“Cameron [Boyce], even when he was around, is the hardest person to put into words,” Dove Cameron, 23, said to ABC News with tears in her eyes. Ahead of Descendants 3’s Aug. 2 premiere, she, Sofia Carson, 26, and Descendants director Kenny Ortega, 59, opened up about the pain of losing Cameron. The young 20-year-old actor passed away on July 6 after suffering a fatal epileptic seizure. “He was the person you’d always ask for if you needed to talk to somebody. He was always there. And he was that person for everybody,” said Dove.
“I think that as absolutely heartbreaking as this one is, it is a personal loss for so many young people who watch Disney,” she added. “And I truly think the best thing we can do for them is to remember Cameron exactly as he was — in the most positive light– but not to avoid it.”
“If you could bottle up happiness, that was Cam. He was pure happiness and pure joy,” Sofia told ABC News in Toronto. She visibly struggled to put her emotions into words as she dealt with the fact that she, or anyone, wouldn’t experience Cameron’s “happiness” firsthand again. “There really will never be any words to describe the pain and how much we miss him. Not much helps except knowing that he lived life with more happiness than anyone I’ve ever known. ”
“When he walked into the room the light changed, and the energy shifted,” Kenny Ortega said when remembering the young star. “Even when he was standing still. He was bioluminescent. He was lit from the inside out.” The director said that he had been “alive long enough to have witnessed some pretty tough stuff. This was as tough as it gets. I didn’t realize that I had as deep a place for pain to come from, that the shock and awe of this unfathomable idea of losing this beautiful soul, with such promise to this world, could possibly be real.”
Cameron’s passing on July 6th was ruled a “sudden unexpected death in epilepsy,” and the LA County Medical Examiner’s report confirmed that on July 22. He passed away in his sleep, and an autopsy revealed that he didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system.
“Me, Boo Boo [Stewart], Cam and Sofia still have our core four group chat active and open, as we have for five years,” Dove told Seventeen magazine ahead of Descendants 3’s premiere. “It’s hard when there are no adequate words to express the pain we are all feeling, but the usual text is ‘love you.’ Or ‘are you eating?’ Or ‘how are we all today?’ I think something like this horrible loss makes you realize how important you are all to each other. I am grateful for my chosen family at a time like this.”