A wave of energy and excitement immediately radiates from Anna Cathcart once she starts talking about her work. There is a level of passion that makes any listener enthused about what she has to say.
Her excitement comes from a place that many fans can relate to, adoring her work in major film successes as much as they do.
Netflix took the summer movie scene by storm from Set It Up to the film adaptation To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Starring in the latter, Anna is not only part of an already incredibly beloved and popular film but is also considered by some to be the scene-stealer.
With witty one-liners and priceless reactions, Anna portrays Katherine “Kitty” Song Covey, the youngest of three sisters who turns the life of older sister Lara Jean upside-down when she secretly mails out her old love letters.
“It’s been pretty crazy seeing everybody’s reaction,” the actress says of the whirlwind response. “I knew it was going to be a good movie and people were going to like it because it was a great script and so fun to film but I didn’t really expect this kind of big reaction!” When fans bring up different scenes from the film, that’s when the hits her.
Of the reactions, Anna says that the responses have mostly been all positive. Still, it’s still hard to believe. “It’s crazy being a part of something like this,” she says. “I’m very lucky.”
What Anna sees from fans ranges from fan accounts to art. “A lot of people make really cool art about it and people just go to the extent to make some super cool stuff based on our movie which is really cool.” She gets excited and her voice dips into a sentiment of awe as she recalls one fan writing a song about the film and another dressing up their puppy as Peter Kavinsky, which still elicits a giggle form her. “Lots of cool stuff like that.”
“I love seeing what fans think about it and how much of an impact it makes on people,” the young actress continues. “So many people are saying, ‘Oh, I watched it so many times!’ ‘I relate to it so much!’ I think it’s super cool and super awesome – I feel like every girl can relate to it in some way with some character. I love seeing their reactions.”
I feel so guilty about that and I really should try one for reals but I’ve never actually just had one.
Fans reactions can often times include them gushing about their favorite scenes. Some of those scenes are Anna’s favorites as well.
Stating that she has a lot of favorites, Anna laughs as she thinks over a few scenes from the film.
“I love working with the sisters. Well, I loved working with everybody but we got super close – the Covey sisters.” Due to all the time they’ve spent together, one of Anna’s most memorable scenes is when the three sisters are fighting and chasing each other around a bed. “Lana’s [Condor] trying to hit me with the unicorn,” she recalls with a laugh. “That was super fun and really great. So many giggles – we couldn’t stop laughing during that.”
Adding to that, another favorite scene is when Lara Jean and Peter are watching ‘80s classic 16 Candles. The camera pans over to where Kitty is and she’s sitting on the couch, watching it with them. “I’m like the third wheel,” says Anna.
“But they’re all so good!” she continues, exclaiming happily as she thinks of the many scenes in the film.
Fans can’t help but agree with that statement. Another one of the film’s most iconic moments is when Kitty meets Peter for the first time. Climbing in the backseat of Peter’s Jeep, Kitty introduces herself, saying friends can call her Kitty but Peter – he can call her Katherine. Peter changes the tide by bonding with Kitty over her Korean yogurt snack.
What had been a cute moment for the film turned into so much more as sales for that yogurt skyrocketed after the movie was released.
“It’s crazy! I saw that and laughed so hard, it’s so funny,” Anna says of the passion the fans showed for the snack. “My real life sister literally sent me a text ‘Did you see this?! That’s insane!?’ It’s so funny.” The actress does have to confess something though. “I have never actually tried the yogurt drink,” she reveals. “I feel so guilty about that and I really should try one for reals but I’ve never actually just had one.”
The large and enthusiastic response from audiences has fans from all over the world wondering when a sequel will be announced. Anna can be counted among them.
When asked if she had any news of a sequel, Anna notes, “I really, really don’t. I honestly do not know anything about it but I hope sooooo badly that there is a sequel!” Her love for the film and the cast fills her voice as she gushes, “I want to start tomorrow! I want to start right away, it’d be so much fun.” While she wishes more than anything that a sequel is happening, and soon at that, Anna says that she really doesn’t know anything regarding it.
For fans that are eagerly awaiting the news, they will be able to get their Anna Cathcart fix in A Descendants Story: Under the Sea and Descendants 3.
Following the massive success of the original film Descendants, Disney Channel ordered a sequel and Anna, a big fan of the first film, joined the cast as Dizzy. The granddaughter of Cinderella’s step-sister Drizella, Dizzy can be found on the Isle of the Lost changing hairstyles and giving makeovers to its inhabitants. She is kind and perky, with a strong relationship with Evie and a desire to go to Auradon. Following the events of Descendants 2, Dizzy has been invited to Auradon and is given the chance to lead a better life.
