In July 2019, the world was forced to say goodbye to Cameron Boyce, an incredibly talented and beloved young actor whose life was tragically cut short. Prior to his passing, Boyce had completed work on the dark teen-drama Runt, a coming-of-age tale starring Boyce as a bullied high-schooler who winds up in some tragic and terrifying situations while just trying to navigate school, work, and his home life. Nicole Elizabeth Berger, Boyce's co-star in the film, recently opened up about working with the late actor, saying that he was "charismatic and genuine."
While speaking exclusively with PopCulture.com, Berger said, "From the first time I read the script I knew this was going to be a dramatic story about the challenges faced by teenagers. I knew Cameron as this bright new star, or at least I thought I knew him. But I really got to know him on set, and I saw him transition into a part that requires him focused and serious in character."
Berger continued: "He was dedicated and committed and would occasionally take breaks by shooting hoops in the basketball court here at set. Cameron was charismatic and genuine, and he didn't have a big ego. He wasn't self-absorbed, and he wanted to be treated like everyone else."
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On July 6, Boyce was found unresponsive at his home. Authorities were called, but he was not able to be revived, as he is said to have died in his sleep. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Recalling where she was when the tragic news got to her, Berger shared that "every body knew before I did" because she "was in Europe visiting my family members." She went on to say, "I was in denial for a while. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it."
She later added that she would be seeing Boyce's parents at the Mamoth Film Festival, where the film premiered this past weekend, and stated that she hoped that would "provide the best closure."
"I'm never going to really get to say goodbye," Berger said, "So I think that will provide a bit of closure for me." She also added that "pictures" she has with Boyce have also been helpful through the grieving process.
Runt is directed by William Coakley, from a script by himself, along with Armand Constantine and Christian van Gregg. In addition to Boyce and Berger, the film also stars Brianna Hildebrand, Jason Patric, Tichina Arnold, Aramis Knight, and Mitch Silpa. Runt debuted at the 2020 Mammoth Film Festival but is scheduled to have its official release on July 31.