Sofia Carson Explains Why Netflix's Purple Hearts Was Her 'Greatest Challenge as an Actor' (2024)

Sofia Carson, who first broke out nearly seven years ago as one of the stars of Disney's Descendants franchise and recently released her debut self-titled album, is now a leading lady in the new Netflix film Purple Hearts.

The actress and singer, 29, wore many hats during the production of the romantic drama, including the role of singer and actor on screen as well as executive producer and songwriter behind the scenes.

"I think I've been really lucky that a lot of the projects that I have been a part of have allowed me to do everything that I love as an artist," Carson tells PEOPLE of her character Cassie, an aspiring musician. "And this one in particular went kind of a step further, because I've always been in love with storytelling, and to be a part of storytelling from every aspect, from behind the scenes as producer to physical storytelling as an actress to storytelling through song, was incredibly fulfilling."

Purple Hearts tells the story of Cassie and Luke, who enter a "marriage of convenience" — with unexpected results.

Cassie, who is living with type I diabetes, marries Luke, a Marine, as a way to get access to Luke's health benefits.

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"Luke is hiding a troubled past and has his own reason for entering this marriage of convenience," an official synopsis of the movie explains. "For a while, their secret plan works and they start to develop a semblance of a friendship. As Luke begins paying off the debt that haunts him, Cassie's musical career starts taking off, inspired by an unexpected muse: Luke."

Sofia Carson Explains Why Netflix's Purple Hearts Was Her 'Greatest Challenge as an Actor' (1)

"But when a tragedy sends him home earlier than expected, Cassie and Luke are unprepared to feign a marriage face-to-face, in front of family and friends," the synopsis adds. "They constantly argue and disagree, but slowly, the walls between them start to come down as they reveal their vulnerabilities to each other."

The synopsis concludes, "As the line between real and pretend begins to blur, Cassie and Luke might finally admit to feeling something real for the first time in their lives."

Carson said playing Cassie was her "greatest challenge as an actor."

To prepare for the role, the Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists actress says she did "a lot of research into every aspect that could have shaped and formed the woman that she was when we met her."

"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 continues.

Carson says she even began keeping a journal from Cassie's point of view that included created memories of a story her mother told her about crossing the border, growing up with an abusive father and the first time she heard a song.

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"Every memory I could think of," Carson says.

Much like their characters in the film, Carson says she and Nicholas Galitzine, who plays Luke, had to get to know each other pretty quickly. She says their chemistry was "immediate," though, despite meeting for the first time over Zoom.

Sofia Carson Explains Why Netflix's Purple Hearts Was Her 'Greatest Challenge as an Actor' (2)

"We didn't actually get to meet until the night before that we started shooting, and so we literally did not know each other," she continues. "And the next day, our characters got married. The day after, they professed their love for each other. The day after, he got deployed to Iraq. And then the next day was the love scene in the motel. So we really dove into this film, and we had to build pretty immediate trust with one another."

Cassie's "passion for justice" is something Carson says she learned in her own life from her mother — and is what connected her so closely to the character.

"My mom is the most extraordinary heart I've ever known," Carson says. "She raised her daughters, not only to believe that as women anything was possible, but that the greatest and most important thing that we could do with our lives and our voices was to give."

In addition to her busy schedule in Hollywood, Carson works as a UNICEF ambassador where she fights for the rights of young women globally and works to protect their access to education.

Carson shares that through everything that comes with being in the public eye — something that didn't happen for the actress until she was "older," compared to some other stars who got their start on Disney — she looks to her mother who remains her "ground" throughout it all.

"I was also very lucky that I was older when everything changed, and I was an adult. I had been to college. I had lived in normal life before fame hit, because the world that I live in now and fame, it isn't real and it isn't normal," she says. "And it's really important to make that distinction. And I think most importantly, I think the example my mom sets is to lead not only with love, but with gratitude."

She adds "It's so easy to get caught up in things in this industry and to want more and more, for nothing to be enough, or to get caught up in fame and just remembering that I'm so lucky every single moment."

Purple Hearts is now streaming on Netflix.

Sofia Carson Explains Why Netflix's Purple Hearts Was Her 'Greatest Challenge as an Actor' (2024)


Sofia Carson Explains Why Netflix's Purple Hearts Was Her 'Greatest Challenge as an Actor'? ›

Carson said playing Cassie was her "greatest challenge as an actor." To prepare for the role, the Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists actress says she did "a lot of research into every aspect that could have shaped and formed the woman that she was when we met her."

