Descendants' China McClain Remembers Late Costar Cameron Boyce: 'I Lost My Best Friend'
China McClain is mourning the death of her Descendants costar and close friend, Cameron Boyce.
The actress, 20, shared a heartfelt series of Instagram videos on Tuesday, breaking her silence three days after the sudden death of Boyce.
In the videos, McClain is wearing a black hoodie and black hat as she tearfully reflects on her friendship with Boyce and shares her own grief since his tragic death.
“I know that it’s taken me a while to get on and say something,” she began. “I just … I had to step away from my phone. I’m sorry for the people who have contacted me that I was really late in getting back to … I just needed to step away from my phone and definitely be off of social media and the internet. I’m just … seeing the healines and stuff was too hard, I couldn’t do that.
“But now, I feel like I don’t really believe any of this is actually happening, I think,” McClain continued. “I think that my mind is just shut down. I am kind of feeling a little numb, just like a little bit empty, like just going through the motions.”
“I feel like I’m going to wake up,” the Black Lightning actress continued. “To Mr. Vic, Mrs. Libby and Maya, I’m so sorry. And you guys lost something that the rest of us didn’t lose, you know. You guys lost blood, a son, a brother, and I lost my best friend. My closet friend, my longest friend.”
Longtime friends McClain and Boyce first crossed paths in Hollywood on the set of the 2010 comedy film Grown Ups, and both returned for the sequel three years later.
In 2017, McClain was cast in a role in Disney Channel’s Descendants film franchise, which Boyce also starred in as Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil.
“I never again have a friend like Cameron,” the actress continued before crying.
“This is actually his hat, guys. He left it in my room when I was filming,” McClain added of the black hat she was wearing. “We were doing Descendants 2. We were hanging out with a couple of our friends, one of them being a friend that we’ve known as long as we’ve known each other, you know. And he left it in there because we went to Cameron’s room after had gone out to eat earlier.”
As McClain recalled, Boyce left his black hat in her room during a night in which they and a few other friends hung out. When she showed up to set for Descendants 3 — which wrapped filming prior to Boyce’s death and premieres in August — she planned to return the hat to him, but he never took it back.
“I never gave it back, and I am so happy I didn’t,” she continued over tears. “It feels like God left it for me. He knew that it was gonna mean so much more than just being Cam’s hat that I just forgot to give back to him, you know what I’m saying? Cam’s not gone. He’s not just gone. He is okay.”
“When people die they don’t just dissipate into thin air, you guys,” McClain concluded her series of videos. “He is good. All right, Cameron, I love you.”
In the days since Boyce’s tragic death, friends and family of the young actor have been in shock, including his Descendants 3 cast members, who are preparing for the film’s premiere next month.
A source told PEOPLE that the stars of the global smash franchise have been grappling with the realization that Boyce is no longer.
“Everyone is in a state of complete shock,” said the source. “The cast had a strong bond and this is unimaginable.”
News of Boyce’s death was confirmed by the actor’s family on Saturday night.
“It is with a profoundly heavy heart that we report that this morning we lost Cameron,” a family spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE, revealing that his cause of death was related to “an ongoing medical condition.”
“He passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated. The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him,” the family spokesperson said. “We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”
Despite an autopsy performed on the Disney Channel star on Monday, his official cause of death has been deferred pending further investigation, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.