Look Back at Dove Cameron’s Best Roles, Including Mal From “Descendants”

Everett Collection / Hulu/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Disney darling to pop star, Dove Cameron’s career has undergone quite the evolution since she began acting in her early teens. The versatile actor’s earliest fans grew up alongside her as she played identical twins “Liv and Maddie” for four seasons on the hit Disney Channel show. But Cameron’s professional acting career began even earlier, when she memorably guest-starred in two episodes of “Shameless” as Holly Herkimer, a young woman who was interested in Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White).

Cameron’s early work in “Shameless” and “Liv and Maddie” showed off the actor’s range. Right from the start of her career, it was clear she could pull off comedic and dramatic roles, just as she could pivot between family-friendly fare and more daring projects. In recent years, she’s continued to challenge herself as an actor with roles in B.J. Novak’s directorial debut, “Vengeance” and Hulu’s comedic miniseries “History of the World, Part II.”

Still, even as her star continues to rise, for a certain generation, she’ll always be Mal from the Disney Channel’s fan favorite film franchise, “The Descendants.” Given the way the movies allowed Cameron to meld her strengths as a singer and performer, being forever associated with the Gen-Z favorite is fitting. After all, the young star still has a foot in both worlds. Thanks to songs like her 2022 hit “Boyfriend,” Cameron’s career as a singer is keeping pace with her acting career.

Read on for a look at some of Cameron’s most-talked-about film and TV roles to date.

Dove Cameron Movies

1. “Cloud 9” (2014)

Before taking on the role of Maleficent and Hades’s daughter in “The Descendants,” Cameron starred in the Disney Channel original movie, “Cloud 9.” The “Boyfriend” singer plays the role of a snowboarder named Kayla who enters a competition that pits her against her main squeeze. The movie also stars a young Kiersey Clemons.

2. “Barely Lethal” (2015)

This action-packed movie has a star-studded cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Sophie Turner, Jessica Alba, and Samuel L. Jackson. Cameron plays a teenage secret agent alongside Steinfeld.

3. “Descendants” (2015)

Cameron became a household name among the younger set thanks to her starring role as Mal in 2015’s “Descendants.” The franchise focuses on the children of Disney villains, and features Cameron as the richly drawn Mal, who refuses to lose her edge even after falling for a prince.

4. “R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls” (2015)

A Halloween festival goes horribly wrong in this 2015 kids’ horror flick. Cameron stars as Beth, a young woman who realizes a nefarious man at the local carnival is stealing the souls of teens.

5. “Hairspray: Live!” (2016)

In 2016, Cameron joined Ariana Grande, Maddie Baillio, Jennifer Hudson, and Kristin Chenoweth in NBC’s live broadcast of the musical “Hairspray.”

6. “Descendants 2” (2017)

Mal returns to the Isle of the Lost in the second film in the “Descendants” franchise, leading her friends to embark on a journey to bring her home to Auradon.

7. “Dumplin'” (2018)

Cameron plays a small role as a beauty pageant contestant in Netflix’s 2018 adaptation of Julie Murphy’s YA book “Dumplin’.”

8. “Descendants 3” (2019)

The third “Descendants” film finds Mal and her friends battling against her father, Hades, as he attempts to break through the barrier surrounding the Isle of the Lost.

9. “The Angry Birds Movie 2” (2019)

In addition to singing and her live-action roles, Cameron has also branched out into voicework. In 2019, she voiced a bird named Ella in the sequel to 2016’s “The Angry Birds Movie,” but that wasn’t the first time she took on an animated role. The actor also lent her voice to Ghost-Spider in Disney XD’s “Marvel Rising: Initiation.”

10. “Good Mourning” (2022)

A movie star has to choose between his girlfriend and a life-changing role in this comedy starring Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox. Cameron has a small role in the film as Kelly’s character’s assistant, Olive.

11. “Vengeance” (2022)

Novak’s critically-acclaimed mystery-comedy film follows New York City journalist Ben (Novak) as he reluctantly heads to Texas to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a woman he was casually dating. Cameron appears in the movie as one of the woman’s sisters.

Dove Cameron TV Shows

1. “Shameless” (2012)

Even as she continues to take on more adult roles, Cameron’s Disney projects are still her most recognizable. However, her early gig as Holly Herkimer, a young woman with a crush on Lip in Showtime’s long-running series “Shameless,” is a reminder that she’s never been afraid to play daring and unexpected characters.

2. “Malibu Country” (2013)

Around the time she landed the dual role of Liv and Maddie on her the breakout Disney Channel series, Cameron also played a small role in Reba McEntire’s short-lived ABC comedy, “Malibu Country.”

3. “Liv and Maddie” (2013-2017)

Even though she had taken on a few parts prior to “Liv and Maddie,” the Disney Channel series about twin sisters who are total opposites launched Cameron’s career. Over the course of the show’s four-season run, Cameron became a star thanks to her performance and the devotion of her young fans.

4. “The Lodge” (2017)

Cameron plays recurring character Jess in this British Disney series about a girl and her father who move to a small town in Ireland where they become the caretakers of a hotel.

5. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (2018)

In addition to voicing Ghost-Spider and Gwen Stacy on Marvel animated shows, Cameron also had a memorable arc on the ABC’s Marvel series, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” where she plays the dangerous Ruby.

6. “Schmigadoon!” (2021-2023)

Apple TV+’s musical comedy skewered ’50s era Broadway shows like “Oklahoma!” in season one, which led to some memorable musical numbers from Cameron’s not-so-wholesome Betsey. In season two, the show headed into edgier territory, leading to Cameron taking on a new character, Jenny Banks, who sings the “Chicago”-style number “Kaput.”

7. “Big Nate” (2022)

Cameron returned to her roots in the Paramount+ animated series “Big Nate.” Aimed at kids, the show follows 11-year-old Nate and his friends as they face the challenges of middle school together.

8. “History of the World: Part II” (2023)

It took Mel Brooks over 30 years to release his follow-up to “History of the World: Part 1,” but he made up for the wait by turning the sequel into a miniseries packed with comedic stars like Jack Black, Quinta Brunson, Fred Armisen, and Seth Rogen. For her part, Cameron memorably played the real-life doomed Russian princess Anastasia.

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