Dove Cameron Knows Being Complicated Isn’t a Crime
Talking to Dove Cameron, the 21-year-old Disney Channel star of “Liv and Maddie” and “Descendants,” it’s hard to imagine her playing a villain.
Before I’d even had a chance to say hello and babble about the weather, Dove was singing my name like we were in a production of West Side Story.
Talking to Dove is like making an instant friend at a party — someone you spill your entire life story to even though you’ll never see them again, and it doesn’t get weird.
And it turns out this happens to Dove a lot.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that I’ve met that I haven’t created a bit of a deep relationship with,” Dove told Galore. “It’s a really lovely thing to create a relationship with people that might not anticipate that closeness.”
Dove Cameron is a rare breed: a positive person who knows being complicated isn’t a crime.
Happy belated birthday! What was it like to turn 21?
Completely different. I woke up and I felt like a completely new person.
No, 20 was bigger for me. But I spent 21 with my best friends and we all went to Vegas. And that was phenomenal! We did it right. My best friend and I got tattoos.
What’d you guys get?
So, I got a little X on my pinkie. Kiersey [Clemons] got a little O. I think for her the O represented like wholeness and a unity. And for me the X represents a lot. No what direction you put an X in, it’s still an X, which I think is really beautiful to me at a time in my life when so many people want so many different things from me. I feel like I can look down and always be reminded that no matter where I go, I’m still the same at my core.
And an X also represents like a crossroads for me. And you know the number 10. There is a lot of significance actually, the more I think about it.
Also, it represents that my best friend and I wanted matching tattoos haha.
In general, would you say you’re happy getting older?
Yes. I would say so. I keep getting asked if I turned 16 so I don’t know what that means. I feel like I’m looking younger as I’m getting older. I love it. I mean I always felt like my age never matched with my insides. Now, I feel more comfortable in myself. I love growing older.
And what age do you feel inside?
I think when I turned 20, I felt pretty 20. And I think now, maybe 23. 23 might be the next one that I feel. I’ll hit that and I’ll feel rooted to the ground again. 21 is an interesting one for me, I don’t know if I feel 21.
Well, I feel like 21 always takes a bit to set in.
Yeah, and I’m not much of a drinker so there wasn’t much lead up to drinking or anything. I do feel like now, I can have champagne though, on a special occasion.
Was that the first drink you had when you turned 21?
No, the first drink I had was a shot of vodka with all my friends at midnight.
I was going for it. And then after that I just had some martinis, I like those.
Does having a baby face and getting mistaken for 16 ever get annoying?
It only gets annoying when it inhibits me from playing like 18. When they’re like ‘you look 15,’ I’m like ‘ughhhh what do I have to do?’ But I don’t mind it, I mean it’s what I look like, right?
What’s it like to play the daughter of such an iconic Disney character like Maleficent?
Phenomenal. I associated more with the villains when I was younger. I mean I think the villains, all across the board, are always more interesting people. I always loved Maleficent because she’s the most evil of them all, and if you’re going to like a villain, you might as well go all in. “The Descendants” franchise continues to be one of my absolute favorite things I’ve ever done with my time.
What are some things you think girls can take away from evil characters?
So much of what I’m about is positivity and really keeping your thoughts and intentions pure. I think so much of what’s happening in society today is causing people to develop major anxiety. The world is getting more and more insane. But, I do think that we can learn from the evil characters that intensity is ok. I think we need to preach to girls that being complicated is allowed. I think a lot of people glorify being simple and sweet and easy. And I think a lot of girls are terrified to be high maintenance. I think evil girls focus on themselves a little bit more. And show it’s ok to be powerful. I think that’s something we can all take away.
Are you at all worried about escaping the Disney girl label as you move forward in your career?
