Descending with Cameron Boyce
by Isaac Alvarez
Where are you originally from?
Sherman Oaks, California-- been here my whole life.
Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
As of February 27th, 2018... Open, Loving, Creative, Layered, and Growing.
You’re a "sign" (cancer, sagitarius, libra etc), how would you describe your personality in that regard?
I’m a Gemini, and every time I tell someone they look at me sideways. As if because we’re supposed to have two sides one must be bad. I’ve never looked at myself like I have two sides. I feel that I have more. Some of which I haven’t even explored yet. We all do. I feel we all have crevices of ourselves that we have yet to explore. It’s the reason we will always question and reflect.
What are the recent projects you’ve worked on? How was that like?
Last May I launched a campaign combating the global water crisis. We raised $27,040. Enough to grant 1,081 people in Swaziland clean drinking water for the rest of their lives. That was one of the proudest moments of my life and something that has inspired me to continue to give back.
What would you say is your best asset?
I would say the understanding of rhythm. When people think of rhythm they only ever think of music, but there’s so much more it’s useful for. Rhythm is extremely important in acting, specifically comedic acting. Obviously, rhythm is key when you are a dancer as well. You can find your rhythm playing basketball or even driving down a winding road. Timing is an under-valued skill if you ask me.
What do others compliment you on the most?
Sounds simple, but being nice. Others in this field seem to have trouble with it for whatever reason.
How did you get started in acting?
Acting sort of fell from the sky and right into my lap. I never thought about it, even when I was doing it at a young age. The first time I really felt that I had a future in acting was on Jessie when I was really committing to the job five days a week, five months out of the year. I felt then that I had the capability to do this at a high level and when confidence is instilled you find yourself pursuing it long term.
What do you enjoy most about being an actor?
With every passing year I look at my job with a different mindset. In our climate today I think the thing that I really find that is valuable to all of us is finding middle ground. Looking at the division plaguing the world right now including in my country can be disheartening, and at times tiring. What we do allows people to set aside their differences and come together for a couple of hours. Those are hours that I’ve realized people really cherish.
So your currently working on Descendants 3 tell us about that?
Yeah, highly anticipated. People wouldn’t stop asking me if it was happening. It’s the third movie of our franchise that I’ve been really grateful to be a part of. I’ve always relished in the pressures and challenges that these movies present. I really gained a ton of perspective on the last one whether it be about dancing, acting or life.
You also do some voice overs, like playing Shocker on the Spider Man series. Tell us how many different voices you can do and why you like doing them?
Yeah, a lot of people don’t know that I played Jake on Jake and the Neverland Pirates for almost 40 episodes when I was younger. Honestly, for me I don’t think that voice over is about how many voices you can do but about how much you give in the booth. A character’s image and voice don’t always have to match. You can make a tiny Chihuahua sound like the guy from those All State commercials if you wanted. It’s just about emoting just like regular acting, only you can be chilling in sweatpants, twirling a pencil in your hand and sipping on hot tea a second before a take.
Let’s talk about the very first major role you played? How did you land that?
The first acting I ever did was in a horror movie called Mirrors. I landed it just like any other actor has the land rolls. I went in to a casting office, read for the role, and eventually booked it. It was an insane shoot for a lot of reasons. I have never acted before on a professional set so it was all very new to me. The people I was working with were seasoned actors : Kiefer Sutherland and Paula Patton, although at the time I didn’t care, I was eight. I’d never seen their work. It was also shot in Romania. I had never been out of the country, let alone to somewhere that was so different than the United States.
I heard you dabbling in photography, how is that going?
Yeah, that’s my newest hobby, maybe one day it’ll be more than that. Photography is just another form of art. When I post pictures I’ve taken on Instagram some people really appreciate it and some people don’t really care, but that’s sort of the fun in it. I’ve taken so many pictures now that I don’t think to post them right away. Instead every once in a while I go back through them, and find one that really speaks to me, and then I’ll post it. I call them pictures from the archives.
Do you like acting in drama, comedy, action etc?
I like all of them for different reasons. I’ve never been one to put myself in a box, so I have always been open to any genre.
What do you like most: TV or the big screen?
I’ve always found film more compelling. It’s a lot more natural for an audience to root for characters when they’ve watched their journey for 3 or 4 seasons but to affect people in 2 hours is a different animal entirely.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you on a shoot?
Both Grown Ups movies were insane. Working with six or seven legendary comedians can cause for funny moments. But one of the funniest moments was the first time I met Shaquille O’Neal. First of all, he was three times my size. Shaking his hand was like shaking a baseball glove. He was the coolest, goofiest man ever. He asked me how old I was. At the time, I was 13. He then pointed into the crowd that gathered to watch us film every day, and not so inconspicuously said “I got a thirteen-year- old girl for you over there.” The crowd started screaming because Shaq was pointing at them. That was a cool moment being a lifelong Laker fan.
What are the top three things you like to do?
Impact others, better myself, and be with family.
What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
People know that I can sing but I sound very different in the shower than I do on the Descendants soundtrack. But I keep that to myself.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
I want to be wherever I’m supposed to be. It’s not going to be quite how I envision, nothing ever is. It could be better, it could be worse, but however it unravels will be the way I want it.
If you had a choice who would you like to work with (actor, actress or director)?
I would have loved to work with John Hughes before he passed.
As an actor, what would you say has been your biggest obstacle?
Myself. Art is a great metaphor for life. I’ve always found that self-doubt gets in the way of people‘s goals more than anything else ever could. I also find that reassuring. Knowing that the only thing standing in the way of my goals is me puts me at ease because I know that’s the one thing that I can control.
If you had to walk away from acting today, what memory would you take from it?
It would be hard to walk away today. There’s still so much to accomplish. I’d take away memories of people. People that changed me, and changed with me. People who altered my course as I altered there’s.
If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
Doing this my way. It’s so easy to compromise... to set aside your long- standing morals in order to get ahead. This stuff isn’t nearly as important as living your best life. I’d want to be remembered for being me.
What is the biggest advice you can give to someone that wants to pursue acting?
Be honest with yourself. If you need to improve as an actor you won’t take steps to do so until you realize that for yourself. Other people can suggest things but if you’re hard headed you’ll never want to apply those teachings. Keep your ears open and be confident that the right role will come.