Dianne Doan Talks Playing Mulan's Daughter In Disney's "Descendants"

You probably don't know actress Dianne Doan yet, but after Descendants debuts on the Disney Channel this Friday, July 31, you will. In a new interview, we asked her about playing Mulan's daughter, Lonnie, and what the role means to her!

dianne doan disney descendants mulans daughter

Who's your favorite Disney villain?

I'd have to say Captain Hook. And not to mention, villains have the best sidekicks!!! I've always loved Mr. Smee.

What's the last song you had stuck in your head?

Childish Gambino – "Sober"

If you could instantly learn any one skill, what would it be?

I wish I could sketch….. to help me kill my boredom. I just can't draw to save my life.

Which superhero's power would you steal?

Either to fly or to read minds.

What's your spirit animal?

A horse. For some reason, I always feel very connected and calm around them.

What fictional character do you totally identify with?

Ummmmm, I can't say I've found a character that I identify myself with, but definitely characteristics. On the top of my head, the last film that really shook me was Divergent. I'm not hardcore like Shailene Woodley's character, nor have I been under her circumstances, but for some reason I was bawling my eyes out when her mom passes away in the film. The way she broke down, you can see her deep connection to her family. I definitely hold my family that close to me as well.

What's the weirdest food you love?

Ohhhhhhh chicken feet at Dim Sum….YUUUUMMMMMM

What emoji describes you best?

The girl emoji that's getting her head massaged. It's the only emoji that really showcases an "I don't care" attitude. Or the smirk.

Do you have any useless skills?

Skills are never useless. You'll find a time and a place for any.

What's one style trend you hope lasts forever?

A pair of black fitted slacks with some pumps

Photo credit: Richie Lybaton

What drew you to the Descendants script? What was it like to be part of a Disney Channel Original Movie?

To be honest, when I first got news about the audition, they never really give too much detail about the project. What really drew me to the project was the fact that Kenny Ortega was set to direct this live-action film that had musical elements.

It was when the dance rehearsals started that I knew we were creating something pretty magical. As a cast, the dance rehearsals forced us to become a team and really build a relationship. After the weeks of rehearsal, our hard work finally paid off when we got in front of the cameras. It was three months of my life that I'll never forget!

Were you a big fan of Mulan before you were cast in this role? What was your thought process when it came to playing her daughter onscreen?

Mulan is my favorite Disney princess, although technically, she isn't a princess! I remember watching the film when it first came out and remembering how much I admired her for her strength, ambition and dedication to her family. I definitely had Velcro Mulan sneakers for school the following year.

I re-watched the movie when I booked the role. But I definitely wanted to bring Mulan's sense of confidence to Lonnie. Unlike other Disney princesses, Mulan and Lonnie aren't damsels in distress. She rebelled and paved her own path. I wanted Lonnie to march to the beat of her own drum, to not let other people's opinions define her as a person. Obviously being in high school, I know that's easier said than done.

Photo credit: Dominic Chan

Lonnie is one of the few characters who's open to having the villains' kids at her school. How do you think you would have handled that situation if you were in it?

If I were in their shoes, I would be so curious to know what the villain kids would be like. They grew up in such different worlds and under different circumstances. I'd give them a chance and let them make their own decisions and actions.

Why should our readers check out Descendants?

It's not just a movie for kids; it's about finding yourself and following your gut, something I think a lot of people can relate to. Tied into the film are really catchy songs and dance numbers, and come on, who isn't curious about the kids of all the hero and villain characters that we grew up with?!

If you loved this interview with Dianne Doan, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below! Also be sure to rewatch our livestream from the premiere, tune in to The Descendants on the Disney Channel on July 31st at 9pm and follow Dianne Doan on Twitter here and Instagram here.