Lexi Underwood Applauds ‘Sneakerella’s Fresh Spin: Kira’s Not A ‘Damsel In Distress’

'Cinderella' is getting a modern twist with 'Sneakerella.' HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Lexi Underwood about Kira King being an inspiration for young girls watching this new take on the fairy tale.

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, but you’ve never seen it told quite like this. The new Disney+ film Sneakerella, out May 13, is combining the street-sneaker subculture of New York City and doing a gender role-reversal to put a contemporary twist on the story we know and love. Lexi Underwood, who plays Kira King, spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about bringing a character to life that was never looking to be rescued by a prince.

Lexi Underwood
Lexi Underwood as Kira King. (Disney+)

“With Kira, she’s not the damsel in distress waiting to be rescued,” Lexi said. “She’s smart, she’s relatable, she’s passionate, creative. She has her own point of view, and she knows what she wants for herself and for her future. She’s not backing down until she gets that, and I think that’s really important to see just that sense of motivation and determination in a young girl, especially without the help of a man. Telling young girls that you don’t need a man to accomplish your dreams, or you don’t need a man to live the life that you want to live, I think that’s an important message.”

Lexi noted that it’s always been a “dream” of hers to be a part of the Disney family and also to be a princess. Like most girls, she learned the Cinderella story from a young age. She raved that Brandy’s version of Cinderella was “just everything and more” to her.

In Sneakerella, Kira crosses paths with El, played by Chosen Jacobs, and they bond over their love of sneakers. Kira is the daughter of legendary basketball star and sneaker “king” Darius. Over the course of the film, El finds the courage to pursue his dream of being a hot-shot sneaker designer in the industry.

Lexi Underwood
Chosen Jacobs and Lexi Underwood in ‘Sneakerella.’ (Disney+)

There are a number of incredible musical moments in Sneakerella, including notable songs featuring Lexi and Chosen. “We spent a lot of time together in dance rehearsals or in the booth recording some of the music, and so l feel like those experiences really drew us closer together,” Lexi told HollywoodLife of her bond with Chosen. “We helped motivate each other and push each other throughout this time because there are moments, especially when it comes to choreography, it wasn’t always easy. We definitely created that sense of trust with each other where we had each other’s backs on set. He was just great. We had an absolute blast creating the film.”

More From Our Partners