Kenny Ortega’s new movie leaves ‘Descendants’ spellbound

Kenny Ortega's new movie leaves ‘Descendants’ spellbound

Walt Disney Pictures sent two of its biggest stars to Manchester last week to spread the news about their latest movie ‘Descendants’.


The story is set in the idyllic kingdom of Auradon, playfully presents the unexpected possibilities of what happens after the "happily ever after". Emmy Award-winning Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) directs, choreographs and exec produces.


I was invited along to meet the young stars of the film Sofia Carson and Booboo Stewart at the Lowry Hotel, they had a very nice double suite on the 6th floor.


Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and of Colombian descent, 22-year-old actress Sofia Carson is more than just a pretty face; I get the feeling she’s primed for greatness, Multilingual and Multi-talented – she plays the part of Evie, the stylish teenage daughter of the Evil Queen.


She has had a fairy tale-esque story of her own having moved away from family and friends to LA when she was 18 to study at UCLA and to pursue her dreams of becoming an actor. More than two years of auditions passed before her first break came in the form of a guest role for Disney on the Austin & Ally show.


Around 3 months later I was invited to try out for a new Disney movie, they were very secretive” she shares


They weren’t releasing any information, not even the title, just a story about 4 rebel kids who weren’t really fitting in a school with the straight edged kids”.


I auditioned for the role of Princess Audrey originally, I remember when I walked in and I saw Kenny (Ortega) my jaw hit the floor, I was so excited and just couldn’t believe it. But alas I didn’t get the role”.


I carried on going to auditions and after 2 or 3 months I was called back to audition for the part of Evie, that’s when they told me more about the movie and I was able to read the script, it was so brilliant”.


I auditioned the same day, Booboo was there, and two days later I got the call to say I’d got the part. It’s changed my life”. She declares – beaming.


I’ve been with Disney for a while but just doing music for their Hollywood records label”. Booboo says joining in the conversation.


Prior to his onscreen success, Boo was a member of the Walt Disney Records recording group T-Squad and toured with The Cheetah Girls, The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus.


When I heard Kenny was involved in the project, I knew it would be interesting” he added.


Booboo the stuntman

Booboo the stuntman


Booboo Stewart stars as Jay, the athletic teenage son of Jafar. Jay puts his athleticism to good use as a star player on the tourney team at Auradon Prep.


It was a lot of rehearsing, but I did all the tricks in the movie except for one. I think if you can do it you should. It was really fun”. He says with a smile on his face


In 2011, Stewart landed the coveted role of Seth Clearwater in the popular "Twilight" franchise. Most recently, he can be seen as Warpath in "X-Men – Days of Future Past."  Other big screen credits include "White Frog," "Smitty" and "American Cowslip."


Additionally, Boo has guest starred on numerous popular television shows such as "Good Luck Charlie," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: Cyber" and "GRIMM."


Having watched the film, Kenny Ortega has created a set looks like it could have come from a Michael Jackson video.


Kenny loves to call it dirty candy. Colorful but dirty.


The set was unbelievable, everything about it was epic, and Kenny had such a great vision”. Sofia said.


We filmed the movie inside a rundown factory, all the original buildings were already there, they added the shacks and the finer details, like Ursula’s Fish and Chips, Captain Hooks Clocks but a lot of the rustic feel was already there”.


Crazy to think that except for the Coronation - every part of the movie was filmed there”. Boo shares.


Kenny loves to call it dirty candy. Colorful but dirty



On set the guys tell me they like nothing better than to chill with their guitars, sing songs and Jam,


When we’re shooting, I like to have to have to have it as a release”. Boo tells me


Yeah we had some cool Jam session”, recalls Sofia


That one ‘on the water’ we were singing Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran songs. I saw Sam Smith in LA, he was better Live than on the record - he’s that good”.


For Boo, increasing filming demands means that music is becoming more of a hobby or a passion, but with something like descendants he’s able to combine the two disciplines.


Early next year, Sofia will star alongside Girl Meets World's Sabrina Carpenter in the Disney Channel Original Movie, "Adventures in Babysitting." But making music is now her main focus.


Music is what I’ve always wanted to do since I was little” she says


I’m writing my album now, I’m about half way through, descendants has changed my life and opened the doors to allow me to make music, and now I’m in the studio, I’m so excited”.


Whatever you think about the endless barrage of Walt Disney’s saccharin fueled offerings of the past; you’re unlikely to change your mind after watching Descendants, it’s another good-time future classic Disney production, and it’s out this Friday 25th Sept.


"Descendants premieres on Disney Channel at 5.30pm on Friday 25th September. Disney's Descendants soundtrack is available now from Walt Disney Records. The soundtrack includes songs performed by the cast with four bonus tracks.


@booboostewart | @sofiacarson