The trailers for A Descendants Story: Under the Sea show that there might be a snag in her plans to travel across the sea; Mal journeys to the isle and finds Dizzy is under a spell by Uma.
“Under the Sea is a short film,” begins Anna. “We were calling it on set D2.5 because it’s kind of like in-between to explain some stuff and get people hyped up about Descendants 3.” Explaining it to be like a side story, the actress gushes over her joy to have been a part of the short film.
I think she’s such a cool role model for me and for a lot of girls.
“A lot of people are saying, ‘Oh, it’s an extra long trailer for Descendants 3!’ and it’s not really.” She reiterates the idea that the film is telling its own story. “It has a different vibe,” says Anna. “So it’s not really exactly like Descendants 3.” Her smile seeps into her voice as she goes on, “It’s giving people their ‘Descendants dose’ that they’ve been wanting and to get people excited.”
Unable to reveal too much about Under the Sea when asked how Dizzy being under Uma’s spell affects her leaving for Auradon, the actress does say that audiences will see a different side of Dizzy. “It was super fun for me as well to get to explore that side of acting and Dizzy’s never gotten to show her other side and be the different kind of character than the perky, positive one that everybody knows.”
Anna excitedly says that she thinks everybody will enjoy seeing Dizzy like this. With a laugh, she goes on to say about Dizzy’s travel plans, “I don’t think I can tell you!”
That extends to the question of a possible history between Dizzy and Uma, similar to how the Villain’s Kids have a deep history with Uma. “I think you’ll have to wait and see,” she says apologetically with a small laugh. That doesn’t deter her excitement. In fact, it seems to spur her on to share her excitement for the film even more. “When I saw the trailer, I was like, ‘Oh! My! God! It looks so creepy! I look so scary!’” Happily, she says, “So it’s kind of cool to get to see a different side of all the characters which is a cool, new experience.”
Set to premiere in Summer 2019, fans next “Descendants dose” after Under the Sea will come in the form of Descendants 3.
“I think it has definitely gotten bigger and better every single time,” gushes Anna about the third film. “Kenny and everybody really just elevates their work and elevates the sets and the costumes and the musicals and everything!” Referring to the musical process for the film, the actress admits that it was a “really cool part” for her. “I was never a part of [the musical process before]. In Descendants 2, I never really got to be included in the recordings and all the dances and big numbers. But this time, I get to be part of that process.”
Her excitement just at recalling the events takes over and it oozes to all those around her.
“It’s super cool for me and such a dream come true because I’ve always wanted to do the musical parts and I love dancing and it’s always the best part of the movies for me,” raves the budding star. “So it was cool getting to do all the rehearsals and going to the recording studio and everything – all that was crazy coolness too [that] I’ve never been a part of.”
One thing in particular that Anna cannot wait for fans to see are the big music numbers. “They’re so good!” she exclaims and one can just imagine the wide smile on her face as she speaks. “The soundtrack is amazing.”
Another big aspect for Anna in the third installment of the franchise is getting to interact with more characters. Prior to this film, the actress had hoped for Uma and Dizzy to meet and have a scene together since they never got that in Descendants 2. While that may happen in Under the Sea, there are still plenty more characters that Anna hoped Dizzy would interact with in Descendants 3.
“In the second movie, I only interact with Evie, Mal, and Harry a little bit. But that was it. So there were a lot of cast members that I would love to work with, interact with, and there’s new characters as well in Descendants 3 which is super cool. Everyone’s gonna love them!”
Anna’s love for the new characters extended off-screen as well. She made new friends amongst the cast and even got really close with Jadah Marie who plays new character Celia.
For her character, Dizzy’s close friend is Evie. “They still have that super sweet relationship,” she says of the two. “Everybody loves to see them together. And I love it too.” Going on to say that she finds their relationship to be really special, Anna explores how it came to be that way. “When she was little, Dizzy was always really good friends with Evie and she’s kind of like her big sister/role model that she’d always look up to which was super cool.”
The musical numbers just got that much more exciting and all the new characters and the costumes and the sets and just everything is gonna be amazing!
Life imitates art as, similarly to how Dizzy looks up to Evie, Anna looks up to Sofia Carson. Not only as a role model in the industry, she says, but also outside of the industry. “She’s just so cool and a great person in so many ways, so successful, which is super cool for me too because it’s like that in real life too,” reveals Anna. “I think she’s such a cool role model for me and for a lot of girls.”
For the actress, landing a role in Descendants 2 meant not only meeting her role model but also getting to work with the rest of the talented cast that she was a fan of prior.
