I had the opportunity to chat with Faly Rakotohavana, one of the stars in Disney’s Secret Society of Second Born Royals. Faly shared stories on his entry into acting, his motivation in overcoming personal challenges, and his excitement as a newly crowned Disney prince in the Secret Society of Second Born Royals which is due for release September 25th.
“I first tried to get into acting around 7 years old or so. I had a pretty bad stuttering issue so I couldn’t get through the audition. I ended up taking a 5-year break and started doing musical theater in 6th grade. Musical theater reminded me how much I love acting and performing, however my stuttering would kick-in in nervous situations. I’d start rambling and repeating things because there’s so much that I’d want to say but couldn’t, so I’d kind of overload. I had to go to speech therapy for a while. Musical theater was a big help overcoming that. The singing and coordination really helped me keep my mind in one place. It showed me how to get a grip on my thoughts and to control my nervous energy.”
Faly has come quite a long way since his roles on hit the Disney show Raven’s Home and The Mick on Fox. “I’m a really high energy person. I’ve learned a lot from being on The Mick and Raven’s show. When I first started, I had to learn how to balance the seriousness of acting with the humor of my job. It’s not just about having fun, it’s something that you work for.”
Faly recently wrapped up the filming of Disney’s Secret Society of Second Born Royals. As a newly crowned Disney prince, Faly has secured a seat at a table reserved for very few.
“I can’t explain how good it feels. It hit me when we were done filming and I’d gone back home. All my friends were like–dude you’re literally Disney royalty. You’re a prince! Its so great to have this opportunity that’s been given to me. Obviously not a lot of people can call themselves a Disney prince. Its so surreal. Its really surreal.”
Still in high-school, Faly had to find balance between filming the Secret Society of Second Born Royals and school life.
“I’m still in high-school right now so managing acting can be a little difficult. I still had to do homework and finals while filming in Toronto . The trouble for me was trying to keep school work to a minimum so I wouldn’t be stressed while doing the movie. That kind of frustration can have an impact on me on set. I’d just rather get all my work done at once so I could focus on acting.”
Many of the details are still under wraps, however Faly was able to share a little about his experience filming the Secret Society of Second Born Royals and his character Prince Matteo. Looking beyond the excitement of being a Disney prince, Faly got to stretch his imagination by playing a character with super-powers. While Prince Matteo’s powers are unconfirmed, Faly was able to elaborate and give readers a small scoop on who Prince Matteo is. Like many of us, Faly knows what it is to daydream about having super-powers. The role of Prince Matteo allowed Faly to explore a side of himself that he hadn’t fully expressed previously as an actor.
“In the Secret Society of Second Born Royals my character is Matteo,” Faly said. “The level of imagination that came with this role is one that I thought would only stay in my head. I never thought I’d play a person with powers like these and get to live the fantasy of having superpowers in real life. He [Matteo] is a small, shy character and very introverted. Matteo is nervous about what people have to say about him. and it’s a little awkward for him to make friends because of how shy he is. My favorite part of filming was probably hanging out with the cast. Before filming we had to go through a bunch of training for the movie. We’d go out and do archery and combat classes. It was so fun. Everyone is a little competitive, but it was really great because we worked to do the best. Matteo gains a confidence later in the film that I think people will appreciate.“
Photo credit: Paul Gregory