The Stunning Transformation Of Sofia Carson

Sofia Carson is no stranger to the entertainment world. She is best known for starring in the Disney "Descendants" franchise, and for being a triple threat. Not only can she act, but she can sing and dance. And Carson's fame is expected to reach new heights after she stole the show in Netflix's new original movie "Purple Hearts." Released on July 29, 2022, "Purple Hearts" was the most watched film worldwide on the streaming platform as of August 3, 2022 (according to Cinemablend).


Based on the 2017 novel by Tess Wakefield, the romantic drama tells the story of a troubled Marine, Luke Morrow (Nicholas Galitzine), who marries a struggling singer-songwriter, Cassie Salazar, who is portrayed by Carson (via IMDb). Carson shared with "CBS Mornings" that she felt honored to play Cassie and that the movie is more than just a love story. "It's a love story with deeply important political messages," she told Gayle King during the interview. 

From how she got started in the industry to becoming a full-fledged actor and singer, here's the stunning transformation of Sofia Carson.

She knew early on that she wanted to be in the spotlight

When Sofia Carson was a little girl, she knew she wanted to be a performer. At the age of 3, she started doing ballet and immediately fell in love with dance. "As I grew up, my love for dance became deeper, and the stage became my safe place. It became my happiness, my haven," she recalled to the Los Angeles Times. Carson is also a classically trained singer and took lessons all through her childhood (according to the Miami Herald). 


While being interviewed by Priyanka Chopra Jonas for Teen Vogue, Carson spoke about when she realized that entertainment would be her path in life. She told Jonas that she knew at a very young age, and would sing and dance all the time around her house. "There are videos of me and my sister, I was probably 3 years old, singing 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' from 'Evita,'" Carson recalled. "Whether I was singing or putting on a show or acting, I always wanted to somehow tell a story."

Carson also added that her family has always stood by her side and supported her love of performing. "My parents from day one, were everything. My unconditional, undoubted support, and I felt that I could do anything that I set my mind to," she said.


Sofia Carson credits her bicultural upbringing

Sofia Carson is a Florida native who was born in Fort Lauderdale to parents of Columbian descent (via Speaking about her upbringing with, she recalled that while she was born and raised in America, her parents ensured that she grew up with a combination of American and Columbian culture. Carson shared that during her childhood, her family took a trip every year to see their family back in Columbia to learn about where they came from. Although she ate American food like macaroni and cheese, she would also eat food that was part of her heritage, like empanadas and Arroz con Pollo. 


Carson's parents also made sure she grew up listening to music from both cultures. She remembers listening to music by Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, as well as reggaeton and boleros, a form of slow, rhythmic Latin music. 

During her interview, Sofia noted, "I think it's a cool experience; I never really knew or appreciated [the] good it would do me in my future to be bicultural — to have both cultures with me and both languages — than right now in this moment in my career."

She attended college while pursuing her acting career

After high school, Sofia Carson decided to continue her education at UCLA, but didn't enroll in their MFA acting program. Instead, she decided to study for a degree in communications and a minor in French, according to Popsugar. However, while earning her B.A., she was also trying to break into the acting world, so she would attend classes and also go on casting calls.


"I moved to LA myself, and I was auditioning while I was in school. After class, I would run and audition once or twice a day," she told Teen Vogue. All of those auditions resulted in many missed classes. As Carson told the publication, "I would email my professor and be like, 'I have this big audition. I'll make up all my studies.' But they were always really understanding." After going on more than 200 auditions, the actress booked her first gig in a guest role on the Disney series "Austin & Ally," which led to her making two appearances on MTV's romantic comedy-drama "Faking It." 

Sofia Casron's breakout role was in Disney's Descendants

In 2015, Sofia Carson made her big film debut in the Disney fantasy musical "Descendants" (according to IMDb). She had hardly any acting experience before landing the role of Princess Evie. Carson discussed that first major role during an interview with Teen Vogue. She shared that when she got the good news, it "was the moment where my life changed completely." Carson went on to describe what it was like to take on the role: "As much as the movie is a fairy tale, even shooting it felt like a fairy tale. To be a part of something with The Walt Disney Company where I get to play the daughter of a heritage character — to play like a real-life Disney princess, it was so surreal."


Also that same year, the songstress made her singing debut with the soundtrack album "Descendants" and the release of the hit single "Rotten to the Core" (via Apple Music). She would go on to reprise her role as Evie in "Descendants: Wicked World," the Disney television series that lasted two seasons. In addition, she was part of various other projects, including the 2016 made-for-TV movie "Adventures in Babysitting" and the second and third installments of "Descendants," to name just a few (via IMDb).

