Did you know that the Disney Channel had an original movie in the works called Descendants? If you didn't, then no one blames you. Up until now, that news was more or less only exciting to people under the age of fourteen who were familiar with the actors from previous Disney works or anyone who has been worshipping the ground Kenny Ortega walks on for bringing us High School Musical (and Zac Efron). However, Kristin Chenoweth has joined Descendants as Maleficent and now we all have to care. That was probably Disney's plan when they made the announcement.
Descendants is a live action adventure comedy about the sons and daughters of famed Disney characters in a world where the teenage son of Beauty and the Beast has offered the troublemaking offspring of Disney villains the chance to return to the kingdom and attend prep school with everyone else. So, basically, it's Once Upon a Time: The Next Generation in prep school. Chenoweth's on-screen daughter, Mal, is played by Dove Cameron of Liv & Maddie fame and she also joins Twilight's Booboo Stewart, Austin & Ally's Sofia Carson, Jessie's Cameron Boyce, and Australian newcomer Mitchell Hope.
The movie doesn't come out until 2015, a year after the highly anticipated Maleficent film starring Angelina Jolie. Jolie's been striking fear into everyone's hearts as the iconic character in the trailers alone and Disney movies are notoriously terrifying on the rewatch, so if Chenoweth is hoping to match even close to that level of horror in her portrayal than there are a few lessons she's going to have to take from Jolie's performance.
Makeup Is Everything
We've all seen Angelina Jolie's cheekbones before, but never have they given us such chills. A little lipstick and a lot of powder transformed Jolie from one of the sexiest women in the world to one of the sexiest women in the world playing one of the creepiest villains known to man. If Chenoweth and Cameron are going to keep their hair blond for the roles of Maleficent and Mal, then they'd better get some amazing makeup artists to help creepify the rest of their look.
Give Your Audience Mood Whiplash
In less than 20 seconds, Jolie was going from looking just so, so sad to outright giggling in a room full of terrified people. You know who else does that? Crazy villains that you want to run away from. Chenoweth should take Jolie's cue and keep the audience guessing over what Maleficent will say and do next... and scarer still, how she'll say or do it.
Vulnerable Doesn't Mean Weak
The 2014 Maleficent movie is filling in the blanks from the Disney film and giving Maleficent what seems to be a sympathetic backstory. Are you any less terrified of her? No? I didn't think so. Jolie has always been good at playing damaged characters who would kick your ass and since Chenoweth is playing a version of Maleficent that is also a mother, we hope that means she's going to take her vulnerability — her daughter — and turn it into her strength. What better reason to destroy a kingdom than to save a loved one?
Practice Your Creepy Stare
We already know that Chenoweth can act with her eyes like any good actress, but there were trailers in which Jolie didn't even need to say anything. She just looked at people and at things and still sent a shiver racing down people's spines. Maleficent needs to have at least ten creepy stares in her arsenal to get the right amount of horror into the scene.
Shadows Are Your Friend
It's just a given that any good villain has to make as much use of the shadows as they can. Not only do they make the best camouflage for secret traveling, but Maleficent's silhouette is just as amazing and iconic as she is. As soon as her shadow falls on a wall, you know exactly who's behind you and have about a minute or so to say your prayers.
Fan the Flames
Maleficent is the Disney villain who didn't get invited to a party and decided to kill a child over it. And she was still 100 percent, absolute terror for anyone who ever saw Sleeping Beauty. When Chenoweth played Glinda in Wicked, she was never afraid to go over the top and ham it up and Maleficent is definitely a bit of a ham. When's the last time you cursed a kingdom because you didn't receive an e-vite to the king and queen's shindig?