Ten Things the Stars of Descendants 2 Had to Say About the Movie
Descendants 2 premieres in just a few days and I’m so excited about finally seeing the whole movie. A few months ago I saw key scenes and a few musical numbers from the movie and I loved it. I already introduced you to the new Villain Kids that are being introduced in this installment, now I was to share some thoughts from the stars for Descendants 2.
We had the opportunity to chat with Dove Cameron (Mal), Cameron Boyce (Carlos), Sofia Carson (Evie), Booboo Stewart (Jay) and China Anne McClain (Uma). We got the scoop from them on the new movie and everything they’ve been up to since the first movie.
Sofia Carson Talks About Evie’s Growth
In the first movie, we saw Evie struggling with showing how much she really liked living at Auradon Prep. We see her blossom and find her own way during this first film, so we wanted to know how she continued to grow in the second film.
You’ll see a different side of Evie because in the first film, when we met her, Evie was very much her mother’s daughter. She was very consumed in what she looked like and she was sadly willing to believe that her reflection in the mirror is what defined her as a person. At the end of the movie, she realized that as girls, [our looks do not] define us. That doesn’t make us more important or beautiful or special. It’s who we are in our hearts and to be the fairest of them all is to be fair inside. In the second movie, Evie has really grown into herself. She is strong and independent. She’s smart. She’s a fashion designer. She has made her dream come true without a prince and she’s become a leader. At the same time, her best friend Mal, [who is like] her sister, is lost and really confused. Their relationship is really beautiful and important and it’s a story of girl power, which I love. – Sofia Carson
We also asked her about being back on set for the second film, was it difficult or did she just get right back into the swing of things for filming.
It was surreal. 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. – Sofia Carson
Cameron Boyce On How Carlos Can Help Teens
Fans of the series all have their favorites, I like Carlos because he’s very innocent and loyal to his friends. I was hoping to see his character expanded in the sequel so we could learn more about him and what makes him tick. We asked Cameron what issues did his character Carlos faced in the film that kids today can relate to.
There are a lot honestly. There are a lot of different morals in the story in the first movie too. Specifically for Carlos, I think one of the main things that we focus on in this franchise is self-worth and really making sure that you feel like you belong, whether you actually do or not, because everyone belongs but maybe you don’t feel that way. Maybe the physical, or whatever it is, is different. Carlos is the youngest and I don’t want to say the weirdest, but he is afraid of little dogs and there are some things about him that are [different]. But he definitely finds himself in the second movie and he goes through regular kid things. He goes through girl troubles. He figures all that stuff out eventually and he reaches out for help, which is important. He’s a little bit lost and flustered and confused and has feelings that he has never had before. Instead of keeping it to himself, he’ll say, “Jay, how I do this?” or “Mal, help me out a little.” I feel like that’s important to have a dialogue with people that you care about. – Cameron Boyce
From our short clips of the new movie, the set looked amazing, when we sat down with Cameron we asked him to share about working on the set and how it compared to the first movie.
It was crazy. 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.” – Cameron Boyce
Dove Cameron Shares her Love for the Character Mal
We talked with Dove about getting back into character for Mal and what was different this time compared to the first movie.
Everything that Mal was in the first one, we all are as a team, because a movie is such a collective experience. Kenny, 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, Malificent]. 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. – Dove Cameron
Since Dove mentioned her character experiencing changes and the movie centers around how she deals with the changes happening in her life, we asked if she brought any personal parts of her life into the character. She shared with us how she loved the character even before she was cast as Mal.
As an actor, I do that as much as I can in every role, but Mal is my ride or die. I fell in love with her when I read the “Descendants” script back in 2013. [Disney Channel] didn’t tell me anything. They didn’t say, “We’re going to set up an audition.” It was more like, “Will you read this and tell us what you think?” I had an emotional, visceral response. I said, “She’s my girl!” because I related to her so much. Even though all of the characters and Mal are in fantastical circumstances, their experiences are very relatable. A lot of people – a lot of kids and a lot of adults who were once kids – don’t always have an easy home situation. They don’t always have all the support that they deserve. I think all of us in this room can relate to feeling like we lacked something there that we now have to deal with as we’ve gotten older. That was something that I had such a lovely time with, for myself psychologically and also as an actor, to inject pain into an experience that we [all share]. This is a movie for children, and so we have to ride that line between [communicating] really helpful and relatable messages, but still keeping it light. That was challenging and interesting for me, and I did bring a lot of things I felt like I lacked from my own childhood. It definitely helped keep Mal real. It also helped me as a human to explore somebody else’s issues, and to fix my own at the same time. – Dove Cameron
Booboo Stewart Shares His Favorite Lessons from the Film
Everyone, we interviewed that day talked with us about how close Booboo and Cameron are in real life. We started by talking to Booboo about the relationship he has with Cameron and then asked about the lessons present in this film.