She and her Descendants cast suffered a devastating loss

On July 6, 2019, Sofia Carson lost one of her dear friends and "Descendants" costars when Cameron Boyce unexpectedly died in his Hollywood home. In a statement to CNN, a representative for the family disclosed, "He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure, which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated." Carson took to social media to pay tribute to Boyce. Alongside a photo of the actor on her Instagram page, she wrote, "To our angel, there are not enough words. There will never be enough words. I couldn't bring myself to do this because doing this makes it real. Letting you go is not something I know how to do. And I just can't fathom living in a world without you. I love you, Cam. And I will love you. Forever."


In an interview with People Now, Carson opened up about Boyce's untimely death and recalled the day she and her "Descendants" family found out. She stated that they felt like they "didn't only lose someone, but the world lost someone that was so beloved." She went on to say that the loss of the actor has been devastating and heartbreaking. When asked, Carson also disclosed that she couldn't see herself doing another "Descendants" movie without Boyce, and even though she knows many fans would like the franchise to go on, she said, "It's 'Core 4' forever."

Sofia Carson and her younger sister have a very strong connection

Sofia Carson and her younger sister, Paulina Char, are only a few years apart and have been best friends for their entire lives. On Char's 19th birthday, Carson posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram and wrote, "19 years ago today, my best friend was born. My little sister. I am forever and always grateful for this day ... Here's to an infinity of laughs and smiles by your side ... I love you, my doll."


In July of 2021, Hola! conducted an interview with the two sisters, who are both living out their dreams. Char is the head product developer for the beauty brand Tower 28, which can be found in more than 500 Sephora stores, according to FIDM. While chatting with the outlet, Carson had nothing but adoring things to say about her sister, expressing how much she admires Char. "I admire that she carries her heart on her sleeve. I admire her fire and I admire her strength. I admire that she always has been and always will be, unapologetically herself," Carson said. Char, who shares the same deep affection for her sister, remarked that "there are pivotal moments in life that simply wouldn't be as special without each other."


She learned a lot on the set of Feel the Beat

In 2020, Sofia Carson starred in the Netflix movie "Feel the Beat," which is about a burned-out, selfish dancer, April Dibrina, who learns patience and kindness from her misfit students while she prepares them for a big dance competition (via IMDb). While chatting with StyleCaster about the film, Carson revealed that her character wasn't the only person who learned something while on the film set. She shared that while playing April, she was reminded of why she does what she does. Carson further explained she had been taken back to "the little girl who walked into her first dance class at 3 years old and fell madly in love with dance because she felt like home. I can never lose that feeling, because that's the reason why I do what I do."


Carson also said she learned a lot from her tiny dancing costars, noting that they were mature for their age and offered support and love. "They were also so brave and courageous, and they loved the stories they got to tell," she said. "Being around other kids, everything becomes so much more magical. I would say I learned from them more than they would ever imagine."

Sofia didn't always feel secure about herself

Even though Sofia Carson is a celebrity, she has had some insecurities about herself, just like most "regular" people. In an exclusive interview with J-14, she talked about how as a child, she never felt like she belonged, thought of herself as a nerd, and had been bullied so severely that she had to switch schools. Carson told the publication, "I got bullied quite a bit. There was a group of mean girls who always picked on me. They thought I was weird, and they used to make fun of me." She revealed that in seventh grade, it was so overwhelming for her that she enrolled in a new school, which turned out to be the best thing for her. Carson shared that she was nervous about being the new girl, but she ended up having a positive experience and forged many good friendships.


At the end of the interview, Carson left some words of wisdom for readers. The Disney actress reminded them that regardless of what anyone says, they are beautiful just the way they are. "What really matters isn't your reflection in the mirror, but it's what's inside of you, and when that translates outside, it's more beautiful than anything," she said. "So try to always take the high road, surround yourself with people who love you, and know that your family will always have your back."

She has been honing her songwriting skills since childhood

Most 10-year-old kids have hobbies like playing a sport or an instrument, but Sofia Carson's childhood pastime was songwriting. In an interview with the magazine Women InPop, the singer/songwriter talked about how her love of music has been ingrained in her since birth. Carson told the outlet, "'I've always been in love with storytelling. I wrote my first song when I was 10." The talented musician also said she learned early on that music is a powerful tool that can "connect us all universally." She added that if she were ever fortunate enough to share her passion with the world, she would "use that vessel for good, especially for young women." And that's what she has done, especially with her 2022 single "Loud," which is on her debut self-titled album that's all about women's empowerment. 


