#KodeNext: Thomas Doherty

Thomas Doherty 1-extend

Photo | Courtney Phillip | @courtneynp

Fashion Editor | Joey Bevan | @joeybevan

Styling Assistant | Abbie Wood | @thefashion_assistant

Hair | Chloe | @wig_london

Makeup | Maria Malone Guerbaa | mariamalone1122

Graphic | Jeanette Chiu | @jeanette.sc

Video | Josh Kinsella | @ninetyone.films

 Acting, singing, dancing, and geeking out to Lord of the Rings, Thomas Doherty never cease to surprise us. And this Scottish actor, best known for playing Harry Hook in Descendants 2, is just getting started. 


Kode | You’re originally from Edinburgh, Scotland. With both parents in the banking business, how did the acting bug find you?

Yes I was born and raised there my whole life. I grew up playing football and was seen as a ‘footballer’ than anything else. But that’s partly to do with the fact that I kept my love for theater and acting a secret. I’d go to football training, leave early, jump on a bus, and find myself an hour later in a studio pretending to be the color purple. It was a gradual process falling in love with acting, but I was first introduced when I was about 5. Me and my best friend Ronan Burns used to go along to amateur theater, and I guess I just never stopped. 

Kode | You started acting at the age of five, what was your first role?

My first role when I was five was as a farmer, but being five I never stuck by the script so who knows how it ended. 

 Kode | You were trained in acting, singing, and various types of dance including contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and ballet, besides acting, would you want to delve into any other talents?

I was yes! I went to the MGA academy of performing arts in Edinburgh for 3 years, but I always wanted to try TV and film. Since then, I guess I want to do everything. I have such a respect for people who can play musical instruments – I played the piano for a few grades but I’d love to be able to write something of my own one day. I also want to make a film one day, direct it, travel and see more of the world, do it all. It’s also imperative that I finish the US office before I do all of this. 

 Kode | You and your Descendant’s castmate and girlfriend, Dove Cameron have been dating for almost a year now. What first drew you to her? What is your favorite thing about her?

I am dating her, lucky girl. I’m joking, I am the lucky one. She’s just a wonderful human. She’s so kind and loving, funny, extremely talented, has the most beautiful eyes, and puts up with me being weird. She’s also weird – that’s why it works so well. Dove’s very down to earth and real.

Kode | You and Dove go on plenty of dates, take us back to your first… What was it like? What did you do? How did you feel?

Our first date was at a pancake cafe. It was one of those things were she was sat opposite me, drenched because it was raining outside, making terrible jokes that I was obliged to laugh at, and I kinda just fell in love with her. 

Kode | You developed a love for musical theater after the Lothian Youth Arts and Musicals Company, is there a musical or anything in the Theater that you would love to be apart of or tackle?

YES. I would love to do live theater and live musical theater. There are so many incredible artists and performers out there that it would be an honor to work along side. I’m the list is too long for print. Musical theater wise I’d love to have the opportunity to perform on Broadway in a number of shows, the top of the list would maybe be spring awakening if they ever revived it or next to normal. But I mean regardless of the show, if someone’s going to put me on Broadway I’ll probably say absolutely. 

Kode | You’ve acted in both Disney’s “The Lodge” and the Descendants films. What is your most memorable Disney project?

Both DISNEY projects have been incredible experiences. I’ve met some superb people and had so much fun on both. In terms of scale and career exposure, Descendants 2 is up there. To be part of such a globally adored film is pretty humbling, and to work with such an incredible cast of wonderful people under the direction of Kenny Ortega is a dream come true. But the lodge was my first and will always have a special place in my heart. Thomas_Doherty_3_KodeMag

Kode | You’re in post production for High Strung: Free Dance, where you play a choreographer. Was the choreography hard to get a grasp of or just the opposite?

I am in post for High stung: Free Dance – it’s exciting times, I can’t wait for everyone to see the film. I played Zander who is a choreographer in Broadway. Fortunately for the film I didn’t dance a huge amount. I do have a small dance sequence which is pretty special, but generally I’m just directing the insanely talented professional dancers. After a take of shouting at them and “correcting” them, I always had to apologies and remind them that I was just acting because I didn’t want to insult their craft.

Kode | Since you’ve studied contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and ballet, what is your favorite type of dance?

My favorite type of dance is tap. I love how charming and sexy it can be, but also how entertaining. And I love the noise it makes. A good taper’s shoes are an instrument in them self.

Kode| Living in America, we have our own mix of cultures and lifestyles. What is better in Scotland versus America, whether it be food, fashion, etc.?

You know I guess you’re accustomed to what you are brought up in and it’s all a subjective matter when comparing. But y’all don’t have IRN-BRU (Scottish carbonated drink). And y’all are missing out. Big time. 

Kode | When choosing a role, you probably look to other shows and actors for inspiration. Is there a Netflix show you just have to binge or anything that inspires your choice of choosing certain characters and roles?

I’m always grateful to be offered a role or a part – it shows that someone has the believe in you to bring their creation to life. It comes down to whether I can connect to a character and do it justice. I will sit for hours and hours watching actors like Christopher Walken, Christopher Waltz, Dicaprio, Streep, Gosling – you name them, I’ve probably watched their interviews and films. 

Kode | Titanic inspired you to become an actor. What film is your secret obsession?

My secret obsession film is Lord of the Rings. I’m obsessed and heavily judge those who refuse to watch it – including my own girlfriend. She’s watched the first one but I just can’t get her into the second and third. I have a tattoo in elvish (the language they speak in LOTR) from a line from the first film. Gandalf says “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that’s given to us”. I try live by that simple way.


Kode | Lastly, to wrap this whole thing up, where you do you see yourself in the next five years?

You know I try not project that far in advance. I don’t know where I’m going to be by the end of the day so five years is quite a tall order. If I can still be acting and meeting new characters and people, I’ll be happy. After all, happiness is all a state of mind.

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