Peyton Elizabeth Lee plays a rebellious adolescent named Sam in Disney+’s new film, The Secret Society Of Second Born Royals.
Sam prefers to rock out with her band rather than attend formal events because she lives in the shadow of her older sister, Illyria’s successor to the throne (where her sister seems to comfortably shine).
As a result, she soon discovers that second-born royals are born with a particular gene that grants them superpowers, and that it is their duty to quietly protect the kingdom from any danger.
To learn how to manage their powers and use them to safeguard their countries, she and her fellow second-borns Roxana, Faly, Tuma, Niles, and January (Olivia Deeble, Olivia Deeble, Isabella Blake-Thomas, and Isabella Rakotohavana) will join the Secret Society Of Second Born Royals (SSSBR).
It’s hard to believe that Matteo, played by Faly Rakotohavana, can manipulate insects and joins the Secret Society, but that’s exactly what happens. At Disney, we talk to Faly about tight supersuits and shopping with his castmates when they have leisure.
What first drew you to The Secret Society Of Second Born Royals?
It was around February or March of this year that I had my first audition. “This is a massive Disney+ original,” my agency told me when she emailed me the audition, and I thought, “Okay, that’s really amazing!” That’s why I was so excited when I saw the script: “Oh my God, I’m going to be royalty, and I’m going to be a superhero, too!”.
There was so much going through my head that I couldn’t keep up. However, I do recall that there were 100 people in the room when I originally auditioned for it. It was a complete and utter waste of time. That was the most people I’d ever seen in an audition room. However, that’s how I found out about the part!
When you Originally came in for the Audition, how did the Casting Director Explain Matteo to you?
The characters were described as “very bashful and awkward” but “clever” in the breakdown. That was the only thing they had to offer. [haha] They gave me some guidelines, so I’ll just try my best with what I have.
First Impressions of The Secret Society Of Second Born Royals Script?
With each successive line, the anticipation grew in me as I began to read it for the first first time. “If I book this, I’m going to be the happiest person alive!” was my initial idea. The plot is extremely original.
Since when does one get to be both a member of the royal family and a superhero all at once? It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen or heard before. Being a part of something of this magnitude is an honour in and of itself.
Do You know what it was like Working on a Disney Picture like?
It exceeded my expectations in every way! The first time I realised I was working with Disney was when we had to fly to Toronto, but we didn’t have to pay for our plane tickets.. Well, now we’re working with Disney! It’s mind-boggling to think about. I didn’t knew about this VIP airport lounge until I started working for Disney.
We then headed to the VIP rooms, where Isabella was waiting for us. Then we arrived in Toronto, where our first day of filming at a large university was awe-inspiring. I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t figure out what to do!
What’s the Difference Between Working on a Disney TV Show and working on a Disney film?
On Raven’s Home, I acted as Miles. With Raven’s Home being filmed in a studio, I was able to watch how they put together all of the different set pieces and environments in a little area.
To film Secret Society, we had to go to several various locations, which was a unique experience. That was a tremendous change for me to get used to, but it was one that I relished!
To where did the Film Take Place?
Most of the film was shot in Toronto, with a small amount in Vancouver as well. We filmed at universities and at the castle, respectively.
Toronto is home to a real castle. I didn’t know there were still castles around! Because it’s so old, it’s now a museum, but it still looks like a real castle. Filming locations included an abandoned mad asylum, two universities, and an old mortuary. What a blast!
As a Character, how did you Originally Perceive Matteo?
With my acting teacher, I initially found it challenging to play Mateo because of his bashful and insecure demeanour. I’m a really outgoing individual that enjoys socialising with others. I’m a big fan of socialising in a group setting.
In contrast to Mateo, I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, and he despises it! As a result, it was difficult for me to perceive things from Matteo’s point of view, especially given how socially awkward he is.
The role I was cast in was a complete 180 degrees from who I normally am, but it was a fun challenge, and I think I did okay. I’m eager to show off what I accomplished, as I’m really pleased with the results.
Even though he’s extremely bashful and apprehensive, he’s always prepared for the unexpected and ready to stand up for his team.
The Experience of Working with such a diverse group of Actors and Actresses must have been Unique. Is this the First time You’ve Met?
As a result of a testing session at the Disney office, I was able to meet most of the cast. Because of this, I was able to meet many of the cast members before to our trip.
So I didn’t get to meet Olivia Deeble until we started school in Toronto because she lives in Australia and couldn’t come to the exam sessions. Having the opportunity to work with all of them was a real treat.
During the Filming of The Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, did you have the Opportunity to Socialise?
Yes, that’s correct. We ate out virtually every night and went shopping nonstop. Until I visited, I had no idea what a retail mecca Toronto was! They had everything, and I was like, “Well, now I can try everything!” I was a little overwhelmed because they have so much variety.
The CN Tower and the surrounding region were also on our list of things to see while we were in Toronto. It was a lot of fun.
