Cameron Boyce is on his way to the top of the acting world. On his way up, I had the pleasure of speaking with him for Pentagon Magazine.
Cameron Boyce is that down to earth cool kid, everyone wants to know. The 19-year-old has been acting most of his life. What started out as a challenge strictly for himself, has transformed into a promising career. You may know him from his roles in Adam Sandler's hilarious Grown Ups films, or from the Disney Channel show, Jessie. He's also starred in the Descendants, Marley & Me, and Judy Moody and the Not so Bummer Summer. We had a cool and refreshing conversation where Boyce shares his philanthropic efforts, how he prepares for a role, and his upcoming William Coakley directed indie film, Runt.
I immediately dug right in:
What was your favorite movie/tv show to star in?
Boyce was very well versed. "It depends on what I took from that experience. Jessie was my favorite in terms of growth. I met my best friend on Jessie. We were like family. I was figuring out who I was and to have a place to go to that let me have an outlet...I ended up loving it." He says. Then a thought crossed his mind. "...looking back on Grown Ups it was like summer camp, out in Boston, just hanging out."
How did you get into the acting world?
He surprisingly said "A combo of a dance background, and having a lot of friends in the industry. I saw it as a path to potentially take. My friends were doing commercials, print and photography. Growing up around creatives in LA motivated me." He added if he wasn't from LA, he probably wouldn't have fallen into acting.
Did you learn any valuable lessons from the cast of Grown ups? There were so many acting legends involved. What did you take from that experience?
"I booked it at nine years old," He shares he didn't understand the magnitude of the project. "I didn't know I would be working with some of the funniest comedians in the world. It made me very comfortable. Doing a bunch of scenes with them [Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, David Spade, Chris Rock, etc], I realized pretty quickly, when you have people who are really good at what they do, that they will throw curves balls. You have to be able to hold your ground."
He shares a funny moment behind the scenes: "In Grown Ups 2 there's a scene where I break my leg and I'm in the doctor's office. They're fighting over something and the person playing my doctor was the director, Dennis Dugan. There was one take they didn't use, they yelled at each other for 10min. In my head I'm thinking 'hold it together,' they were all laughing, and I had a front row seat."
What’s your favorite genre to act in?
"It depends on what I did last. If I did comedy last I'm craving to do something almost like we crave whatever we don't have; the grass is greener effect. I try to be well rounded. A lot of people know me for comedy, but it doesn't always work out that way. I would stagger them if I had a choice."
Who was your acting inspiration/idol?
"As I've grown older, I've looked to Ryan Gosling. When I was younger my close friends were inspiration. I was a really competitive kid, I saw myself acting more than anything." He says.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Boyce ran off a list..."Basketball, Singing, and Modeling. I do a lot of random things, people forget I can dance. I write and draw." He's a pretty creative young man.
Apart from his acting, Cameron Boyce has made tremendous strides in helping raise awareness to provide a basic necessity for those less fortunate.
Can you talk about your philanthropic ventures? I've learned that you've helped raise funds for clean water in impoverished countries.
He shares, "I just finished my second campaign, we raised a lot of money. I partnered with the Key Club, it's a cool organization that is youth-based. People who are in their 20s and 30s, run this non-profit. The energy of the org is really great. I was really inspired by the concept of 'yeah I'm young, but that doesn't mean I can't do something I'm passionate about.' That's why I'm being active about going out and voting, just b/c you're young doesn't mean you're not equipped to make better decisions for yourself." He continued, "It doesn't have to be a celebrity, you can inspire your friends, your parents, and so on."
What’s your ritual for starting a new script/role? How do you prepare for them?
"I always approach them individually. I take one project at a time, what I feel is important." He explains, "It comes with random things that affect your life, like ignoring my family a week before I went on set. I didn't see my best friends for a whole month. There are things you sacrifice when you are doing something that isn't really you." [he's speaking of assuming a role] "I committed to that fully. It always betters the product." He shared a sacred actor's proverb. "Your best take in a comedy is the first one and your best take in drama is your last one."
What do you have coming up? Where can we expect to see you next?!
He gives a great description of his upcoming role. "I just did an independent film Billy Coakely, 'Runt.' It's about a boy who is isolated. He has a friend that he outgrows, a mom who isn't around, and he ends up going down a dark path due to the neglect in his life. People are overlooking him so he takes his life into his own hands. No one is there to stop him from his own life, he wants to thrive and study architecture, but ultimately his emotion and his teenage dumbness sort of take him off the edge." He also shared that he'll be starring in a Rock and Roll themed movie where he plays a kid who is a solo act trying to get into the scene. The kid is on his own, but he's strong enough to handle certain things. Boyce says, "I took it more seriously than the average role."
I had an absolutely amazing time speaking with Cameron Boyce. Already a fan, I now have a better understanding of the actor. Make sure to be on the look out for Runt on the Independent film festival circuit and his other upcoming role as Rock and Roll badass.