Over the past few months, Friday has quickly become a Disney-filled day in my schedule! And I always save room on Fridays to catch each new episode of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which has brought the classic Ducks story to a whole new generation. As we get ready for the season finale of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers on May 28, I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Sway Bhatia, who plays the main character Sofi Hanson-Bhatt in the series. Keep reading for my EXCLUSIVE interview with Sway Bhatia!
CORBAN: When did you hear about The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, and how did you get involved with the show?
SWAY BHATIA: I auditioned in person at the ABC studio in New York during the middle of November 2019 and had a call back towards the end of November and tested in LA. I then booked the role of Sofi in January of 2020.
CORBAN: As you can probably tell by now, I have totally enjoyed every episode of Game Changers, and I love watching your character Sofi develop through season 1. Does your real-life personality match with the character of Sofi, or do you have to work to “get into character”?
SWAY BHATIA: It’s a little bit of both. I had to get into “hockey mode” while still keeping Sofi’s personality in my mind. I would say that we are both empowering young women, who know what we want, and although we may have many layers to our personalities, we find ways to make our choices with a great deal of heart. The one adjustment I had to learn while getting into character was understanding the pressure that Sofi’s parents put on her. My family is very supportive of my art journey, so I have never experienced that type of pressure in my life.
CORBAN: As with the character of Sofi, you look like you have a great future ahead of you! One of my favorite episodes of the series features the Old Ducks joining alongside the Don’t Bothers, and it is great to see how the Don’t Bothers are bringing Mighty Ducks to a whole new audience on Disney+. How does it feel to be continuing the legacy of The Mighty Ducks with this show?
SWAY BHATIA: I’m so honored to be continuing such a big franchise and legacy. It’s so special because it gives a new generation of kids the opportunity to showcase the vital message of bringing the underdog team to the championships. Additionally, our show has continued to showcase young girls and multi-ethnic groups, which has added another layer of visibility to all viewers.
CORBAN: I love the focus that Mighty Ducks (and the Disney company as a whole) has held on telling new and diverse stories. You also starred on the HBO show Succession, which features an entirely different story than Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. What is it like to work on a more serious drama like Succession as compared to working on Game Changers for Disney Plus?
SWAY BHATIA: I’m super grateful to have had the opportunity to work on both sets. Yes, they are pretty different in terms of the storyline. Ironically, I have the same character name on both shows, except they are spelled differently. It’s Sophie Roy when it comes to Succession, and she comes from an ultra-rich and powerful family. I get to play a modern-day princess with everything at my fingertips in my scenes. It’s also an Emmy-winning show and my onset dad is Emmy-winner Jeremy Strong.
Sofi Hanson Bhatt also comes from a comfortable background. On the other hand, she is very much in control as the series progresses and works towards finding a balance in life that makes her happy. I’ve learned so much from both shows.
CORBAN: I have loved seeing you on both Game Changers and Succession, and it’s great that you have been able to learn so much! Just like each of your shows is different, it doesn’t take long to realize that you have a wide variety of talents, including dancing, drumming, rapping, and more. How do each of these interests factor into your acting style and future acting goals?
SWAY BHATIA: Since I was very young, I have enjoyed all performing arts, and the training I maintain was never for an audition. I would love to eventually rap and have a music career, so it felt natural to learn instruments, understand music theory, and write songs. Even with learning how to skate, it was the dance part of the sport that I enjoyed. The saying goes, in this industry, you never know when your skills will come into play for future roles.
CORBAN: That’s so true! And having grown up in Dubai, your acting story is unique. How do you convey this part of your heritage when you act, and what message do you want to convey to the audience through your acting?
SWAY BHATIA: Bollywood is a big thing in Dubai, and that’s where my love for the arts started. I used to reenact iconic Bollywood scenes in our apartment just by watching Indian Music Channels. My dad would try his best to record moments on his old BlackBerry as much as he could. My parents agreed to find dance classes to give me an outlet, and even before I was 4, I was already performing in shows and competitions.
When I headed back to NJ/NY around the age of 6, I adjusted right away, and we signed with a Manager and entirely concentrated on training in several areas of performing arts. People say I have a loud personality, and I am very expressive, so I believe the love and passionate dancing from Bollywood music come into play.
CORBAN: You have an amazing story to tell, and I cannot wait to see you continue to shine! In the meantime, do you have any future projects in the works?
SWAY BHATIA: I’m currently working on Season 3 of Succession, and it’s been such a big part of my life, and I still can’t believe we’re on season 3. I’ve been on since season 1, and I’ve learned so much from the show. My character, Sophie, will be highlighted a little more in 3, which is so exciting! I can’t wait to film the last few episodes. And I can’t wait for the world to see season 3 because they’ve waited so long. But you’ll also see more of my original work on my social media. I love posting empowering projects with positive messages. I also enjoy creating parodies, dance videos, and Fashion Fridays on social media.
CORBAN: Your work and social media projects are so inspiring, and it’s great to see young people making a positive impact on others! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, and I will be watching to see how Sofi’s story unfolds when the season 1 finale of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers premieres this week.
And, to the reader, you can watch The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers now on Disney Plus.
Corban has been a lifelong fan of The Walt Disney Company. Disney music is often the soundtrack of his life, and he loves listening to a new film score. In between new episodes of The Mandalorian, you can often find him planning his next trip to the Disney Parks or rewatching classic Disney TV shows.