Do You like the Society New Supersuits?
I’m a sucker for a good superhero outfit, am I not? “If this costume isn’t wonderful in a superhero movie, it’s going to kill the superhero for me,” I think whenever I watch one.
The moment I stepped off the plane in Toronto and was asked to go through security for my clothing, I was thinking exactly that. The first thing I thought was, “I wonder when they’re going to let us try on our superhero outfits”
Our first wardrobe check was a disaster because we didn’t get to wear them. It had been on my to-do list for so long. A few weeks into filming, they said, “Okay, it’s time for final wardrobe checks,” and sent us off to a tailor to acquire our sizes for our super costumes. I was really excited.
I couldn’t wait to see it, I was so excited. As soon as I walked into the room, they brought out a demo of the suit! The costume was not the problem. So I thought to myself, “this is pretty nice, but you know, it wasn’t what I was anticipating.”.
As a result, when the final costumes were brought out for filming, I was overcome with emotion. I was ecstatic about it. This is going to make us appear awesome, I thought to myself. All of us are now members of the secret club. We’ve received our reward.
The Pants, on the Other Hand, were
I’m not sure what kind of material they’re made of, but I’m guessing leather. But the pants were a little too snug.
When we were out and about, everyone could hear us coming since our inner thighs were constantly rubbing against one another, causing the leather to squeak all over the place. We could clearly be heard moving amid the noise. It was hilarious.
Is the Allure of other Superhero films Diminished now that you’ve Appeared in Your Own?
Being in a superhero movie, especially a royal superhero movie, opened my eyes in a big way. It didn’t put an end to my love for superheroes. It actually piqued my interest in them.
Because I was able to experience first-hand the magic that happens behind the scenes and was able to witness the process in action. When the film is released, I get to see both the pre- and post-production.
So when I saw it, I started thinking about all the other superhero movies that do weird things. Seeing it come to life on screen makes me wonder how it would have appeared without the use of special effects. My opinion is that superheroes become more interesting as a result.
Matteo has the Ability to Tame Insects as one of His many Superpowers. Describe Your Experience on set During the Production of those Scenes.
Because I was unable to do it myself, they always marked my lash lines for me. “We’re merely going to tell you where to look!” they seemed to say. [haha]. Work on green screens was extensive.
Every time we employ our powers in a situation. Every venue had a green screen, however the shoots were always on location. Everyone is going to love the fantastic CGI sequences in this movie!
Matteo’s Superpower Piqued Your Interest. What were Your Initial Thoughts? It’s a Strange one
So these aren’t the kinds of superpowers you see a lot of in movies? Because of the subtlety of the powers they selected, I found them to be particularly appealing. Throughout the film, we are introduced to the Secret Society without knowing our superpowers, which makes it easier for us to hide them.
Because of the spider webs that fly out of your hands and adhere to the walls, hiding as Spiderman is difficult. Insect control, vocal command, or thieving powers are all subtle and undetectable, but it’s difficult to hide that. It’s all very subtle and undetectable.
The Superpowers, as You Say, are Extremely Subtle. What would Your Superpower be if You didn’t know You have it?
My metabolism is most likely to be my superpower. I don’t gain weight even when I eat nonstop for days on end. What it is, I don’t know, but I won’t be arguing about it!
Whose Superpower Would You Choose if You Could Choose One from any of the Other Members of the Society?
The teleportation ability of Queen Catherine. That’s a wonderful trait. Because I despise walking, I would like to be able to teleport. “It’s all about the journey, not the goal,” everyone says.
Not at all! It is my desire to be where and when I want to be. So it would be a dream come true if I could teleport by simply snapping my fingers.
Before You Started Filming, did you have to go Through any Sort of Stunt Training?
Yes, we did physical training for three weeks. We spent a lot of time training in parkour and archery, which was a lot of fun! I didn’t realise how competitive the cast was until we started training for the show.
After that, we were always competing to see who would emerge victorious in each and every endeavour. Or we were racing to outdo each other in every possible way. Great job!
In What Ways has Being a Member of The Secret Society Of Second-Born Royals Enriched Your Life?
All of the interactions with the cast come to mind. It was a blast to spend time with the group in such a vibrant city as Toronto. Because it’s such a popular tourist location, being there with your coworkers and having fun together was the best part of the trip.
Is there anything you’d like to do when Disney+ launches?
Several of my pals will join me for dinner. Watching The Secret Society Of Second Born Royals with our faces covered and food in hand will be a fun night at home. It’s going to be one of a kind. This excites me greatly.
What’s in Store for You?
There’s not much I can say right now, but I’m looking forward to showing everyone what I’ve got in store for them, and I sincerely hope they’ll remain with me through the rest of this journey!
There will be a release date for The Secret Society Of Second Born Royals, which will be available on Disney+ on September 25, 2018.