Peyton Elizabeth Lee explains the real life inspiration behind Disney’s latest protesting princess (exclusive)

·4-min read

Watch Disney star Peyton Elizabeth Lee talk about her new film below...

There’s a new Disney princess in town but she’s more likely to be at a protest than a ball, making Secret Society of Second-Born Royals perhaps the most timely Disney movie ever.

Andi Mack’s Peyton Elizabeth Lee stars as Sam, a rebellious princess in the kingdom of Illyria, who would rather be out of the streets protesting for the end of the monarchy than making changes from the inside.

But just as her frustration reaches an all-time high, she is shocked to learn being the spare to the heir actually means she had superpowers and belongs to a secret society with a longstanding tradition of keeping the peace.

There are real parallels between the film and youth movements such as Sunrise, and Lee agrees: “Sam is very empowered and uses her voices and speaks out for what she believes in.”

Read more: New Disney film asks ‘What if Prince Harry was a superhero?’

“Although throughout the movie she figures out how to do that in the best way possible, even from the very beginning we see her trying to make a change and trying to be a part of that change, which is something that the young generation can definitely relate to,” Peyton tells Yahoo.

Peyton Elizabeth Lee in a still from Disney's <i>Secret Society of Second-Born Royals.</i> (Disney+)
Peyton Elizabeth Lee in a still from Disney's Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. (Disney+)

Peyton shot the film in June 2019 but “the world has changed a lot” in the 15 months since, and it’s given 16-year-old Peyton time to think about her role in the world and her new status as a role model.

“I think there are a lot of issues facing our generation – it's been left to us to help put the world's pieces back together which is a lot of pressure,” she shared.

“In addition to that, [being a teen] is just when we're getting started and figuring things out.

Read more: Everything new on Disney+ in September

“School, and what will you do with your life, all these big questions we feel we have to answer, and there is no time to just be like ‘who am I and what do I want?’ For Sam, we see that pressure.

“She already has the teenage pressures in addition to the entire kingdom's eyes being on her and looking at her to set an example and a precedent.”

Watch the Secret Society of Second-Born Royals trailer below...

As Sam joins the training program for the Secret Society, she befriends four other “spares”, all of whom have been battling their own issues with control or a desire to be seen.

“The whole film is just about empowerment and although most of us don't have superpowers, in the film those powers are a metaphor for what makes us unique,” shares Peyton.

“Those traits that I have and you don't, and you have, and that I don't have, those things are a strength and not a weakness, so it's all about trying to figure out how to harness that power, and use it for good.”

She hopes that the film can inspire the tweens and their families watching, and that they ‘take away that ‘what makes me unique is what makes me powerful, and valid.’”

Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Skylar Astin in a still from Disney's <i>Secret Society of Second-Born Royals.</i> (Disney+)
Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Skylar Astin in a still from Disney's Secret Society of Second-Born Royals. (Disney+)

As for Peyton, the teen is active on social media, and posts about social justice and police violence as well as selfies with her friends, but admits that she isn’t the best person to ask for advice as she is “still trying to figure that out for myself.”

But, if she had to give any advice it would be to “just try to stay true to yourself.”

“Do what you want to do but in a way that's positive,” she adds.

“Sam has all these natural rebellious tendencies and she has to figure out how to channel it towards something positive, something we're all trying to do.”

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is available to stream on Disney+ from 25 September.

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