No, I anticipated that I would be when I was 14, and I was scared about labels and the sort of things that come along with the Disney Channel but I found it’s genuinely brought nothing but light and genuine love under my feet and into my life. They’ve been so supportive. Truly, it was the most educational experience I could have ever asked for. I think that Disney Channel presents an amazing platform, obviously, but also a huge safety net, and warmth. You don’t realize everything they give to you. It’s an unparalleled way to be introduced to television and music. They’ve done nothing but teach me and take care of me.
So then why do you think that so many Disney stars in particular have a really hard time adjusting to life outside Disney?
I think that that is probably an easy answer! One thing I genuinely think helped was I started in the industry when I started with Disney, I started a little bit later than most people. I started acting at 14 and I had already found my individualism at that point, which serves me and continues to serve me to no end. And I also think that any experience of any human is what that human decides to make of it. I don’t necessarily thing the Disney Channel has anything to do with how someone comes out of it. It’s just a lot of experience at a very young age and that does different things to different people.
Do you feel any obligation to be a role model?
Yes, absolutely. I take that very seriously. I love my younger audience, I love doing things that are for my younger audience and as I’m growing, I do things for my older audience as well, but I keep those things separate. I have a great relationship with both fan bases. I love children and I’m very passionate about young minds and I think children need to be taken very seriously.
Who are some of the women that you look up to?
So many. Amy Poehler. Tina Fey. Meryl Streep. Jessica Lange is my all time favorite actress. There are also a lot of close personal friends I look up to. And my mother and my family. I love women. I love celebrating women.
Good, that important to hear especially right now.
Yes, there’s a lot of bad stuff going on right now and I find it so rewarding to be able to look up to my peers. To be surrounding myself with people that I relate to and learn from everyday. It’s a really magical time in my life, and I’m very grateful.
What are some of your acting goals in the long-term?
EVERY GOAL. I just came off of the live production of “Hairspray” on NBC and it really reignited a stage bug in me. I would love to continue to explore stage – Broadway, eventually, if they let me. Maybe one day soon. I love film. I love television. I’ve just come off of 4 years of television though so I’m looking for things to broaden my horizons, but I want to do everything forever. And not everyone is lucky enough to want to do what he or she is doing forever.
Do you have any new music in the works right now?
I do. I’ve been promising my fans an album for some time now. I’m making a lot of moves in that direction.
What kind of album is it going to be?
I have a lot of influences and I don’t want to give anything away about the things I’m currently working on. I’ve been promising it for so long that my fans deserve a bit of a reveal. It is definitely going to be what a lot of fans would expect for me, but then I think for a lot [of fans], not what they would expect from me.
What Disney hunk would you definitely go on a date with?
Cartoon? I think Prince Eric is the original hunk. Who would I go on a date with now? I don’t know if I can answer that. I might be a little tight lipped in that area, but Prince Eric for sure.
What’s the number one sign that a girl is ready to start dating after a break up?
She cuts her hair! Like I did.
Do you believe in rebound boyfriends?
No, I don’t believe in rebound boyfriends. I believe in finding yourself and living on your own and doing your own thing until someone comes up that you can’t ignore.
And when someone does, do you believe that girls should make the first move?
I believe that whatever is organic should happen the way it is supposed to. In my minimal amount of experience, it’s always been something that just cant be stopped and I think that’s the only reason to pursue anything at all.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you when they first meet you?
I think a lot of people think I’m either unintelligent because I’m a very happy person and I have a lot of energy or that it’s a fake happiness like fake energy. I completely understand that because it’s a lot to handle and I am a very emotional human being. This may be a bit of a broad statement, but I don’t think there’s anyone that I’ve met that I haven’t created a bit of a deep relationship with. It’s a really lovely thing to create a relation with people that might not anticipate that closeness. And that’s kind of the light of my live, getting to be close to people.
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Are You Am I dress | Vintage earrings
Korovilas dress | What Katie Did bra and panties
For Love & Lemons top and skirt | Donni Charm headband | Ariel Gordon earrings | Sydney Evan bracelet
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Photography/ Creative Direction: @princeandjacob