Vanity Teen

Cameron Boyce by Edwin Oretga for Vanity Teen FW 2017

Actor Cameron Boyce (I.G. @thecameronboyce) was one of our celebrities we had the opportunity to interview for our Fall-Winter 2017 issue. Photographed by Artistic Director Edwin J. Ortega (I.G. @edwin0.o), the Gamer’s Guide To Pretty Much Everything star was styled by celebrity stylist Winnie Stackz (I.G. @stackzofstyleproduction) using pieces from Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Ashton Michaels, Mr. Turk, Cos, and more. Makeup by Nicole Shawn Ray. Read below an extract from his interview. 

Exclusive for Vanity Teen!

From Disney kid to teen star, Cameron Boyce looks set to become a household name soon enough. An LA boy born and bred, the 18 year old has already made waves as adorable Luke Ross on hit Disney TV show Jessie, before going on to star in Gamers Guide to Pretty Much Everything and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, as well as scoring movie credits in Mirrors, Eagle Eye and Grown Ups. Little surprise then, that the teen also has 5.1m followers on Instagram. Boyce comes from interesting beginnings, with his paternal grandmother being one of the Clinton Twelve; the first African-Americans to attend an integrated high school in the south. So, coming from a family that made history, it makes sense that he would follow suit, launching into the spotlight with recurring roles and cameos on TV, as well as being a talented dancer, as he proved in Disney show Shake It up.

Most recently we have seen him in Disney’s Descendants as Carlos, son of villain Cruella De Vil, a role he reprised in the animated shorts Descendants: Wicked World, and the movie sequel, just released this summer and headed to the UK this fall. With 10 years’ experience already under his belt, all eyes are watching to see what he does next.

Fashion

o Who are your current favourite designers?

It can be difficult at times to find clothing lines that fit someone short and skinny like me if I don’t have time to tailor. All Saints has been my favorite streetwear for a long time because of the combination of unique style– specifically their shirts (which I wear so often) as well as their fit. I also have a new love for ASOS because of their 70’s influence, and Rag & Bone is good for just about everything. I recently wore Ted Baker to the Descendants 2 premiere, and have loved wearing the likes of Burberry, Philip Lim, and Prada in recent photo shoots. I also really
like Armani and Hugo Boss.

o Do you prefer classic designers and fashion brands or discovering new ones?

I think it’s important to have a nice balance, but it’s hard to argue with the track records and consistency of established designers. Of course, certain things can take you by surprise so it’s good to keep an open mind.
o You are still in your teens – how do you find your personal style?
My style is always changing, but one thing that has always been consistent with me is the pride I take in living between unique and classy. I always try to find that perfect balance. I love taking classic looks and making them youthful. I also love wearing different styles, colors, and patterns to every event I attend while at the same time keeping it timeless.

o Are there any trends that you really cannot get on board with?

Any brand that somehow catches fire and charges people insane amounts of money for a t-shirt with just the brand name on it. It drives me crazy when I hear what people will pay for a simple white t-shirt. There have always been brands out there like that, and it’s completely lost on me. It’s not that I don’t understand why they design things that way, but in effect people are essentially paying you to advertise your company. It’s genius. I just don’t understand why we fall for it. I’ll never forget back in grade school when I first noticed it with Abercrombie and Fitch and American Eagle.

o What is one thing you wish would come back into style?

I wish turtlenecks were constantly in style. When they came around again I was super excited about it.

o Are you ever worried about being stereotyped or typecast?

It’s less of a fear and more of something that I’m conscious of. I’ll always try to avoid being typecast, but sometimes certain actors just fit a certain description. However, the best ones find a way to transform themselves. That’s what makes acting liberating: being something you haven’t been. Playing similar characters in different projects would water down an actors’ experience. I’ve always followed my gut, and at this point in my journey I’ve let myself become selective. I’ve turned down opportunities that I felt would be similar to what I’ve already done. It can be difficult to consistently work like that but passing on lateral movements is in line with my belief that quality is much more important than quantity.

o How would you describe your style?

My dream outfit would be 007 meets neo-soul. Match made in heaven.

Movies and Career

o Though your first screen credit is for Mirrors in 2008, it seems to be that Disney played a big part in launching your career. Do you think it was a good way to start your career? Any regrets on starting there?

That’s an interesting question, but I wouldn’t use the word regret. I’m not one to regret, especially when that was such a no brainer for an eleven-year old who wanted nothing more than to have the most fun on set that he could. Most of the things being a “Disney star” brought me are things I don’t care for: eyeballs, attention, expectance, etc. Those things can alienate you from most people, even some of your closest friends. All of that and the people who I hope to work for one day are either skeptical of my ability or are unaware of me entirely. That’s not a good feeling. All that being said I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. I’ve impacted lives on a global stage, something not many people get to say they’ve done. For that reason alone I’ll always be grateful for my time on the channel.

o Child actors are coming out more and more with horror stories about how they were treated on set as kids – do you think that there is a problem in Hollywood with children being exploited or is the problem something else?