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. – Booboo Stewart
We also asked about his favorite musical number from the new movie and it didn’t take him long to share his favorite and why he liked it so much.
I have to say “Chillin’ Like a Villain.” It’s just really great. We had a great time shooting it. I say that we had a great time because it was actually a disaster in the best ways possible. It was a beautiful disaster! We were filming outside and it was not supposed to be a tsunami. Along with the wind and the rain, it was brutal, but you can’t tell when you’re watching it. I can’t help but smile watching, not just because of the song, but because of the energy that’s given to the performance. – BooBoo Stewart
China McClain Talks About Joining the Cast
China is one of the new VKs on the set. She talked to us about how it was for her joining the cast, and how she balanced being a villain but still being likeable to fans of the popular movie.
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!” – China McClain
The biggest challenge for China was making sure fans would like her character as well, although she was ultimately a nemisis to their beloved villain kids.
I think the biggest challenge playing Uma was probably making her relatable and trying to make her likable because you can’t mess with the VKs. The [fans] love the VKs and I see why because in the first film they are really, really good and they connected with a lot of kids. So, just making kids not dislike her and helping them be able to understand her was probably the biggest challenge. – China McClain
About “Descendants 2”
“Descendants 2” will premiere in an unprecedented, far-reaching programming event featuring a simultaneous premiere across five networks within the Disney|ABC Television Group including Disney Channel, ABC, Disney XD, Freeform and Lifetime on FRIDAY, JULY 21 (8:00 p.m. EDT).
In “Descendants 2,” the story deepens as the Villain Kids (AKA “VKs”) – Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay – continue to try to find their place in idyllic Auradon. When the pressure to be royal becomes too much for Mal, she returns to her rotten roots on the Isle of the Lost where her archenemy Uma, the daughter of Ursula, has taken her spot as self-proclaimed queen of the run-down town. Uma, still resentful over not being selected by Ben to go to Auradon Prep with the other Villain Kids, stirs her pirate gang including Captain Hook’s son Harry and Gaston’s son Gil, to break the barrier between the Isle of the Lost and Auradon, and unleash all the villains imprisoned on the Isle, once and for all.
Starring are Dove Cameron (“Liv and Maddie”), Cameron Boyce (“Jessie”), Sofia Carson (Hollywood Records recording artist, “Adventures in Babysitting”), Booboo Stewart (“X-Men Days of Future Past”), and Mitchell Hope reprising the roles of Mal, Carlos, Evie, Jay and King Ben, respectively. Starring as the new villains are China Anne McClain (“A.N.T. Farm”) as Uma, the daughter of Ursula; Thomas Doherty (“The Lodge”) as Harry, son of Captain Hook; Dylan Playfair (“Some Assembly Required”) as Gil, son of Gaston; and Anna Cathcart (“Odd Squad”) as Dizzy, daughter of Cinderella’s evil stepsister Drizella and granddaughter of wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. Also reprising their roles in this sequel are Brenna D’Amico as Jane, the daughter of Fairy Godmother; Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother; Dianne Doan as Lonnie, the daughter of Mulan; Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad, the son of Cinderella; Zachary Gibson as Doug, the son of Dopey; Keegan Connor Tracy as Belle and Dan Payne as Beast.
Emmy Award-winning director Kenny Ortega (“Descendants,” “High School Musical” movies) is the director, executive producer and choreographer of “Descendants 2.” “Descendants” executive producer Wendy Japhet (“An Education”, “The Italian Job”) also serves as executive producer for the sequel. Writers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon (“The Starter Wife,” “Runaway Bride”), who won a 2016 Writers Guild Award for “Descendants,” wrote “Descendants 2” and also serve as executive producers. Kara Saun (“Descendants,” “Project Runway”) is the costume designer. The production designer is Mark Hofeling (“Descendants,” “Teen Beach Movie,” “High School Musical”). Tony Testa (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “This Is It”) is the choreographer with Ortega and Shawn Williamson (“Adventures in Babysitting”) is producer.