He’s come a long way! Thomas Doherty got his start as an actor on the Disney Channel and has looked back at his time on the network over the years.

In 2017, the Scottish star made his TV debut as Harry, the son of Captain Hook, when Descendants 2 premiered. After reprising the role for the film franchise’s third movie and making headlines for his past relationship with Dove Cameron, he became a star. Now, the actor has stolen fans’ hearts as Max Wolfe on HBO Max’s Gossip Girl revival. But before his breakout role, Thomas had no idea that he was destined to become an actor.

“I wanted to be a soccer player. I loved soccer. That was a very British thing — you want to be a soccer player when you’re older,” he explained during an interview with Glamour in July 2021. “I gradually gravitated toward acting; there was never a moment. I think I watched Titanic and saw Leo [DiCaprio] when I was like 12 and thought, ‘Oh, I can do that! That looks fun.’ But there was never a moment, like, ‘I’m going to be an actor.’ It was a very gradual evolution. Still to this day, I feel like that. I always feel kind of weird when I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m an actor.’ I don’t really perceive it that way. It’s like, I act for now kind of thing. I love doing it and hope I continue to do it.”

Once Descendants 3 premiered on Disney Channel in August 2019, Thomas moved on from the network. He went on to star as Sebastian in The CW’s Legacies and Liam Shawcross in Hulu’s High Fidelity, which was canceled after one season. That’s when the opportunity for Gossip Girl came along.

“I was in Georgia shooting something else, and my girlfriend at the time was obsessed with Gossip Girl. This might have been in October 2019? She was watching it, so I kind of was there watching it with her,” he recalled while chatting with Glamour. “Then, she left, and I was still in Georgia, and I just continued to watch it. I watched the whole thing at the ripe old age of 25. That December, I was told they’re going to do another Gossip Girl. I was like, ‘That’d be really cool. I wonder what it’s going to look like. I wonder who they’re going to cast.'”

Of course, the universe took hold, and Thomas got his chance to star in the show. While he’s since become a household name as HBO’s breakout star, the actor definitely hasn’t forgotten where he came from! Scroll through our gallery to read Thomas’ quotes about getting his start on Disney Channel. 

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