EXCLUSIVE: Dove Cameron’s New Character Has a Link to Black Panther!

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To say that Dove Cameron has been killing it lately would be a huge understatement. She is most well-known for playing Mal in the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise Descendants, and we’ll get to see her bring the character to life at least one more time because Descendants 3 is officially happening! She also recently joined the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series as Ruby and we have a feeling that we will be seeing a whole different side of her.

So when we got the chance to talk to the 22-year-old actress while she was in NYC to discuss her partnership with Tic Tac GUM, we couldn’t help but ask her all about the latest Descendants announcement, her new Marvel character, plus she gave a little shoutout to her fellow Descendants star/boyfriend, Thomas Doherty. Squee!

As previously mentioned, Dove is now the face of the brand new Tic Tac GUM and, honestly, we couldn’t be more excited that our favorite fresh-breath-maker is turning into an actual gum. While some celebs have no connection to the brand they’re working with, Dove’s personal connection to Tic Tac is seriously sweet.

“My mother, who I love more than anything, was obsessed with Tic Tacs. You know how moms always have little things in their purse? My mother always [had some in her purse], I mean she never ran out and sometimes had two packs of Tic Tacs,” Dove said. “I thought that the Tic Tacs tasted like marshmallow candy, so I would eat them like candy. I am also super obsessed with gum — this is so unprofessional — but every scene you’ve seen me do, I’ve had gum hidden in my mouth or gum in my costume hidden up my sleeve or something.”

It makes us see Mal in a different way knowing that there was most likely at least one stick of gum hidden somewhere, but we can totally relate. Not only did Dove talk about why she loves gum so much, but she gave us some insight on how to stay confident, especially since we live in a time where it feels like everyone is always against you.

“When I was in Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl, at the beginning of the show the whole stage is empty and after the overture, my character, Sophie, walks out and sings the first note,” Dove explained. “I am so tiny and the stage is so huge and I’m surrounded by all these massive stars backstage. I was waiting to go on and you hear the music and I walk on and I’m barefoot, and it feels like the most vulnerable thing ever. I was thinking of all the ways I could mess up and Lea DeLaria, from Orange is the New Black, told me, ‘They all want you to do well; everyone out there is rooting for you.’ In our heads, people try to trip us up, but I think that everyone wants to see you succeed and if they don’t, then they’re not people you want to please anyway!”

It’s somewhat comforting knowing that even huge celebs like Dove get nervous and we love this advice that we’ll be sure to remember this next time we feel nervous. It’s obvious that Dove is already putting this guidance to good use because she just joined yet another massive franchise!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. welcomed Dove’s character, Ruby, to the show on the 11th episode of the fifth season and she is already causing some trouble. Not wanting to give any spoilers, Dove clued us in on what the audition process was like and why she thinks the landed the role.

“It truly was a process! Marvel is VERY secretive you know, so no one knew much before going in,” Dove said. “It was a normal audition where you go in and there’s a bunch of other girls trying for the same part, and honestly I like that more because then I feel like I truly earned it. We didn’t know anything about Ruby except for the character breakdown and even the sides they gave us were made up! They didn’t want anything about Ruby to leak at all. The only roles that I book are the ones where I go in and I don’t do what I think the people want, but I do it the way I would want to play this character for a couple of months.”

Ruby is a far cry from Dove’s other characters and we can’t wait to learn more about her, and neither can Dove — especially because of Ruby’s minor connection to Black Panther.

“You get to decide what kind of king you are going to be.” #BlackPanther

A post shared by Black Panther (@blackpanther) on

“Ruby is very intimidating, but she’s a true wildcard. She’s a dark character, I don’t want to call her a villain because I don’t believe in villains, but she’s definitely not a good character. Ruby is truly terrifying and I’ve always wanted to play that kind of character, so it’s been so fun,” Dove said. “Do you want to know a little fun fact? The weapons that the Wakandan Special Force uses in Black Panther that looks like a frisbee is also what my character uses on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s called a chakram and is made from Vibranium, which is the metal that Captain America’s shield is made out of.

As we were getting ready to see Dove take on this new character, we were all surprised with the news that Mal and the Auradon gang will be back once again for Descendants 3. The unexpected announcement was as much as a surprise for the cast as it was for us!

“No, we didn’t know we were getting a third movie,” Dove said. “It was like how when we did the first Descendants, we hoped we would get a sequel, and when the second one did so much better than the first, we all as a cast were like, ‘So are we…??’ I mean, it just wouldn’t make sense to stop! But they didn’t tell us until right before I went in to shoot the teaser scene. They gave me the script and it [said] ‘dad’ and I was like, ‘What?!’ That’s when they said, ‘Yup, you meet your dad in this one!'”

It’s no secret that Mal and the Descendants franchise have become Disney Channel staples, and Dove takes the influence she has very seriously and loves how Mal has become such a positive character for people to look up to.

“I love that the protagonist of the movie is complex because she’s technically a villain,” Dove said. “She’s not an easy digestible good girl character. I really love that she’s multi-dimensional. She’s complicated, she’s tough, she’s fiery, she’s emotional, but she’s also the leader of the group. And I love that there’s still a love story because I don’t think cutting out a love story automatically makes it a girl-empowering film. You can be in love and still be an empowering woman.”

“I mean, I love being in love.

We totally agree with all of Dove’s points about Mal, and that’s why she will go down in Disney history.

Be sure to pick up the brand-new Tic Tac GUM that is available in three flavors: Original, Spearmint and Cool Watermelon.