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Lexi Underwood Interview: Sneakerella | Screen Rant

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The latest Cinderella remake, Sneakerella, premiered on Disney+ today and is sure to delight audiences everywhere. The modern-day adaptation of the classic princess story not only comes prepared with all-new songs that translate to a life in the Big Apple, it also reverses the genders of its lead characters. Ella is now El, played by Chosen Jacobs (from the It franchise), while Prince Charming is now Kira King (Lexi Underwood, Little Fires Everywhere), heir to a vast shoe empire.

Of course, King shoes are sneakers rather than glass slippers, hence the new title of the musical. But Kira is inspired enough by El’s passion for sneaker design that she negotiates on his behalf in front of her father (played by former NBA champion John Salley). Will they be able to achieve their dreams together and walk in each other’s shoes while doing it?

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Related: Disney’s Modern Princess Standards Don’t Give Cinderella Enough Respect

Underwood spoke to Screen Rant about what draws Kira and El to one another despite their very different stations in life, and how she views the King family dynamic in Sneakerella.

Screen Rant: I really love the gender swapped dynamic between El and Kira. Can you talk about what draws them to each other? Why does Princess Charming like this Cinderella?

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Lexi Underwood: Yeah! I think that, number one, I completely agree. What I love most about this is the fact that there’s a gender role reversal.

I think that what draws Kira and El to each other is the mere fact that they are both very similar. Honestly, they are both smart; they’re both relatable. They both are two people with big dreams for themselves, but they’re kind of held back because of their circumstances. But with that, there’s so a lot of determination and motivation to create the destiny and the life that they want. And I feel like they see that in each other.

They come from two different worlds, essentially, but that barrier isn’t there when they see each other. In my eyes, I feel like they see somebody that they can confide in, and who they can be their most authentic self [with]. El isn’t really able to be his most authentic self with his family, and Kira isn’t able to do that as well with her family. Also just in that sneaker industry that has always been [male-dominated], and just now is starting to get out of the space of being male-dominated.

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I feel like they just remind each other a lot of each other, and they both are determined to create the destinies and the life that they want. And when they meet each other, they also understand that hopefully that includes [being] in each other’s lives and having that ultimate dream and destiny.

I also love how the royalty is transferred to a family business. Like you said, the sneaker industry is male-dominated, and your father then has two daughters who are wanting to be part of it. What is that family dynamic like for you, especially the friction with your sister over how best to run things?

Lexi Underwood: Yeah, it was very interesting. We had a blast when it came to filming it. But figuring out those dynamics was really interesting, because obviously, there’s no bad blood; there’s no beef when it comes to that family.

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Kira’s obviously a little upset by it, but it doesn’t make her back down. It doesn’t stop her from creating the life that she wants. And that friction with her sister? I think that moment where you get to see Liv turn, I feel like Liv sees a lot of herself – or what she wished she had in herself – in Kira at that age. And so, really figuring out those dynamics was a little challenging, but it was also incredibly fun.

And I think at the end of the movie, you really get to see that family bond. That dynamic between all of them, and the support also the Darius gives Kira in the end – I think that all of that is beautiful. It’s very complex and very real to families everywhere. You have your little push and pulls. That’s just life, you know?

Set in the vibrant street-sneaker subculture of New York City, Sneakerella is a high-energy, music-driven movie that puts a contemporary twist on the “Cinderella” fairy tale.

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El is an aspiring sneaker designer from Queens who works as a stock boy in the shoe store that once belonged to his late mother. He hides his artistic talent from his overburdened stepfather and two mean-spirited stepbrothers who constantly thwart any opportunity that comes his way. When El meets Kira King, the fiercely independent daughter of legendary basketball star and sneaker tycoon Darius King, sparks fly as the two bond over their mutual affinity for sneakers. With a little nudge from his best friend and a sprinkle of Fairy Godfather magic, El finds the courage to use his talent to pursue his dream of becoming a ‘legit’ sneaker designer in the industry. El is now ready to lace up and dream big.

Check out our other interview with Sneakerella star Chosen Jacobs.

More: Every New Movie & TV Show Coming To Disney+ In May 2022

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Sneakerella is currently available to stream on Disney+.

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