When Dara Reneé dressed up in head-to-toe cheetah print to see the Cheetah Girls live in concert as a child, she had no idea that Disney would be part of her destiny in a major way. Reneé first hit the scene in 2018 in the musical adaptation and Disney Channel Original Movie
Freaky Friday, and the following year brought even more abundance. Not only did she land a three-episode arc on Black-ish, but also landed a gig that let her show off all of her talents: a part on the main cast of the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
Reneé has since proven herself to be a triple threat in the biz, acting, dancing, and singing her way through the Disney+ series as Kourtney, the classic best friend archetype to Olivia Rodrigo’s Nini, and also a self-proclaimed feminist who works in the theatre’s costume department. The 20-year-old is even releasing her own music; last summer’s soulful “Evolution” acted as
Reneé’s love letter to the Black men and women who have inspired her creatively and spiritually.
Ahead, Reneé gets candid and wacky on her NYLON 19 — from why she’s over the constant Scorpio slander to the nostalgic value of a butterfly clip.
What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?
My astrological sign is Scorpio and sometimes I believe it but for the most part I don’t, mainly because people always throw shade at my sign.
Do you believe in ghosts, (and have you ever seen one)?
YES! Fun fact, I actually grew up in a haunted house!
Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?
Beyoncé, Prince, and Eartha Kitt.
What's the weirdest snack that you make?
I tend to put hot sauce on everything and I mean EVERYTHING!
What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?
Procrastination is a big issue that I gotta work on.
What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?
I go on this website that allows you to put a year in and it shows you what the internet looked like during that year. I love looking at the early 2000s, it gives me so much nostalgia.
Describe your worst date in three words.
Arrogant, disrespectful, and rude.
What was the last DM you received?
Someone sent me a DM of a snippet of the
Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion because I missed it. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?
All of Beyoncé’s
Homecoming! What was your first concert, and what are your memories of it?
I went to see the Cheetah Girls and my friends and I were dressed in all Cheetah. You couldn’t tell us we weren’t fabulous!
What's your favorite meme/internet joke and why?
I’ve got a lot! I LOVE the most random ones that make zero sense, but everyone seems to understand it as a collective.
What's your go-to breakup song?
Natalie Cole — "Tell Me Lies"
What is your favorite red carpet look of all time worn by someone else?
Rihanna's 2015 Met Gala look.
What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?
Jamaican Black Castor Oil, it helps with hair and skin.
What piece of clothing from high school do you wish you kept?
I used to have these cute butterfly clips that I would wear in my hair all the time, I threw them away because I thought I was too old for them, and now they don’t sell them anymore.
What is your go-to sad song?
Jhene Aiko — "Promise." My grandmother passed away, so I feel like this song tells me that’s she’s proud of me through her lyrics.
What reality show would you most like to appear on? Big Brother or Love is Blind. What is your best beauty tip or trick?
Experiment! Makeup is all about trying new things and seeing what works best for you. Makeup is an accessory not a necessity, so just have fun!
What is your favorite fast food place, and what’s your order?
In-N-Out Burger, #2 with a Root Beer.
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