Kylie Cantrall teases her rebel role in the fourth film in the Descendants franchise

Kylie Cantrall stars as Princess Red.
Kylie Cantrall stars as Princess Red. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

Descendants: The Rise of Red is the fourth film in the musical-fantasy franchise that follows the nefarious offspring of Disney’s greatest villains. The story introduces Princess Red (Kylie Cantrall), the rebellious teenage daughter of the fearsome Queen of Hearts (played by singer Rita Ora), who is desperate for independence when she receives an invitation to attend prep school in Auradon.

Her mother, however, spies an opportunity to incite a coup in Auradon and get revenge for an incident that happened in her youth involving her long-time frenemy, Cinderella (singer Brandy Norwood reprises her role from 1997 film Cinderella).

As Red teams up with Cinderella’s daughter, Chloe Charming (Malia Baker), to travel back in time using a magical pocket watch, can she stop her mother from becoming a supervillain and save Auradon?

Returning cast includes China Anne McClain as Uma, Melanie Paxon as the Fairy Godmother, and Paolo Montalban as King Charming after playing him in 1997’s Cinderella. The soundtrack features seven original songs, too.

What to Watch spoke to Kylie Cantrall about what to expect from Descendants: The Rise of Red (available on Disney Plus from July 12)...

Were you a fan of the first three Descendants films? If so, how did it feel to be cast in one?

Kylie Cantrall: "I’m a huge fan of the Descendants movies, so it’s been really wild to star in one! I was about nine years old when the first one came out and I remember it vividly. We had a watch party with our neighbors and it was the best thing I’d ever seen: the costumes, the vibe, the music. I’ve been a VK [Villain Kid] ever since. I never thought I would be a part of it one day, though!”

Morgan Dudley as a young Cinderella, Ruby Rose Turner as a young Queen of Hearts, Malia Baker as Chloe Charming and Kylie Cantrall as Princess Red.

From left to right: Morgan Dudley as a young Cinderella, Ruby Rose Turner as a young Queen of Hearts, Malia Baker as Chloe Charming and Kylie Cantrall as Princess Red. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

It must have been a real pinch-me moment walking onto the set for the first time?

Kylie Cantrall: “It was so mind-boggling in so many ways! The set of Wonderland was so fantastical, and there’s nothing like putting your costume on for the first time, especially with Red’s look. It’s a complete transformation and I immediately got into that edgier rebel mindset the minute that the red leather was on." 

Can you tell us more about Princess Red?

Kylie Cantrall: “Red is a brilliant rebel, who walks to the beat of her own drum. She’s not from a warm, loving household, so she goes on a beautiful journey of self-discovery with Chloe Charming, who is so kind and sweet to Red that it ignites a warmth within her. Red finds herself pulled between these two worlds of good and evil as the movie looks at what it means to be a good person even though you're from a villain background. It’s cool to watch that unfold.”  

Kylie Cantrall as new Villain Kid Princess Red.

Kylie Cantrall as new Villain Kid Princess Red. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

How did you channel your inner villain?

Kylie Cantrall: “I started a journal to get in the mind space of Red’s inner struggles and to look at how the conflict with her mom manifests itself into other areas in her life. I also pulled from other villains like Harley Quinn, who I think is the coolest. I feel like Red has some elements of her, especially in her intro sequence where she’s smashing up stuff in a courtyard and jumping off rooftops. That was Harley-inspired, for sure.”

You’re also a talented musician and dancer. Do you look for roles that combine your many skills?

Kylie Cantrall: “Yeah, I feel like I’m subconsciously drawn to roles that combine those different facets that I love so much. I started off in dance class when I was two years old and have been recording in the studio since I was young, too. My dad [producer and songwriter Alex Cantrall] is in music as well, so it’s definitely in the family and something that I saw myself doing from such a young age.”

Rita Ora as the Queen of Hearts with Brandy Norwood as Cinderella.

Rita Ora as the Queen of Hearts with Brandy Norwood as Cinderella. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

What was it like starring opposite music giants such as Brandy Norwood and Rita Ora?

Kylie Cantrall: “It was so cool! I was a huge Brandy fan growing up and know all her songs by heart. I feel like working with her is something I subconsciously manifested. Rita is amazing, too. She’s so sweet and warm, and has a very fun side to her off-screen. She even gave me boy advice. She’s very different from the Queen of Hearts!”

Senior Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week, What's On TV and

Rebecca has more than 20 years' experience in journalism and is now writing about all things telly-related for TV Times, TV&Satellite Week, What’s On TV and

She’s interviewed all sorts of big-name stars, including Al Pacino, Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Winona Ryder, Benedict Cumberbatch and more. She’s also been known to step in front of the camera, dressing up as a 1920s flapper to star in ITV’s Mr Selfridge and co-hosting ITV News at Ten with Mark Austin – all in the line of duty! 

When she’s not quizzing actors, directors and producers, you’ll find her bingeing US dramas and anything horror/sci-fi/zombie-themed. But her greatest love will always be Game of Thrones… just don’t mention the ending!