Transforming into a Disney princess is a wondrous wish for many young girls. For rising star Olivia Deeble, that dream has become a reality.
Known best as energetic Raffy Morgan in the iconic Aussie drama Home And Away, the 17-year-old actress is now farewelling Summer Bay for an exciting new role she was destined to play: Princess Roxana in the upcoming Disney+ film Secret Society Of Second Born Royals.
Olivia was just 14 years old when she burst onto our screens and straight into our hearts as the vivacious Raffy.
Three years on, her beloved character is getting ready to leave the Bay to partake in a medicinal marijuana trial in Melbourne as part of her recent struggle with an epilepsy diagnosis.
While it's a bittersweet way to say goodbye to Raffy and to Summer Bay, Olivia says that shift in the storyline made it the right moment to move on.
"It was incredibly emotional and quite sad," Olivia tells TV WEEK, "but you just kind of know sometimes that it's time [to leave the show]."
As though it were fate, Olivia's decision not to sign on for more seasons timed perfectly with her landing the dream role of Roxana in the movie.
"I was aware my contract was ending, so I started auditioning for things, then the Disney audition came through and I really loved the role," Olivia recalls. "Two weeks after [finishing] shooting Home And Away, I left to go to Canada."
It's not hard to picture Olivia in a Disney blockbuster. With enviably long blonde locks and a bubbly persona, the Melbourne-born actress says she's long been referred to as "the pinnacle of a Disney Princess."
Despite being "a childhood dream" for Olivia, the reality of taking on a role of this calibre was never out of reach to the determined actress.
"I'm quite an optimistic and hardworking person," she explains. "There was always potential it could happen; I'm just really happy and grateful that it did."
The upcoming film, which centres on a top-secret training program for second-born royals tasked with saving the world, will air on the new Disney+ streaming service next year.
Filmed in Toronto, the international production was worlds away from the sunny shores of Summer Bay's Palm Beach location.
"I loved being in a new city," Olivia says. "[Filming] was amazing and so different, too. Home And Away is very fast-paced – it was nice to have that time to do longer shots [on Secret Society Of Second Born Royals]."
It was also a nice progression for Olivia, going from sweet Raffy to a more adventurous Roxana, not to mention working with actors such as Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Andi Mack) as new princess Sam, Élodie Yung (Daredevil) as Queen Catherine, and Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) as Professor James Morrow.
"The make-up was so different, and hair and the outfits – that was so nice," Olivia says. "Raffy and Roxana are two very different girls."
Her stint as a Disney princess may catapult Olivia to stardom alongside the likes of Home And Away alum Chris Hemsworth, Melissa George and Isla Fisher, but she won't be rushing over to Hollywood just yet.
"It's very important to me that I finish school, so I won't make an immediate move," Olivia says.
"Pilot season is the next obvious thing I will go and do and I'm excited about that."
In the meantime, she's happy to travel between home and Los Angeles, enjoying downtime and doing what any other 17-year-old student would do on a well-deserved break.
"I've just redone my room and I'm in love with it," she says with a breath of excitement, then adds: "I've started getting back into dancing, too. I'm really just focusing on myself, my health, my relationships and auditioning."
HOME AND AWAY airs Monday to Thursday, 7pm, on Channel Seven.
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Prizes To LoveDec 25, 2020