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.