I love this topic because I’ve seen it being lived through so many cast-mates on so many different sets. Even though they’re in the wrong in some senses I wouldn’t point my finger at Hollywood first. I would point directly at the parents. Exploitation is a stage parent specialty. They drag their kids around until they book without any regard for what the child wants, and once the child books they’re in a professional work environment. Not the most natural place for a kid to be. All a six-year old wants is to make their parent happy, but when a mean 1st AD  starts yelling at them for not standing on their mark they get upset. Then they run to their parent who was happy 15 minutes ago but is now seething just like the AD was because the kid is making them look bad as if they’re the actor. Once they get to the age where they can make their own decision they almost always want out.

o Is there anything you want to do that you think no one would expect from you?

Once I’ve fulfilled myself as an actor I see myself taking time off to roam and go wherever I’m needed. I’ve already involved myself with different charities and causes, but I hope to one day immerse myself in an issue. I want to hear people’s stories so that as I’m helping to change their lives for the better they’re also changing mine.

o If you could collaborate on a project with anyone, who would it be and what kind of project would you like to tackle?

I’d want to collaborate with insightful and well-rounded people. Donald Glover and Andre 3000 come to mind. Both of those guys have a history of educating people about social injustice. I have a passion for expressing my beliefs and people who are brave enough to challenge the system through art are people I want to be involved with.
o What advice would you give to other young people looking to break into the creative industries?
Chase your passion to the ends of the earth, whatever that passion may be. The moment you stop reaching for your goals is the moment you become less than yourself.

o Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?

My family. No amount of wisdom from industry veterans could ever replace what my family’s support does for me. It allows me to trust in myself and take steps forward the way I see fit.

o The best/worst things about living in LA?

For me personally, LA is where my entire support system lives. The family and friends that surround me make every great characteristic about LA secondary when I think about the city. The worst thing about LA is the traffic. I spent an hour and a half driving 13 miles today, but I guess that just means people want to live here!
o Is there anything you wouldn’t do for a role is a director asked you? (eg. Lily Collins dramatic weight loss for new Netflix drama, To the Bone, Natalie Portman shaving her head on camera for V for Vendetta and learning ballet for her Oscar winning performance in Black Swan) It’d be really hard to go completely nude. Can’t imagine that I’d ever be comfortable with the entire world seeing my junk. I guess that’s what a body double is for.

o Is there anything in film/TV that you are impressed or inspired by right now?

The presence of minorities in the industry is becoming stronger and stronger. People from communities who couldn’t relate to the work in Hollywood finally feel represented. There has been some really truthful, relevant work, specifically documenting the struggles in black communities, that have been long over-due. I’m super excited to go see “Detroit” later this week.

Life Outside of Work

o America is having a bit of a moment right now. Are there any issues that you are passionate about that you think people should be paying attention to?

“Bit of a moment” might be the understatement of the year. I’ve had pimples that lasted longer than Scaramucci. We just need to continue to come together as a nation. I’m hopeful that in the wake of this nightmare comes a country of citizens who better understand the direction our nation should move in.


o You are at the age where a lot of your peers might be thinking about college. Is that something that you would like to do or are you planning to keep working instead?

I’ve decided I’m going to continue to pursue acting as of now, but I haven’t eliminated college from my future plans. I hope to one day go back to school and perhaps study film for a future behind the camera.

o You keep pretty quiet about your personal life on social media. Is it important to you to keep business and pleasure separate?

My personal life is really the only thing that I haven”t allowed to become public about me and because of that I hold onto it tightly. I understand that the people who have a passion for my work also want to know what I do behind closed doors and when I feel ready to share information about myself I do. However, making certain things public does nothing but make you and the people involved vulnerable. I value the opinions of the people that are closest to me, and that’s enough. When fans get involved with relationships I have I would just be  exposing people I care about to the part of my job that I don’t enjoy. And if I really do care about them I know for a fact they wouldn’t enjoy it either.


o As someone of dual heritage, is it important to you to keep that part of you alive?

I come from oppressed ancestry. I have ancestors who attempted to escape Nazi Germany as well as ancestors who came to America in shackles to pick cotton. My grandmother was a part of the first group of black students to integrate an all-white high school in the south. You can bet I’m proud to be black and I’m proud to be Jewish. I’m proud to be mixed and I’m proud to advocate for equity.

o Do you have a mantra that you like to live by?

Stay active in the pursuit of yourself.

o If you could learn one skill that you don’t already have what would it be?

 

I would love to be able to draw in detail. It’s an amazing gift to be able to leave a story to interpretation with visual imagery. I don’t have any natural ability in it but maybe if I take some classes I’d be able to improve.

o Finally; what’s next for you?

I’ll be wherever my intuition tells me to be. If my future doesn’t look like what I just described in this interview it’s because my gut pointed me elsewhere. We’ll have to wait and see.

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