Rita Ora salutes England Euros win at film premiere: ‘It is a dream come true’

Rita Ora celebrated England’s Euro 2024 success as news of the semi-final win reached the red carpet premiere of Descendants: The Rise Of Red in Hollywood.

British music star Ora, who plays the tyrannical Queen of Hearts from Wonderland in the musical spin-off, appeared in a flowing red gown at the premiere alongside her co-stars including US singer Brandy – who reprises her role as Cinderella.

Ora told the PA news agency she “loved” playing a villain in the new instalment of the Disney film, but “more importantly, England are through to the final of the Euros”, she shouted excitedly.

England v Netherlands – UEFA Euro 2024 – Semi Final – BVB Stadion Dortmund
England’s Kieran Trippier, Phil Foden and Declan Rice celebrate following the UEFA Euro 2024, semi-final match at the BVB Stadion Dortmund in Dortmund, Germany (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I was watching on the way here in the car and can I just say that all the players, I don’t know how old they are – like 12 or 21, I don’t know the same thing – but the fact that they’re killing it is a dream come true.

“Let’s go, let’s go. I’m so excited…I’ll be watching.”

It marks the first film since Disney star Cameron Boyce, who played Carlos in the film trilogy, died in 2019 at the age of 20 due to complications from epilepsy.

Ora said as a fan of the film series, she asked star China Anne McClain “what it was like” to work alongside him.

“It’s just such an incredible support system and friendship that they have all made, it’s lovely to see them so close in such moments like that,” 33-year-old Ora told PA.

“We really had a great time connecting with one another and trying to make something out of a situation.”

Descendants: The Rise Of Red kicks off with a tribute to Boyce.

McClain, who reprises her role as fan-favourite Uma in the spin-off film, told PA she “just broke down” during some scenes on set after Boyce’s death.

“He was my closest friend, that’s how I saw him, we knew each other from a very young age,” the 25-year-old said.

“He was nine and I was 10 when I met him, and there is a very special scene dedicated to him in the film, it is kind of how the film kicks off.

“…I miss him a lot.”

Cameron Boyce
Cameron Boyce (Cronos/Alamy)

In the film, Ora’s character has a long-standing grudge against Auradon Prep, seizing the opportunity to seek revenge when she drops her rebellious daughter Red off at school.

Red and Chloe – the perfectionist daughter of Cinderella – travel back in time to prevent the Queen of Hearts from heading down a villainous path which ends in her inciting a coup at Auradon.

“I immersed myself into this sort of really spicy, dark place,” Ora told PA on playing a villain.

“I loved the fashion, the Queen of Hearts is such an iconic role, I really wanted to put my own spin on it, the franchise is so popular and all the music is amazing.

“It’s such a great thing to be able to sing in a movie, but to be able to play a villain, which I’ve never done before.

“I had so much fun, I think it’s my calling and I want to do more of it.”

American singer Brandy (Yui Mok/PA)

Ora also said she has been a fan of co-star Brandy “since the beginning of time” making the experience all the more memorable.

Directed by Jennifer Phang, it is a musical spin-off of the Descendants film trilogy which first aired in 2015, with a sequel landing two years later and the trilogy concluding with the 2019 film.

Descendants: The Rise Of Red will air on Disney+ on July 12.