This is Us star Niles Fitch has officially made history as Disney’s first live-action Black prince in the new Disney+ movie, Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, and the actor says that it feels “amazing” to have such an important role.
Niles told Hollywood Life that he’s thrilled about the role and its major step for representation. “It’s not even the fact that I’m doing it, but it’s more the fact that people are going to be able to see that on the big screen,” he shared. “When I think about my experiences, the first time I was really able to see that was Black Panther. I remember how it positively affected me, and I love Chadwick [Boseman].”
According to Niles, his role as the charismatic Prince Tuma gives other young men like him the chance to see themselves onscreen. “To know that I’m in a position to … be that representation for a young Black boy that may or may not be able to see himself on television all the time, or on the big screen all the time … that means the world to me.” Such representation is long overdue for a platform as huge as Disney+, but hopefully Secret Society of Second-Born Royals opens more doors for additional roles for young Black actors.
Niles also spoke to Popsugar about the prince he portrays, and what makes him unique in the Disney canon — and in the film world as a whole. “I think that’s what’s so great about my character is he’s normal. There’s not some crazy bad thing about him. He’s good spirited. He has a good heart. I feel like for people to be able to see that representation on TV — he is royalty and he is a superhero — you don’t see that.”
“I just can’t wait to see the impact that it has on boys that look like me, being able to see themselves on TV, because we’re more than just what the media shows,” he told Popsugar. “We’re real complex and layered people and I feel like if we were shown more on TV in positive roles, or just roles in general, that wouldn’t have to be said. We wouldn’t have to say our lives matter. It would be a known thing.”
Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is available to stream on Disney+ now.
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