*Major spoilers for season 1 of Julie and the Phantoms below!*
While the cast of Julie and the Phantoms is mostly made up of brand new faces, Descendants fans were probably really excited to see alums Booboo Stewart, Cheyenne Jackson, and Jedah Marie back together again with executive producer and director Kenny Ortega.
“To have Jadah Marie, Booboo Stewart and Cheyenne Jackson [from the Descendants seres] join us for season one was just such a high. All three of them brought such incredible good energy and professionalism and are such generous actors and people. I’ve been very fortunate in my career, dating all the way back to my first movies like Hocus Pocus. Working with Kathy Najimy and Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker and the years of music working with Gloria Estefan and Celia Cruz. I don’t know what’s going to come in season two, but I hope that it offers me the opportunity to invite more folks that I have worked with because I love them. I’m grateful to them and I think that they would have a lot of fun working with this incredible young lady [Madison Reyes] here,” Kenny said in an exclusive interview with Seventeen.
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For Cheyenne and Booboo, the opportunity felt like a no-brainer, especially after hearing what the project was about.
“Kenny’s one of my favorite people. Anytime he calls, I always answer. He said, ‘Listen, I have this new deal at Netflix and my first project is this show called Julie and the Phantoms and it’s based on this Brazilian series and he said, ‘your character would be a movie star from the 30s who’s a magician and a ghost. He wears fabulous clothes and you get to fly.’ And I’m like, ‘Stop. I’m in. Let’s do it,'” Cheyenne exclusively told Seventeen. “It was tricky. I was working on some other things at the time and it shoots in Vancouver. I’m also a dad of two. I’m so glad I made it work, because it’s been a huge blessing. I knew it would be special when I got on set and I wasn’t wrong. To see the response has just been lovely.”
“I couldn’t agree more. [Kenny] is literally one of my favorite people. He’s a beautiful person. His stories are so amazing. I always learned so much from being in his presence. To be able to continue our friendship and just to work together on another project — how can you say no? This project specifically is so much fun and I love my character and what the show has to say,” Booboo continued.
“It was nice to see Booboo again. The last time I’d seen you I think it was a Celebrity Family Feud. Your dad and your sister were there. I love your family. When I saw you coming into the rehearsal dance hall that [first] day and we were practicing, it was so nice,” Cheyenne noted. “Kenny is pretty loyal and uses a lot of the same dancers and a lot of the same creative team. It’s nice to see the same people. It makes you feel safe.”
“This was actually the most time we spent together on set, for sure. It was nice to work with you one on one too. Even like our first AD from Descendants 3, some of the crew, and most of the dancers were actually in most of the Descendants movies,” Booboo added.
Even though their characters got together more than we saw on Descendants, they are still in the dark over their deep history and what went down between Willie and Caleb before we see them on the show.
“We didn’t talk about why our relationship is the way it is. I think that’s kind of what allows it to feel alive and kind of mysterious. I remember that there was a scene we shot in this alleyway early in the morning and Booboo had to skate and stop on this mark. It was slick and full of fog and we didn’t really exactly know what was going on,” Cheyenne said. “I think we both made choices for our characters [during that scene]. When you don’t discuss it with the other actor, when it comes to screen, you see a lot of stuff happening in their eyes and that brings up questions. I think it makes it juicy. Sometimes, it can have the opposite effect, but I think it works this time around.”
“What you don’t want to do is get a puzzle and try to fit in the wrong piece. Sometimes it’s best just to see how it plays out. Hopefully, if we do this again, I would love to explore that relationship, so we actually learn [what happened between them].”
The biggest question in the air is whether or not we’ll be seeing Cheyenne back as Caleb, especially since he took over Nick’s body in the season finale.
“I asked the writers what’s happening with season two, but I don’t know. They definitely have left the door open for me to come back. I would love to dig in and find out more. I think that’s what people like about this relationship between between me and Willie, the mystery. Why is it the way it is? Why is he running all these errands for him? What does he have on him? Is there something between them? There’s a lot of ideas and questions and season two would be fun to do,” Cheyenne said.
Tamara Fuentes is the current Entertainment Editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covers TV, movies, books, celebrities, and more. She can often be found in front of a screen fangirling about something new. Before joining Cosmopolitan, she was the entertainment editor over at Seventeen. She is also a member of the Television Critics Association and the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.