Now that former Disney Channel’s starlets á la Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Demi Lovato and Ariel Winter have latched on to other projects, the channel has been trawling the talent pool for fresh faces. They struck gold with the adorable Dove Cameron, who has been groomed for the comedy, Liv & Maddie, writes Debashine Thangevelo.
FORGET Disney Channel’s child stars gone wild, the channel has also been the launch pad of some heavyweight talent.
Kirsten Storms, whom we grew to love as Belle Black in Days of Our Lives (she has since left the soap) starred in the Disney movies Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and Johnny Tsunami in 1999.
Emmy Rossum, from Genius (1999), is more recognisable from Shameless; Alison Pill (The Other Me, 2000) become a hit in The Newsroom – barring her headline grabbing boob post on Twitter; Hollywood romcom queen Katherine Heigl also found fame in Wish Upon a Star in 1996; and, that’s not forgetting Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory fame, who appeared in Alley Cats Strike (2000).
The point here being that Dove Cameron – depending on whether she lives up to the innocence of her name – could easily find her- self in the latter stable of talent once she spreads her wings.
For now, though, she is enjoying her big break in Liv & Maddie by John Beck and Ron Hart (According to Jim fame), the creators and executive producers.
The Los Angeles-based 17-year-old, who guest starred in Malibu Country and The Mentalist, has been cast to play a dual role: 15-year-old identical twins Liv, who has been exposed to the glamo- rous life of Hollywood, and Maddie, a more grounded, sort of tomboy and a talented basketball player.
Cameron reveals she is fond of cooking, sewing, reading, writing and singing.
She also shares: “I’m obsessed with gold lockets. My dad used to give me a locket every year for my birthday, so they have a very special place in my life.
“You can wear a gold locket with anything, which is great – and I have 17 of them, but they are all different. They started out very small and got bigger as I grew older. I cannot live without my lockets!”
Expanding on her other interest, she admits: “Sewing is one of my biggest passions. I’ve been sewing ever since I was seven or eight years old – and I sew every day. I’m a huge fan of fashion, but if I find something in a shop that I love and it doesn’t fit me, I’ll adapt it with my trusty sewing kit. It’s called ‘upcycling’.
“Just the other day, I found a baby doll top and a skirt, so I turned it into a one-piece dress with a different neckline and a felt bow. I think it looks really cool now.”
Although most starlets are weight-obsessed, put an apple pie in front of Cameron and she crumbles. She laughs: “The secret to a perfect apple pie is to include the right amount of cinnamon and butter. Oh, and you have to get the apple to the right consistency.”
On keeping up with the demands of play- ing two characters, Cameron tends to rely on a cup of black coffee every now and then – however, she balances the caffeine with lots of water.
What’s interesting about this young talent is her choice of Hollywood icon. She reveals: “Tim Burton – he is my spirit animal. He is so creative and his movies are always awe- some. I grew up watching his movies and I love them all. It would be a dream come true if I could appear in one of his movies.”
Also very techno-savvy and a fan of India, which was a second home to her when she was growing up, Cameron is relishing the challenge of playing polar opposite characters in the series. Who knows, she just might do the Disney brand proud going forward!
• Liv & Maddie airs on Disney Channel (DStv channel 303) on March 8 at 10.15am.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
Disney Channel and Tonight are offering five readers an exclusive “Double Trouble” pamper day at Sorbet DryBar in Hurlingham, Joburg, to celebrate the launch of Liv & Maddie. The winners, who can take along their sister, daughter, mother or BFF, will be treated to a manicure, pedicure and massage on the morning of March 1. To enter, answer this question: Which actress plays dual characters in Liv & Maddie?
The competition closes on Saturday at 8am. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners will be notified early next week.