Cameron Boyce’s Parents on Latest Movie Role in “Runt” – The Hollywood Reporter

Cameron Boyce, the brilliant young actor known for his roles in the Disney franchise Offspring and TV show Jessie, died in July 2019 at the age of 20 from an epileptic seizure caused by SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). Today, with the October 19 streaming release Runt, a 2020 indie thriller movie directed by William Coakley, fans can see him in his latest – and most daring – role to date.

Over the course of his life, Boyce was primarily known for his comedic, lightweight work for Disney, which his father Victor Boyce said was not much of a focused goal or aspiration on his part. As a child, Cameron began his entertainment career modeling print ads, and “Disney was just the first one he booked,” says Victor. Hollywood journalist. This early booking was for a Halloween catalog, and Cameron enjoyed his time on set (and left such an impression on the team) that it became an organic springboard for action on the network.

Runt, however, signaled a shift to more mature roles, and Cameron’s character, Cal – a tortured, self-destructive teenager with a shoddy moral compass – was important to him personally due to his passion for tolerance and organizations. anti-bullying.

“He wanted to dig into a character who could really challenge him, because the whole Disney formula had become very, you know, it wasn’t a challenge for him anymore,” his mother, Libby Boyce, said in an interview. telephone. “Runt [has] a lot of dark issues, it is very clear that the message is: you need parenting advice, you need support, you need role models to make good decisions. And that children who don’t have one are on a slippery slope. This is why Cameron was so interested in helping children find creative outlets, because he knew and knew that creative outlets are a path to positivity and light, as opposed to negativity and violence.

Cameron was so immersed in the role that he distanced himself from his family during filming to reflect the abandon that Cal struggles with in the film. “I’m glad Cameron warned me that he wasn’t going to be as usual because he wasn’t. He was just a little dark and walked in and avoided us; Cameron was generally really goofy and fun and caring, sweet and kind, and he just wasn’t like that during the shoot, ”Libby said. “I didn’t know what methodical play was and he never said methodical play – he just told me that the role he was going to play had no relation to his mother and his father had passed away. . It was hard. But I mean, nothing like our life now.

Runt – which is available on platforms such as Apple TV, Prime Video and Vudu – is dedicated to Cameron, who died while the film was in post-production. And as an extension of that commitment, 1091 Pictures (which acquired the North American distribution rights to the film) is partnering with the Cameron Boyce Foundation, a non-profit organization created by the Boyce family. The group’s goals are to increase awareness and funding to help cure and eliminate SUDEP; to reduce gun violence (inspired by a social media campaign called “Wielding Peace” that Cameron developed after his filmmaking experience Runt); and supporting other causes that Cameron was associated with during his lifetime, such as Project Thirst, which aims to provide clean water to communities in need around the world.

“It will be useful if [the film] It’s working well because it will help the foundation and we can continue to work on funding epilepsy and especially SUDEP – it’s very important for us. Continuing Cameron’s legacy is our top priority, and continuing the foundation is what we want to see happen. So I hope this will help us do it, ”says Victor.

Libby and Victor Boyce
Courtesy of Ben Cope

Libby adds: “Our main goal is to bring epilepsy out of the shadows; one in 26 people have epilepsy and we don’t talk about it and that’s why we don’t have enough research on it. So we feel that for the love of [Cameron], we have to work on that given that he had a platform that we’re just trying to keep using in order to really make sure he didn’t die in vain. And so we are learning a lot about epilepsy, we have an amazing committee of doctors who specialize in epilepsy and other people who have really become like family to us, and we are working with them to bring money for it. research and to focus our research dollars on SUDEP, which cost our son his life, so that we can make sure that no other parent will ever have to deal with this.

Before his untimely death, the actor and singer, poet, guitarist and singer was also exploring screenwriting; Cameron was working with his uncle on “a comedy about being a young Hollywood actor,” says Libby. Runt, and the foundation it helps support, are sober and powerful bookends to a successful career (and a life) marked by joy and lightness.

“Every time we see Cameron it’s hard to watch because we can’t talk to him, we can’t touch him, we can’t tell him we love him, we can’t do nothing with him. ” said Victor. “I like to see him here because I can’t anymore, other than to look at his work.”

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