Edinburgh waiter tipped to be next Zac Efron with Disney role

JUST a year ago he was working in a city pub, carrying stacks of plates and taking orders.
Thomas Doherty.Thomas Doherty.
Thomas Doherty.

But now Thomas Doherty has become Edinburgh’s answer to Zac Efron, after landing a top role in a Disney movie and a brand new programme - already tipped to follow in the footsteps of the High School Musical phenomenon.

The 21 year-old from Cramond, flew out to Vancouver, in Canada, this weekend to begin filming for the ‘Descendants 2’ where he will play the role of Captain Hook’s son.

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And last week, he made his debut in the ‘The Lodge’, a Disney series being screened in over 100 countries worldwide.

In just nine months, talented Thomas has transformed from working as a waitor in full time in Tigerlily on George Street, to a lead actor on a film set.

He said: “Landing these roles is a dream come true for me, it’s amazing. I’m very fortunate.

“I grew up watching Disney classics, I never had the Disney Channel but I loved all the films.

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“I found High School Musical really inspiring, and as much as I loved musical theatre, I always wanted to do filming and television too.”

After finishing his education at the Royal High School, Thomas studied musical theatre at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in the city, where he performed in a string of shows and took part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His love for musical theatre was apparent after he joined the Lothian Youth Arts and Musicals Company at a young age and he played a range of roles - his debut being Disney’s Aladdin.

Thomas said: “I didn’t move down to London immediately after graduating from MGA.

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“For the Disney roles, I self taped my auditions at the beginning and sent them down to London. As I moved further through the process I had to travel down there.”

While he studied at MGA, worked at Hollister in the city centre and TK Maxx, before he secured a full time job at Tigerlily.

Descendants 2 will be screened on Disney Channel and is directed by Kenny Ortega - known for directing Hocus Pocus, the High School Musical films and Michael Jackson’s This Is It concerts.

Thomas added: “I love filming and I’m looking forward to growing as an actor as well as a performer.

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“I’m just taking everything in. There is a great buzz on the set.

“My family and friends in Edinburgh are all really happy for me - they are so supportive.”

Andrew Gowland, managing Director of The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, said: “Thomas completed his training at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts last July.

“Only last summer, he was performing with us at the Fringe and he’s now about to star in a Disney TV show and film. We’re incredibly proud of his success and can’t wait to see where his career takes him next.”