Later in the interview, Carson devoted the song to all women, stating, "From the bottom of my heart, this song is dedicated to you. The women of the world and all the loud voices of change. Because we were all made to be loud." Also, while chatting on an episode of the "People Every Day" podcast, Carson noted that she'd been working on her first album since she was a young girl and that her LP is a love story.

Sofia Carson loves giving back

In 2019, Sofia Carson was chosen to become the first ambassador for the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. Carson promoted, advocated, and increased awareness of the foundation's overall mission and educational programs. She has helped raise funds and promoted the foundation's primary focus of providing scholarships to students who have an interest in Latin music and music education programs. 


In 2020, Carson was chosen to be a UNICEF ambassador, with a focus on advocating for the education and empowerment of girls, according to UNICEF USA. Carson has worked with the organization since 2017 and has been committed to helping girls all around the globe. "I am infinitely grateful to UNICEF for bestowing me with the immense honor of being a UNICEF ambassador," said Carson in a press release. "I am proudly, wholly, and humbly committed to their lifesaving mission, and I cannot wait for the journey that lies ahead."

While speaking with Vogue before UNICEF's 15th annual Snowflake Ball in New York City, Carson shared that her mother and grandmother installed in her and her sister the importance of philanthropy. She recalled when she and her sister visited a house in Columbia that fostered teen girls. As she remarked, "We met an 11-year-old girl named Maria who had just given birth ... We realized then that we had to dedicate our lives to giving [back] as much as we could."


She went to great lengths to prepare for her role in Purple Hearts

Sofia Carson, the leading lady in the original Netflix romance drama Purple Hearts, revealed that the film was the most challenging project to date for her as an actor (via People). The movie follows Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow as they enter a fake marriage with unanticipated repercussions. Salazar, who has type I diabetes, ends up marrying Morrow, a Marine, so that she could have access to medical coverage (via IMDb). 


Carson did quite a bit of research to bring her character to life. She told the outlet that it entailed "everything from the immigrant experience coming into this country, being an immigrant in San Diego, in Southern California, type 1 diabetes, military, the military culture, her worldview, her political views, her stance on marriage." She also disclosed that she kept a journal and wrote in it from her character's point of view, composing memories of a narrative her mother told her about when she crossed the border, her life with an abusive father, and hearing a song for the very first time. "Every memory I could think of," Carson said.

She was scared to write the soundtrack to Purple Hearts

Sofia Carson carried out various roles on the set of "Purple Heart." She served not only as an actor, but also a singer, an executive producer, and a songwriter — in fact, she wrote some of the original music for the film. The actress and the singer-songwriter Justin Tranter teamed up to write some of the soundtrack. While speaking with Billboard, Carson shared that even though she had been writing for most of her life, it was always from her own heart and point of view, never from anyone else's.


Maybe that's why she told The Wrap that she was pretty scared when working on the soundtrack. "I was terrified ... It was like, who thought that I could do this? Who trusted me to do this? I've never written a soundtrack before!" She also revealed to the publication that she called her mom crying a few times. However, as she told the outlet, "I had been living with this person, with this young woman, for four years — with her story, with her thoughts, her fears, with their love story — in my heart. And so I think in the process of writing the music, it helped me to become Cassie that much more."

Sofia Carson hopes to go back to UCLA and finish school

When Sofia Carson got her big break and booked Disney's "Descendants," she was still enrolled at UCLA, balancing academia and her career. However, she had to pause her education when she became too busy to do both. In an interview in May 2019 with "Access Live," Carson opened up about how she was still enrolled at the university, but hadn't attended in quite a while due to her hectic schedule. At the time, the actress had been working on "Descendants 3" and had just wrapped the spinoff "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists." As she told hosts Kit Hoover and Scott Evans, "I'm technically still a Bruin." Jokingly, she added, "I'm going to graduate maybe when I'm 45." Carson revealed that school is a big part of who she is and is still a focal point of her life.


Fast forward to 2022, and the actress-songwriter only needs to take nine more courses to obtain her degree. While promoting "Purple Hearts" on "Live with Kelly and Ryan," Carson shared that at some point, she wants to take a year off and go back to UCLA to finish school.