Why was Purple Hearts controversial? ›

Purple Hearts has drawn criticism for propagating disturbing racist and misogynistic stereotypes. The film's one redeeming quality? It reflects the angry, divided reality of America and its treatment of non-white, non-male people more accurately than the filmmakers perhaps intended.

How well did Purple Hearts do on Netflix? ›

The film, which debuted July 29, has been the most-watched movie of the month, racking up over 100 million hours in one week alone, and over 150 million hours since its release. Romances, however, aren't usually high on everyone's hate-watch list — and Purple Hearts seems to infuriate as many viewers as it enchants.

Why is Sofia Carson so famous? ›

Her first appearance on television was as a guest star on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally. In 2015, she received recognition as Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen, in the Disney musical fantasy film Descendants, and later reprised her role in its sequels.

Did Sofia Carson and Nicholas Galitzine date? ›

Did Nicholas Galitzine and Sofia Carson date? After seeing the incredible chemistry between Nicholas and Sofia Carson in Purple Hearts – many fans also believed they could be officially an item off-screen, but again, they are also just good friends.

Why is Cassie's hair always tucked in? ›

Sharing that the inspiration for the now-viral hair tuck came from Carson herself, she said, "I do that in my day-to-day life and I think I brought it into Cassie because Cassie, in a lot of her scenes, was really emotional and complex, and I never wanted her hair to get in the way, so I kind of just tucked it in my ...

Is Purple Heart a hit or flop? ›

Viewership. After spending one day on Netflix the film took the number one spot on the daily popularity charts, replacing The Gray Man from its eight-day run in USA. Within the first week of release, Netflix's Global Top 10 revealed that the film had 48.23 million hours watched.

Why do people like Purple Hearts? ›

Netflix's Purple Hearts makes us believe that love just happens — that no matter how hard you may try to run away, it will always find its way back if it's meant to be.

Does Sofia Carson really sing in Purple Hearts? ›

Sofia Carson, who plays the lead role of Cassie in the film, performs all eight songs from the soundtrack and co-wrote the first four tracks alongside Grammy nominee Justin Tranter.

Is Purple Hearts worth watching? ›

It was worth every bit of my time even though I think that the ending was a bit rushed, which in my opinion, is okay. The movie explains how two people fall in love from pretending to be in love. I love the main characters, Sofia Carson and Nicholas Gitzaline. I think that they really did a great job.

Is Sofia Carson a trained dancer? ›

At the age of three, Carson started her dance training. For seventeen years, she trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theatre dance, hip hop, flamenco, modern, contemporary and tap. In 2001, Carson starred in her first musical production as Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz” at the Riviera Theatre in Miami.

Is Sofia Carson a mixed race? ›

Sofia Carson is herself a first-generation U.S. American born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her parents had earlier immigrated from Colombia to the United States.

Did Sofia and Nick date? ›

The 48-year-old American businessman and actor is a scion of the famous banking family that started Lehman Brothers and is 10 years younger than Vergara. According to Us Weekly, he dated Vergara for four years from 2010 to 2014.

Is Sofia Carson Hispanic? ›

Lauderdale, Florida. The daughter of José F. Daccarett and Colombian-American Laura Char Carson. Through her mother, Sofia is related to the Char family of Colombian politicians.

Is Sofia dating anyone? ›

Yes, Sofia Vergara is currently dating Justin Saliman.

Sofia Vergara has been seen with her partner in and around Los Angeles since late 2023. According to Hola!, the Modern Family star made it Instagram official after her divorce proceedings were complete.

What is inappropriate in Purple Hearts? ›

Parents Need to Know. Parents need to know that Purple Hearts is a romantic drama with language, drinking, and some violence and peril. Two characters marry for convenience, facing potential legal consequences, because both need money: She can't afford needed medicine, and he owes money to his former drug dealer.

Why was the marriage in Purple Hearts illegal? ›

I have never watched such a niche movie before; “Purple Hearts” tells the story of two people who fake a marriage in order to solve their own problems. However, since Luke is a marine, faking a marriage in order to get monetary benefits is illegal.

What is the meaning behind Purple Heart? ›

The Purple Heart medal is presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. A Purple Heart is a solemn distinction and means a service member has greatly sacrificed themselves, or paid the ultimate price, while in the line of duty.

What is Purple Hearts based on a true story? ›

Bottom-line, no. The characters Luke, played by Nicholas Galitzone, and Cassie, played by Sofia Carson, (who is fine as hell) are not based on real people. The movie is based on something that happens a lot though. People getting married to take advantage and use military spouse benefits.

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