If Cameron Monaghan isn't already on your radar, we've gotta warn you: It's going to be a serious challenge to go anywhere without seeing him pretty soon. The 20-year-old, redheaded cutie is already known for playing Ian Gallagher on the TV series Shameless, and it won't be long until he's rocking an even bigger screen with his starring role in The Giver when it hits theaters this August. If you can't tell, we're basically counting down the days.
In the Lois Lowry classic we all came to know and love from our middle school reading lists, Cameron plays Asher, who's Brenton Thwaites's character Jonas's funny and super relatable best friend. "Asher is a little bit of an odd man out in his society," Cameron says of his role. "He's this kid who's a little bit of a jokester—he doesn't fit in with the rigid, strict constraints of the society around him." Even though his character isn't necessarily one who abides by the rules 24/7, things start to change once Jonas starts rebelling against the system they've lived their entire lives obeying. "He becomes at odds with what's morally right. He doesn't know whether he should be part of his society or go along with what Jonas is saying."
Even Taylor Swift became part of their family while she was on set filming for a week and a half. He didn't have much time with the Grammy-winning superstar, but they took full advantage of having such a musical cast, basically starting their own band. "We would have jam sessions in Jeff's hotel room. Brenton would play guitar, and I would play the harmonica or ukulele, and we would all sing and have these really great bonding experiences," he says of one of his favorite memories. "I remember we were in the lobby of Taylor's hotel, and we had a whole night of just gathering around the piano with everyone playing together."
One amazing thing about this movie is the fact that it was filmed in South Africa. But this wasn't Cameron's first time on the other side of the world. He spent around six months there when he was younger, but going back years later was a completely different experience. "It was really amazing. The people there are great and there's so much interesting stuff to do," he says. "I sandboarded on their dunes, I rode ATVs around some of their wooded areas—I had a blast." Cameron admits the insurance company wouldn't be too happy to hear about his sometimes dangerous endeavors, but what he says was "like having a paid vacation" is something he'll never forget.
So, onto the part about Cameron being in his underwear. As if his time filming the role of James in the ridiculously scary upcoming horror movie Amityville wasn't already exciting enough, he took full advantage of his newfound monster status on set, even scaring his co-star Bella Thorne his first couple days in costume. "I've played monsterous characters before, but I've never had the chance to look like a monster," he says of his role. "I had to wear all of these prosthetics for pretty much the entire movie. The result was I looked really different and really horrifying." But with all of the monster make up, there unfortunately (or fortunately?!) wasn't any room for pants. "I couldn't really wear any clothing or anything, so I think I spent pretty much the entire movie in my boxers. It was so weird to spend a month lounging around a crew of people in scary makeup and basically nothing else. It was one of those odd, surreal things that could only happen on a movie set." Remind us why weren't we there again?
Next up for Cameron: Filming for Shameless starts up again soon YESSSSSSSS. and he has a potential new movie project in the works, but what he really needs after working non-stop for the past year is a little break, even though he always hates it once he gets one. "I say I want a break, but every time I have some down time I don't know what to do with myself. I need to be doing something." If he does get a breather from his crazy-exciting life, we know where he'll be—playing music, spending time with his friends, and probably chillin' in his boxers.