By Chelsea Duff
Nineteen-year-old Disney actress Dove Cameron shines in the dual role she plays as identical twins on Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie. And now, in a campaign called #AskHerMore, she and other female stars are shining their light on solutions to a longtime Hollywood pattern. Too often, on the red carpet or in celebrity interviews, women and girls aren’t asked the same intelligent questions male celebs get asked. A recent Liv and Maddie episode, with Kristen Bell guest starring, addressed this dilemma:
Instead of getting to talk about their roles and acting choices, actresses are often asked about fashion or their appearance. In response, the #AskHerMore movement encourages entertainment reporters to ask girls deeper questions. Check out what Dove has to say about the issue.
Have you ever had an experience during a media interview in which you were asked a lot of questions that focused on your appearance?
Dove Cameron: Well, I’ve got to say I feel like the conversation is already changing. I’ve been in a lot situations where I’ve been pleasantly surprised that a reporter didn’t ask me about any of those things. I haven’t experienced those questions to the point where I wanted or needed to complain about it. Often enough, reporters’ initial reaction will be, “Oh, your dress!” and they’ll pan down to the dress. It’s fairly common, and I heard about that a lot from my friends, too, but our goal is to make that less common. It’s so great that we can help reach a younger audience and change the way the next generation thinks. I’m so proud that we’re able to do something like that.
What kind of questions should journalists ask of celebrities during interviews and red carpet events?
Dove Cameron: I love it when people ask, “Why did you choose this character?” or, “Why does this character mean the world to you?” When I’m thinking about a role and why I want a role, it’s because that role in particular means something to me.
It’s so cool that you got to address a real Hollywood issue through Liv’s experience. Are there any other issues you want to cover?
Dove Cameron: This was a big one for sure. There were times when people said girls can’t be tough in sports, but Maddie’s the captain of the girls’ basketball team. I remember people saying Liv was just a bubblegum actress and songwriter, that she couldn’t do serious or gritty roles and songs. I trust my show’s writers, and I’m sure as I get older and experience more things there are going to be more issues I want to tackle. This show on Disney has given me such a great education. I really feel strong enough, opinionated enough, sure enough to want to trust myself to explore other issues. I’m unendingly grateful to be in the position that I am and work with who I do.
Speaking of who you work with, how awesome was it to have Kristen Bell guest star on the show?
Dove Cameron: It was incredible. She really has the most generous energy, and she’s very strong. She knows who she is, and she’s very maternal and warm, and allows other people to have the spotlight and also still manages to be this incredible presence and command a scene. She’s kinda educational in the way she lives her life. She was such an obvious choice for this role as a strong aspirational leading woman. She’s such a great role model as a strong mother, a strong wife and a strong figure in the industry. I’m a huge fan.
Are there other celebs you’d love a chance to work with on Liv and Maddie?
Dove Cameron: I’d love to work with Jessica Lange. Disney is a slightly different platform than what she’s used to, but I think she’s incredible. I love Jessica Chastain, too—all the Jessicas. And my big hero—and great friend now—is Kristin Chenoweth. I think she’d be a great fit on our show. She’s talked about it before, and I would love to get her on. I love meeting and working with new people, though. That’s one of the joys of acting for me. This show has brought so many people and new friends into my life, and I love getting to work with my friends. Who doesn’t dream about that?