As fans and loved ones prepare to mark one year since Cameron Boyce’s death, his Descendants co-star, Sofia Carson, is recalling the actor’s bright personality -- describing him as “sunshine wearing shoes” -- and urging fans to continue his legacy by practicing love and kindness. Boyce died from an epileptic seizure at age 20 in July 2019.
Carson was in Toronto, Canada, filming her newly released Netflix film, Feel the Beat, when she heard the tragic news.
“I'll never forget that day,” she told ET’s Katie Krause during a Zoom interview. “All of us were just overwhelmed and thinking [how] he was just the happiest, most beautiful soul. And, that no matter what, his soul will live on forever in his legacy because he's loved by so many and had the most selfless heart.”
“It was more a feeling that Cam gave when he was around you,” Carson, 27, added, about whether she had a standout memory of Boyce. “I think his sister put it so beautifully -- that he was sunshine wearing shoes. That's exactly who he is.”
Since Boyce’s death, his family has set up the Cameron Boyce Foundation, focused on supporting charitable endeavors that were dear to Boyce and advocating for epilepsy awareness. Carson noted that the best way that fans can keep Boyce’s legacy alive is by supporting the foundation, as well as simply “being like Cam.”
“His legacy is living on in the Cameron Boyce Foundation: Wielding Peace, which his family is so courageously and beautifully pouring their hearts into,” she said. “So, I urge anyone who loved Cam, like we all did, to continue their legacy. Not only by supporting the foundation, but by being like Cam, and that's just being someone who loves first and foremost, doesn't judge and is like kindness walking.”
“It's tough to imagine the world of Descendants without Cam for me,” Carson said. “Anything is possible because it's such a beloved franchise, but it just wouldn't be the same.”
In the meantime, Carson’s busy with new music, as well as the release of Feel the Beat, about aspiring Broadway star April, who blows a big audition and returns to her small hometown to train students for a dance competition.
Having been dancing since she was three years-old, Carson said she had the “time of her life” filming the dance flick, which was extra emotional given how much she could relate to the trials of the industry.
“Everything she felt, I felt in moments in my life, so it was just very raw and vulnerable,” she said. “It was so cool to get back to the physicality and the emotional aspect of being a professional dancer and how demanding that is and what that requires of you.”
“Anyone who's ever had a dream of making it in Hollywood or Broadway, [knows] you get met with mainly ‘No's’ -- mainly heartbreak and disappointment,” she continued. “You audition for more roles than you get. Obviously, the ones that you get end up changing changing your life and that's what you become known for, but beforehand, there are many roles [you don’t get.]”
Despite many failed auditions, these days Carson is succeeding in both acting and music, with her latest song, Miss You More Than You Know, out now.
“It’s a song about losing, who you love most,” she explained about the track, which features R3HAB. “Even though to the world, we smile and survive, sometimes you never know that we're broken inside and miss them more than we know.”
With so much turmoil currently sweeping the world, Carson also voiced her support for the LGBTQ family during Pride Month and beyond, and for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As a proud Hispanic myself, my heart is with you and we are experiencing really beautiful and historic change with the DACA bill -- it really is incredible,” she said. “And, to my LGBTQ family, you are so beloved and adored. You are brothers and sisters and we are right here fighting beside you all the way to a rainbow finish line, whatever that means and for however long that takes.”
ET spoke with Boyce’s Jessie co-stars in April, as they recalled their fondest memories of the late actor. See what they shared below.