Disney stars don’t stay Disney stars forever. Just ask actresses and singers like Zendaya, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus, who each got their start as teenagers on the Disney Channel but are now doing things like winning Emmys for playing drug addicts and riding naked on wrecking balls.
Actress and singer Sofia Carson might be at the very beginning of that transformation in her career. While the Colombian-American actress was already in her 20s when she landed a main role in the wildly-popular, live-action Disney franchise Descendants, she’s played her career fairly safe over the last six years—until now.
If anything, Carson’s new film Songbird is controversial. Set in the near future, the story follows Sara Garcia (Carson), a young woman living in Los Angeles, who is trying to survive the spread of a new virus, COVID-23.
When the trailer debuted online in October, some viewers were quick to point out at how tactless they thought the idea for the movie was, especially since the world is still battling COVID-19, which has killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide and over 286,000 in the United States.
Carson says Songbird is likely not going to be the first film to confront the pandemic as a subject and is pleased with the themes the script incorporates into the apocalyptic scenario her character is placed in.
“Art has always imitated life,” Carson told Remezcla during an interview this week. “This is the first of many films that will imitate what we’re all living through right now. The heart of our story is a Romeo and Juliet [story]. It’s a story of…love and the choice we have as humans to choose hope as our only form of salvation.”
As for separating herself a bit more from her Disney persona, Carson says it’s not something that she is trying to do. She is proud of the work she has done for Disney and the Descendants franchise.
“I like to believe that every role that I play and every song that I write and every aspect of my career, I make those decisions to be in line with my values and morals,” she says. “I don’t ever feel the need to separate from that. It’s just exciting that I’ve been able to do so many things.”
Songbird will be available on VOD Dec. 11.