Booboo Stewart says Paradise City shows a side of Cameron Boyce 'not a lot of people got to see'
For Booboo Stewart, the release of Paradise City is bittersweet. The eight-episode series, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is the final project his friend and costar Cameron Boyce filmed before his death in 2019.
"He's honestly one of the most talented people I've ever met," Stewart tells EW. "He's so fantastic in the show. It shows a side of him not a lot of people got to see. I'm really glad he got to show in Paradise City. He was such a beautiful and charitable person. The Cameron Boyce Foundation is continuing his charitable acts, so I encourage everyone to check that out."
Stewart and Boyce both portray rock musicians in Paradise City, though at very different stages of their careers. Boyce plays Simon, a dreamer whose father (Ryan Hurst) is a famous record producer he's never met. Simon is also the singer of an up-and-coming group looking for a break.
Simon is a huge fan of the Relentless, a mega-popular band that has recently reunited. Stewart's Vic Lakota is the group's bass player — "the glue that holds the band together," he says.
For those curious whether Stewart and costars Andy Biersack, Bella Thorne, and Ben Bruce were really performing, he'll only speak for himself.
"I can't speak for everybody, but personally, when I get the songs for the TV shows I work on, I figure out my parts to play as accurately as possible," he says. "It's not live when we shoot it, but I'm playing to the best of my ability while filming."
The role of Vic is quite different from that of Jay in the Disney Channel's Descendants franchise, which is what Stewart loves about being an actor: playing in varied worlds for audiences of all ages.
"Isn't it awesome that I get to play a rock star in one life and the son of Jafar in another?" he says. "Then there's a life where I'm a ghost skateboarding around L.A. [in Julie and the Phantoms]. It's so much fun to play in these vastly different worlds and to share these lifetimes with characters while filming."
He adds, "When choosing projects, I try to switch things up. When deciding on what to do next, I ask myself whether waking up at 6 a.m. to work a 12-14 hour day for the next month is worth it, and it was on this show. I love the cast and crew, being in this mock band, and the music is so great. I hope we get a season 2."
Stewart will return to the world of Descendants one last time this summer, for Royal Wedding, an animated special dedicated to Boyce.
"What I can say about it is that it really wraps up the story, at least for us, very nicely," he teases. "I was extremely hesitant about doing anything further with the [franchise]. After reading what they had put together, we all came to an agreement because it ties it up nicely. I'm very grateful for this amazing journey we shared together."