China Anne McClain is all grown up.
You may recognize the Disney darling from one of her many small screen projects including Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” Disney’s “A.N.T. Farm”, “K.C. Undercover,” or even ABC’s “Sing Your Face Off.”
Most recently, the 18-year-old actress teamed up with Disney (once again) for the highly anticipated sequel to an already beloved Disney Channel original movie, Descendants 2. In the larger-than-life musical drama, McClain takes on the role of Uma, the daughter of Disney villain Ursula, who along with her posse of pirates, has a bone to pick with Mal (played by Cameron Dove) and Prince Ben (Mitchell Hope), since being snubbed for selection to leave the Isle of the Lost for a magical change of scenery at Auradon prep.
The made-for-TV movie which kicked off on Friday, July 21 8:00 p.m. ET, was dubbed “crazy enough to be a lifetime movie,” with McClain “always amazing,” fans shared via Twitter.
Here are 5 things to know about Hollywood’s rising star … because we ain’t seen nothing yet.
Talent runs in the family.
Her father, Michael McClain, is a music producer, vocalist, writer and sound engineer. He’s worked with stars like Solange Knowles. Her mother, Shontell, is also a vocalist and songwriter. When she’s not acting, China and her two sisters, Sierra and Lauryn, perform together as the singing group, McClain.
There’s a neat story behind her unique name.
Upon news that she was having another girl, her mother, who was hoping for a boy, named her “China” after viewing a television special which highlighted how families in the Asian country are only permitted to have one child — with boys being favored to carry on the family name, J-14 reports.
Family is “everything” to her.
“My family is pretty much everything to me,” she told Twist in 2016. “They have inspired me and taught me so much. I definitely would not be where I am as a person if it weren’t for my family caring for me as much as they have. I will always appreciate them for that!”
She’s about her business.
She kicked off her acting career at age 7, with a role in The Gospel, alongside Idris Elba, Boris Kodjoe, Donnie McClurkin, and Yolanda Adams. Since then, she’s brought in about $600K in earnings. Not too shabby.
She and the cast of Descendants 2 cemented their bond in ink.
“We all got very close during the film. Like this little tattoo I have here, they have them too. When you get a cast that you really connect to, it’s a special thing because to be honest, not all casts are like that, and sometimes we don’t get so lucky. So being able to work with them and then hang out with them after set every day was so, so great,” she recently told J-14 magazine. “Thomas is awesome, he’s like crazy. He runs around the set with so much energy. So that always boosted my energy. And Dylan is just the sweetest person you’ll ever meet in your entire life.”