Meet your new favorite Disney prince: Faly Rakotohavana!
The actor, 17, plays the “super shy, introverted” Matteo in Disney+’s new film Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, which hit the streaming service on Friday, September 25. Following “a group of teenage second-borns” who are sent to a secret superhero training camp, the flick introduces Disney fans to a new crop of princes and princesses who are learning to control their newfound powers.
To celebrate the film’s release, J-14 exclusively caught up with Faly, who spilled some major Secret Society of Second-Born Royals tea, teased his favorite scene from the movie and dished on his friendship with costars Isabella Blake-Thomas, Skylar Astin and Niles Fitch.
J-14: Tell us about your character Matteo. Did you relate to him at all?
Faly: He’s a super shy, introverted character who sometimes has a hard time saying the things he wants to say because of how awkward he is. Throughout this film he gains a lot of confidence. It’s funny because I’m the complete opposite of my character. I’m a pretty social person. I’m pretty extroverted. So, being able to play such an antisocial character, such a shy person was a little difficult for me, but I feel like I really did Matteo justice.
J-14: What was the hardest part about playing Matteo?
Faly: The awkwardness that is carried with my character. I really try to make everyone feel comfortable, but Matteo does not do that. It’s very, very awkward. He finds it difficult fitting in and being able to talk to people. So, for me to understand the feeling of being unaccepted and alone, it sometimes was a really was a bit of a struggle for me.
J-14: What was the audition process like?
Faly: I was honestly really nervous when I first did the audition because I walked in and there was so many people there. I was really shocked. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a room with that many people auditioning before. It was a scary first audition and it took a while for them to get back to me. After a couple of weeks I got a callback and I was so excited for it. The entire process took a couple of months, but I’m really glad I did it. It was such a blessing.
J-14: What was it like getting the opportunity to play a prince with superpowers?
Faly: Daydreaming about having superpowers is something that everybody does, but to act out that fantasy feels so funny. It was really fun. It felt like I was a little kid again.
J-14: Did you do your own stunts for the film?
Faly: There’s this part of the film where there’s a massive obstacle course, and we got to do a lot of our own stunts in the obstacle course. That was really cool.
J-14: Can you share any fun memories from the Secret Society of Second-Born Royals set?
Faly: A lot of my favorite memories on set were with Isabella and Skylar ’cause we were always singing on lunch and dancing on set. It was really fun being around them. Niles is such a funny person and was so fun to work with. A lot of his scenes were just so hilarious, and in one of them, there’s a dog involved, there’s a big case and a lot of stuff was knocked over. Chairs were being flipped around and tables were flying everywhere. It was really chaotic. That was definitely one of my favorite moments on set, watching him do that scene, it was so fun.
J-14: Can you tease your favorite scene from the film?
Faly: I think my favorite scene to film was the classroom scene where we all meet. I felt like the introduction of our characters was a really fun moment for all of us because of the energy in the room. I felt like we all knew our characters really well, and when we all got to introduce ourselves in that room, it was really cool.
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