Kenny Ortega Talks Cameron Boyce's Legacy and the Future of 'The Descendants' (Exclusive)

By

It was an emotional day for Kenny Ortega, who was honored with his own star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The celebrated director, producer and choreographer was accompanied by his closest friends and family, as well as The Descendants stars Dove Cameron and Booboo Stewart, during the ceremony in Hollywood on Wednesday. One special person missing from the celebration was the late actor Cameron Boyce, who made a big impact on Ortega's life.

"Everything that Cameron's in, he brings the light. Every room that he walked into, every cause that he pushed for and everything that he ever did, it was impossible not to be drawn into him," Ortega told ET's Katie Krause following the ceremony. "That's how I found him. I fell in love with him when he was doing Jesse, and I went after him for Descendants."

Boyce died at the age of 20 after suffering a seizure in his sleep on July 6. His family later told ET that he suffered from epilepsy. The Disney star's father, Victor Boyce, and sister, Maya, attended Ortega's event.

Cameron Boyce Kenny Ortega
Walt Disney Television

The third chapter of The Descendants franchise is set to premiere on the Disney Channel on Aug. 2, and Ortega shared how it will honor the beloved Boyce. 

"Descendants 3, you know, again will just remind everybody of his incredible gift," he expressed. "He was bioluminescent. He was lit from the inside out. He really was, and we will miss him, but we will carry his legacy forward."

During Ortega's Walk of Fame speech, he gave Boyce's family members a shout-out and paid tribute to the young actor.

"Sitting here today with us is my buddy -- Cameron Boyce's dad, Victor -- and his sister, Maya. Cameron Boyce was so excited for me and wanted to be here..." Ortega said. "His all too brief appearance in this life inspired me beyond words [as well as] many of us here and generations of kids and families all over this world. His extraordinary talent and loving heart will be remembered through his foundation."

The organization Ortega referred to is the Cameron Boyce Foundation, which was set up by his family to remember the actor. According to Ortega, the goal is to continue Boyce's "pursuit to make positive change in the world."

"Cameron said, 'We can't take it with us, so it's about what you leave,' and with this, I promise Cameron that I will carry this goodness with me in all the days of my life," the 69-year-old director-choreographer explained during his speech.

While speaking with ET, Ortega couldn't help but share how grateful he was to leave his mark on Hollywood Boulevard.

"What's been going through my mind and my heart for a long, long while, honestly, is the gratefulness that I have to be doing whatever it is that I love," he explained. "This is the stuff of dreams. This is not something that I ever wished for. Of all the years that I walked down this street -- because I wished for a lot, I'm a dreamer -- this was not something that I wished for. I thought it was sort of beyond wishing for."

Meanwhile, Disney Channel released Boyce's final interview earlier this week, where he opened up about the importance of accepting people for who they are. See the emotional and powerful interview in the video below. 

RELATED CONTENT:

Cameron Boyce Talks Accepting People for Who They Are in Final Interview

Cameron Boyce's Mom Libby Shares Heartbreaking Post Weeks After His Death

Cameron Boyce's Friends and Fans Raise Thousands for Charity in Late Actor's Name

Related Gallery