On Tuesday, 3 October, Teenzone was privileged to sit down with Disney talent Dove Cameron, Thomas Doherty and Cameron Boyce. It is the first time that a Disney talent has visited the continent, not to mention the country! The trio are currently in South Africa to promote the release of their new film Descendants 2, which airs on Disney Channel on Friday at half past four. They attended the premiere held last night at Montecasino but they are also exploring some of the great sites South Africa has to offer.
When asked what they had done since their arrival in the country, Thomas revealed that they (we presume Dove and himself) had visited an elephant sanctuary and that they also played with monkeys. After a bit of snooping on Instagram, we discovered they went to an elephant sanctuary in Hartebeesport. Cameron mentioned that he had gone to the Lion and Rhino Park and that he pet a grown cheetah and that they to hold a baby leopard:
“…There are huge signs everywhere saying don’t feed them, don’t touch them, don’t look at them the wrong way – it’s scary you know they’re these huge wild animals. He [ranger] asks me: ‘Do you want to pet them or touch them?’ and I’m like, I don’t think I’m supposed to. And he was like, ‘It’s fine’. So, the first one we went into was a cheetah cage and yeah and I pet a grown cheetah. If you had asked me if I had done that like a week earlier I would’ve been like, you’re insane. Yeah, it was pretty amazing and the baby leopard was my favourite. His name is Zulu and he was just, I actually had him like he was a baby in my lap and my bracelets were hanging and he was hitting the bracelet and trying to bite it and stuff. It was pretty cute.”
When Teenzone asked them why they decided to include South Africa in their promotion this time around, Thomas pointed out that they are the first Disney talent to come to Africa. Cameron noted that for whatever reason Disney skipped over South Africa for a few years, which is a shame because it has fans that are just as passionate about their projects. In conclusion to the question, the trio noted that they were very proud to be the first.
Teenzone wanted to know if being a villain came easy to the actors, Cameron took the opportunity to answer. He pointed out that all characters in the film are very different and that Mal was probably naturally evil while a guy like Carlos is really just mischievous. Thomas joined with his opinion on the matter:
“Villains are evil people but they are humans. I think all humans have the propensity to be that way cause people are that way. So, it’s quite fun to tap into that in like a controlled environment. For me, Kenny [Director] was like, ‘I want Harry to be the worst villain in a hundred years’, I remember him saying that in rehearsals.” He added, “Yeah, it was good fun and every character driven and it was fun to kind of tap into that side of human nature, human beings.”
With Disney, each film and each series has their own message, when we asked Dove what she thinks the message for Descendants 2 is she replied with:
“The more we talk about it there’s actually more lessons that you can kind of form from the film. ” She added, “When you watch Descendants there’s kind of, because there are so many little story lines, there are kind of like twenty different morals or lessons you can walk away with. We’ve been talking and we say that whichever one sticks out to you is the one you need to hear most. It’s actually about different things depending on the viewer.”
When asked how much creative input the trio had in regards to their characters they assured us that they had loads. They explained that Kenny was incredibly trustworthy of them all so that if they ever approached him with an idea he would always be incredibly welcoming of it. Cameron recalls Kenny saying that he doesn’t just hire actors, he hires partners. He also explains that it goes further than dialogue, as a dancer he stresses that there was freedom of expression in terms of dance.
For the final question, Teenzone asked what is the biggest thing they’re going to take away from Disney. Thomas explained that for him and for most Disney actors, it’s the experience you get in many different areas. Cameron agreed with Thomas, reflecting that because he grew up in the industry, he is a completely different person than to what he would be had he gone to school and such. He treasures the fact that he has been able to meet people he would never otherwise would’ve met. He credits Disney for that.
Later in the evening, we had the opportunity to watch the actors interact with media and their fans. The trio were generous with photos and autographs. The rest of the evening was packed with the arrival of various local celebs including the likes of Shaun Pollock and ProVerb. Food was served and gifts were plentiful. Congratulations are in order for Disney Africa as they hosted the incredibly successful event.
By: Kriszti Bottyan