“.We have all of this shit, we have all of these things that we love to flaunt and talk about and that’s fine but at the end of the day what are we doing to actually help other people?.”
Actor Cameron Boyce has a ton of energy–the guy never stops moving. At his photo shoot at Hortus in NoMad, Boyce lit up the space. Just has that quality needed with today’s millennials. Well-known for playing Carlos in Disney’s Descendants films, Boyce happens to be 19, with boyish looks and a youthful smile. He’s on a roll, carving a nice acting career with some soon-to-be meaty choices: The third installment of the Descendants will be released this year, his toplining indie feature Runt is also hitting theaters in 2019, and Mrs. Fletcher, a half-hour comedy for HBO where he will be starring opposite Kathryn Hahn in the fall.
Looking young, I jokingly had to ask if he was able to vote in the midterms. He is and he did. It was his first time voting. “The actual voting process was interesting and pivotal for our country,” reflects Boyce, whose grandmother, Jo Ann (Allen) Boyce, was one of the Clinton Twelve, the first African-Americans to attend an integrated high school in the south, in 1956, as ordered by Brown v. Board of Education. “I’m not big on tearing people down and I’m way more of the mindset that we need to kind of build each other up. For anyone who’s ever felt marginalized because you couldn’t vote–and you know a lot of the youthful voters have more of a progressive mindset–we had a lot more young progressives, open-minded people that were part of the voting process this time. It’s our turn let’s not disappoint, let’s go out and do what we need to do to try and get our message across and get some of the people in office that we feel will do a better job.”
For Boyce, there are movies to be made, but there’s also a side to him that is all humanitarian and his work with the Thirst Project speaks volumes. The Thirst Project is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 whose mission is simple: Build a socially-conscious generation of young people who end the global water crisis. Boyce was honored by the Project with the Pioneering Spirit Award for his efforts to bring awareness to the Global Water Crisis and raising more than $30,000 to build two wells in Swaziland to bring clean drinking water to the region. He continues to actively support the organization and its cause. He also launched a t-shirt campaign with his own design.
“I was really drawn to the organization from the start and now two campaigns in and we’ve raised over $100,000 dollars building these wells. That’s one of those things that you will think about forever; it’s so much better than being in a movie or being in a show–it’s real, you’re actually affecting people’s lives in a positive way. We have all of this shit, we have all of these things that we love to flaunt and talk about and that’s fine but at the end of the day what are we doing to actually help other people?” It’s topics like this that concern Boyce. He’s astonished at the greed of the one-percenters and finds it crazy how the middle and lower class take up a majority of the population yet there are so many people who have this insane amount of money and power. It’s not hard to see how this wouldn’t concern someone who hasn’t turn 20 yet. What world are we leaving them. Whatever happens the first realization for Boyce is our addiction to technology, the phone and its apps for one. Part of the machine – he has over 7 million followers on Instagram – Boyce feels it’s important to disengage every now and then.
“We have the world in our pockets and I found myself going to an app, going to Instagram because it’s a habit. It’s so hard for us nowadays to pull ourselves out of that because we’re so far deep into this world where everything is readily available. It’s important to constantly be aware of things that are happening that maybe don’t directly affect you, but you just sort of want to know because it’s there. Social media is the driver of our entire society whether you like it or not so we have to be careful with this stuff, it’s crazy.”
Right now Boyce is filming Mrs. Fletcher, and, along with Runt, should bring his acting credentials to the next level and out of the Disney universe. Runt is a thriller about a group of troubled high school seniors that are pulled into a downward cycle of violence. Mrs. Fletcher, based on Tom Perotta’s bestselling novel, is a dual coming-of-age comedy about an empty nest divorcée played by Hahn. Boyce plays Zack, the college roommate of Hahn’s son Brendan, played by Owen Teague.
“It’s just really cool to be around these people because coming from the Disney world, which is just so politically correct and doesn’t necessarily reflect my values. To do stuff that’s more gripping and sort of challenging makes me very happy to be a part of it.”