hard to make a nice girl lovable and it’s not very hard to make a nice girl relatable. But what is hard is taking a character that on paper is quite literally the spawn of evil and bringing her into something that an eight-year-old would look up to and a mother would be okay about her eight-year-old-looking up too. I think that’s a much bigger challenge so I was flossing at the mouth to audition for this part and I knew the second that I read this script that I HAD to play Maleficent’s daughter. I was incredibly excited when they offered me the role. My life has literally never been the same ever since. It’s the greatest acting experience I have ever had.
Because this movie is filled with the children of iconic Disney characters, did that add to your pressure of carrying out this role?
Dove: Completely, and you know what’s funny, a lot of people love and know the Disney stories but the total cult following of the villains online is actually unparalleled in terms of the cult following the princesses. People aren’t as obsessed with the princesses. A lot of the adults are obsessed with Maleficent. It was something that has been around for quite a long time so I didn’t want to disrespect the fan base and I didn’t want to disrespect other people’s interpretation of the character. I had a really incredible and rare opportunity of being able to simultaneously build upon this huge legacy and also play a role in creating a character that was all my own. It was simultaneously more pressure and a lot less because I had the lucky position of being able to play and mess around and sort of paint my version of who I thought this girl was.
Were there any funny, behind-the-scene moments that happened while on set?
Dove: There was this one moment which was unfortunately at my expense. I was on set and I was singing my big solo and we were in the middle of the woods and none of the other cast was called in that day and it was an entire day of shooting. I was so nervous because it was just me and the crew. We were running in the woods and I was just thinking about my life introspectively as one does when in the woods, walking on logs. So I was singing my ballad on this log and we were shooting in this semi-public park so all of these locals kept walking into the shot so we just cornered off this area. So an hour and a half passed by and no one came into the shot anymore so we weren’t expecting anyone. We were sort of in the zone and out of nowhere I heard this loud thumping sound like something is coming for me. You know that feeling when you get into this animalistic panic like something is going to eat you and your going to die? Basically I thought I was going to die by a bear or a zombie. Turns out it was the entire cast behind me was running towards me and I didn’t know why, so I freaked out and fell off the log and they caught it all on tape.
Not only is Dove a natural in front of the camera, she is also quite the songbird with soaring vocals. Dove is currently in the process of finalizing the band name with her label, and is putting together original music which is set to release sometime this year. She would also love to try her hand at Broadway, as she did begin her acting career on stage. Clearly this young starlet has a lot going on so keep your eyes and ears open for Dove Cameron.
In the meantime, check out the trailer for The Descendants below: