Mitchell Hope began his career as a young boy full of aspirations who worked hard, got over some rejections, and continued insisting on pursuing his dreams. However, one day, he had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the worldwide Disney’s successful saga Descendants as the admirable King Benjamin (Ben) Florian.
After the success of Descendants, Mitchell Hope did not take life for granted and has been busy working on film and media and giving back to society. Among his most recent projects, we have the movie Love You Like That and the upcoming film Don’t Make Me Go alongside John Cho and Kaya Scodelario.
Therefore, I cannot hide the gratefulness in me when inviting you to read this exclusive interview for Vanity Teen in which Mitchell Hope explains why he considers is doing the thing he loves the most.
Doing the thing I love
VT: What is acting for you, and what has it meant to your life?
MH: I’ve been so incredibly lucky to be doing the thing I love every single day. When I started performing as a teenager, acting in plays at the local youth theater, and shooting silly little shorts with my brothers, I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that this is where I’d be today.
I get to fly around the world to work with talented, creative people on projects that inspire me.
I’m so grateful to Kenny Ortega and to all the people who helped me get to where I am today. If it weren’t for them, I would still be a Melbourne bartender doing silly voices and making silly faces. I guess I’m still doing the silly faces and voices, but who knew someone would actually pay me for that?
VT: Since you decided to pursue a career in acting, what is the best advice you have followed?
MH: The best advice I’ve been given was not to get hung up on every single audition. There will be plenty more. I used to stress a lot before and after big meetings or auditions, but unless I’m in a dangerous situation or whatever, stress really isn’t that useful of a feeling.
It must sound ridiculous and uppity for me to say: ‘don’t stress, relax man’ when I have the opportunities I do, but I can tell you that, the day I approached my work with a more relaxed attitude was the day I started getting callbacks.
VT: Which memories do you cherish the most about being part of the Descendants universe?
MH: Any of the moments I had with Cameron.
Give it a shot
VT: Let’s talk about your more recent activities. Love You Like That is out now. So, what would you like to share about this fun movie that has been well-received by the audiences?
MH: I’m really excited about this one! It’s a fun movie, and I think that audiences will enjoy watching a relaxed, happy film.
It’s a lovely little rom-com, and I’m very proud of it.
VT: What can you tell us about Don´t Make Me Go and other projects you have for the future?
MH: When I heard that Hannah Marks was directing Don’t Make Me Go, I rushed to do an audition as soon as I could. She is a truly talented director and performer, and I knew right away that I wanted to work with her. The story itself is so beautiful, and I have a feeling that this is going to be very well received. Mia Isaac is utterly incredible in her debut performance; she’s a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
VT: Giving back to society and motivating others has been a relevant part of your career. So, what would you like to say about this aspect of your life and the collaborations you have done with movements and organizations like the Artists Of Colour Initiative (AOC Initiative)?
MH: I think it’s important to speak out on certain topics, and not just for those with a large platform. It’s vital that we see each other supporting these social issues like the AOC and that a lot of these issues exist outside of political bias.
When we show our support for the AOC, The Cameron Boyce foundation, Make a Wish foundation, etc., we demonstrate to each other that it can be done by any one of us and that we can all make a difference.
I don’t have a degree in political science, a ridiculously high IQ, or even a personal experience with some of the social issues I support. But I can still understand the basic concept of helping my community and those who live in it.
So give it a shot! Go on down to the local shelter and ask if they need a hand, show up to a rally for equal rights, donate something, even if it’s $1 because if I can do it, chances are you can too.
You are a badass!
VT: When you are not working on set, what are your favorite activities to do?
MH: I love writing. I’ve always wanted to be a writer to write and act in my own movies. One of the best things about my job is the range of opportunities it has presented, so whenever I’m not acting, I’m writing as much as I can.
VT: How do you preserve your mental health?
MH: This can sometimes be a tough one to answer. It’s no secret that the entertainment industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, and I’d be a liar if I said I was perfectly fine over the last two years.
For me, I try to stay busy. Even if ‘staying busy’ is just tending the garden or writing a silly story, I find it to be super important for my mental health. I know that as soon as I get myself into a bad routine of sleeping in late and watching TV all day, it will be extremely hard to break it.
I haven’t always had a clear grasp on caring for my mental health. When I was younger, it wasn’t very ‘manly’ to talk about your feelings, much less actually ask for help, so I bottled everything up and pushed it down deep.
Looking back on those times, I just wish someone told me what I know now; it’s okay to be not okay. It’s a tough gig, and I can’t even comprehend what some people are going through out there, but just know that this crappy feeling won’t last forever, I promise you.
VT: Which words would you like to say to those who want to be activists or help others but don’t know how to get started?
MH: Talk to each other! Social change can happen on a large scale, but the conversations with each other are just as important and can spread more awareness about the topics that you feel passionate about.
VT: Anything else you would like to share with the readers of Vanity Teen?
MH: We’ve all had it pretty rough lately, but it’s coming to an end. We got hit with a once-in-100-year global crisis, and we stayed strong. Next time you look in the mirror, just think: ‘Check out this badass over here’ because you are, ya badass you!
One day at a time
As Mitchell Hope has told us, life has its highs and lows, and not every day goes the way we have planned. We know, in the world happens things we cannot control and affect our lives, our mental health, and our will, but we cannot stop yearning for the best for ourselves and others, take time to love ourselves, and patiently work in achieving our goals.
This beloved actor also reminded us that things get better in time, and even in fairy tales, magic comes to help those keep working with a kind heart and an honest disposition of doing good. So, I would like to join him in sharing this positive message and motivate you to do not give up on your dreams, it is not over yet, and difficult times will pass, we will see better days, we will feel better with ourselves, we will smile with gratitude.
Therefore, let us find the magic in us and share it with others!