“It was pretty crazy!” she says of joining the franchise. “I was a [huge] fan of Descendants when it first came out in 2015. It was crazy even getting to audition for it. I was so excited that I was getting shot and I was like, ‘Oh, maybe Kenny Ortega will see this audition!’” she remembers of the process, a nervous, excited energy taking hold for a moment as if she was reliving that exact moment. “I was so excited about that because I totally admire his work and everything that Kenny’s accomplished and it really is such an honor to work with all of them.”
Her tone softens though one is still able to hear the wide grin that encompasses her voice. “It’s so cool that I get to be a part of it now. Honestly, I still can’t believe it – it’s crazy.” She admits with a small laugh that even being on set still felt like a dream come true.
The actress continues to joyously reminisce on the experience. “I just got to be more involved with this one and everything. I got to travel a little as we were filming and it’s really amazing.” A batch of giggles fill the air as Anna says, “I wish we could do it all over again!”
Until there is news about whether there could be another Descendants movie, Anna will immerse herself in this experience as it happens, reflecting on the many wonderful aspects of her journey, including portraying Dizzy.
“I think Dizzy is super cool because she always looks on the bright side, she’s super positive about everything. She’s super optimistic. And even though she did grow up living on the Isle, and [life] can be hard – like her parents are not necessarily always there for her and are not the best parents – she doesn’t really let it beat her down,” the actress says of her character. “She always is just hoping and wishing things will brighten up one day and maybe one day she can go to Auradon with Evie, and maybe things will be better.”
Of her character’s bright demeanor, Anna says that she finds her positive outlook and refusal to let the bad aspects of life bring her down to be important in real life for everybody to have “that Dizzy” in them.
Teasing about the franchise, the actress says, “I think when people see A Descendants Story: Under the Sea, they’ll definitely be like, ‘Whaaaaat! What’s going on?! I’m super confused!’” She confesses with a laugh, “I mean when I was reading the script, I was like, ‘Whaaaat!’ I was confused.” Her enthusiasm grows as she anticipates the fans excitement when they do finally see it tomorrow evening. “It’s so cool and people are definitely going to love it. I can’t wait to see when people get all excited and analyze it and have predictions about what Descendants 3 will be about will be so cool.”
Anna even reveals that she hasn’t seen the final product yet and is just as excited as everyone else. “I can’t wait to see what people will think.” On the Descendants 3 front, she states again that it will be bigger and better. “The musical numbers just got that much more exciting and all the new characters and the costumes and the sets and just everything is gonna be amazing! I love the soundtrack and I cannot wait for it to come out!” she gushes.
The actress isn’t currently working on anything else but, in addition to her hype for Descendants, she is hoping for an announcement of a To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel. “Then hopefully that will be going on,” she says with a laugh. “And I [worked] on a Disney Channel series last year – I’m not really sure when that’s going to be coming out or anything – so I’m excited to know more information about that so I can tell more people about it.
In a last word to her fans, Anna expresses her gratitude for their support. “They’re so amazing,” she says, basking in a mix of awe and joy. Talking about the vlogs she’s received from fans, she can’t help but express how cool it is.
Another awesome aspect for Anna is the age range that she can reach, especially due to her To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before fans. “People who are 12 to 30 or younger or higher,” she says of the age range. “Everybody can relate to [the movie] and everybody likes it which is really cool to reach out to that huge age range.”
“But I want to tell my fans: thank you. And I know, I feel it can be hard to be my age and lots of stuff goes on but I go through it too and everybody’s going through stuff but you’ve just gotta stay true to yourself. Thank you so much.”
Bonus Question: If you could see a kid of any Disney character in the Descendants franchise, who would you like to add?
Anna: I think it’d be super cool to see Anna or Elsa’s daughter. Someone like that would be super cool – someone from Frozen. I think Ariel would be cool! I know Ursula has Uma but Ariel doesn’t have a kid or anything so that would be super cool to see her daughter or son. They would be mermaid and have cool under-the-sea powers as well, just like Uma, which I think would be super neat.
We were having these conversations on set! Even Kenny and other people were like, ‘What evil kids are left?’ A lot of the classic villains everybody knows are already in Descendants but there are definitely a lot of heroes and “good people” – a lot of those characters don’t have kids yet, which would be super cool to see Aladdin’s kid or something like that as well. But I think Frozen would be super cool!
Or, I don’t know if it’s too new school but, Moana. That would be cool!
A Descendants Story: Under the Sea premieres tomorrow, September 28th at 7:40PM on Disney Channel. Descendants 3 airs Summer 2019.
***ABOVE PHOTO CREDIT TO LESLIE ALEJANDRO