Sophia Hammons unwraps history of “Under Wraps”

Rick's Reviews

The cast of “Under Wraps” includes (from left) Sophia Hammons, Harold, Malachi Barton and Christian J. Simon. (Photo courtesy of Disney)

Sophia Hammons is about to make television history. She is one of the stars of the Disney Channel movie, “Under Wraps,” that debuts at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 on Disney Channel. It will be available through the streaming service of Disney+ starting Oct. 8.

What makes this such a big event is that the film is a remake of the 1997 Disney Channel film of the same name. That “Under Wraps” was the very first original movie for the cable channel. This is the first time the cable channel has opted to remake one of their previous productions.

Sophia plays Amy, one of a group of pre-teens who wake up a mummy named Harold. They must find a way to get Harold back to his resting place before midnight on Halloween Malachi Barton and Christian J. Simon play Marshall and Gilbert, Amy’s partners in the mummy misadventure.

Sophia knew from the start this was a remake of the film that means so much in the Disney Channel original films history. That was one of the main reasons she wanted to be part of the production.

“I think that’s super cool,” Sophia says.

It was a good thing that Sophia was too young to have seen the original because all of the actors were told not to watch the film. The concern was they might be influenced to play the role the way it was originally done.

It wasn’t until after Sophia landed the starring role that she opted to track down the original and watch it. The viewing gave her a quick tutorial into the universe she would be inhabiting.

Before filming “Under Wraps,” Sophia made her feature debut in the Netflix docudrama “The Social Dilemma.” Upcoming projects include the romantic drama “Keyhole Garden” and the Disney Channel/Disney+ special “Disney Princess Remixed.”

She began performing in musical theater with appearances in “Les Miserables,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Music Man,” “Annie” and “Christmas Story.”

“Under Wraps” shot in Canada which meant all of the actors had to quarantine because of COVID precautions for two weeks before they could begin production.

“That was very hard and challenging,” Sophia says. “Throughout the quarantine I hung out with my co-stars virtually. We would FaceTime each other and have lunch.”

Some actors have used long quarantine times to create bonds with their fellow actors. That wasn’t necessary for Sophia because she knew as soon as she auditioned with Malachi and Christian that they had an immediate bond.

Sophia is certain that the trio connected so strongly that their chemistry will come through their performances in “Under Wraps.”

There was another plus to the cast having so much time not working. “Under Wraps” is a movie that moves at a very rapid pace with a combination of visual gags and pratfalls. It was a physically draining process for Sophia even before the cameras started rolling.

“Our director, Alex Zamm, would make us practice our lines jumping up and down. He did that to get our energy up. So, pretty much, everyone’s whole experience was as adventurous as the film itself,” Sophia says. “It is super fun but at the end of the day we were all ready to go to bed.”

Zamm (“The Baxters”) needed the energy because of the high intensity storyline where the three young heroes narrowly escape a group of criminals who are determined to sell the mummy to the highest bidder. When Harold is inevitably captured, Amy, Marshall and Gilbert must band together to stand up to the criminals, face their fears and rescue their new friend.

The film has some scary moments, but there are also equal amounts of humor, action and excitement.

“I really liked the balance,” Sophia says. “There are some very positive parts. There are some parts where they go from discourage to encourage. I really like that.

“Then there are some parts of the film where it’s kind of sad. Kind of scary. They are all kind of down. They are in serious situations.”

As for the scary parts, that’s where Sophia shows her real acting skills. She’s the first to admit that she will never go into a haunted house.

Sophia finds it ironic that her character is the one in the film that steps up to push people out of their comfort zones. The truth is Sophia considers herself to be an adventurous person but is certain she’s the one in the end who has to be pushed past what makes her comfortable.

“I get scared easily and don’t like the feeling of fear,” Sophia says with a laugh.

The original “Under Wraps” aired a decade before Amy was born. She still understands the significance of her new version.

“I am very excited that I get to be a part of this remake,” Sophia says. “I hope that people who liked the original will like this version.”

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