Richard Ellis – We are Definitely Okay With This Interview And Covershoot

Richard ellis fault magazine
Sweater- Armani
Pants- Ports 1961

 

Photographer: Easton Schirra @TheOnlyAgency

Styling: Tiffany Briseno

Groomer: Amber Amos @TheOnlyAgency

Interview: Miles Holder

This week saw the release of Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This based on the popular novel of the same name by Charles Forsman. Even months prior to its release, fans of the book had been dying for any update on the project but now finally the gruelling wait is over.

Actor, musician and now FAULT Magazine cover star – Richard Ellis plays the role of Brad on series. Brad is cocky, chauvinistic, pig-headed but also a testament to Ellis’ acting skills because thankfully the actor is nothing like the character he portrays. Still bursting with excitement about his first major studio project and at the same time remaining humble and grounded despite his tremendous achievements, I caught up with the young actor to find out more about the build-up to the show, his artistic process and above all else, his FAULTS.

 

Can you talk me through how you were feeling the last days leading up to the release of the show. 

Richard Ellis: Oh, it’s a combination of everything. IANOWT is my first substantial role, and to be part of something with this much buzz is super exciting. It’s just so cool to see how people are reacting and how excited they are for the show. 

Full Look- Alexander McQueen
Shoes- Louboutin

Was it nerve-wracking on you as an actor knowing that expectations for IANOWT were so high?

Richard Ellis: It’s more excited than nervous. I can’t believe the amount of buzz it’s gotten already. It’s surreal for me and it’s so cool that the fans are already on board and they’re so excited to see it. 

I like having high expectations for us because if it goes well, it’s satisfying and gratifying and all these people are a part of it. If it doesn’t, go well, at least we put ourselves out there. I’m a firm believer in just taking big risks and being out of my comfort zone. 

If you’re going to fail, fail on the biggest stage, but if you’re gonna succeed, it goes the same way. 

Talk me through, the day you found out that you got the part.

Richard Ellis: I had gone in the week before, for the audition and it felt good. And then literally a week later, I got the call but there wasn’t a second audition, which I couldn’t believe! 

I was recording some music at a friend’s place and I got a call from my manager they told me that I booked the show. I immediately started just crying and jumping around. I almost passed out, I could not believe it. 

I immediately drove back to my apartment complex where all my best friends live and I just started knocking on everyone’s doors and just screaming like a lunatic. I don’t think I’ve ever been that happy in my entire life.

Tee- APC Shirt- Fendi

Tell us a bit more about your character, Brad.

Richard Ellis: Brad is pretty much an extreme narcissist. He is the epitome of every guy that peaked in high school. Very narrow-minded, and he can’t see anybody else’s point of view. 

 

Without giving too much away, Brad had a big reveal this season and I wondered where you draw inspiration for the more heavier scenes?

Richard Ellis: So I approach everything the same way, which is, this character is just living life one day at a time so I try to act appropriately within the circumstances. I pretend every scene is happening for the first time because that’s generally when you’ll have a very organic reaction to the situation.

The project was directed by Jonathan Entwhistle who’s so good at building up the atmospheric tension does that awkward teen angst continue throughout the whole series?

Richard Ellis: Oh, absolutely. What I love about Jonathan is that he has such a clear vision of what he’s going for. When I watched ‘The End Of The Fucking World’ I think what made that show do so well was the fact that everything was centred around these quirky relationships. Thematically, Jonathan has nailed that. 

 

I watched your previous project ‘Two Introverts’ earlier and you seemed to be finding your niche in portraying these awkward characters. Is that an accident or is that just something you enjoy acting?

Richard Ellis: Two introverts was a skit that my friend had written for a showcase and I just thought it was so funny because it was based on an experience that happened to her. I rarely get to do projects like that so when I do, I enjoy it so much. 

It was something we threw together in about three days. We just got a bunch of friends together and made it happen in a really short amount of time. I have such an appreciation for the creative teams that can make these gigantic productions come together. 

Sweater- Armani
Pants- Ports 1961
Shoes- Dolce Gabbana

 

What’s the best piece of advice someone’s given you so far?

Richard Ellis: To always be grateful. I’ve seen people that have booked jobs and suddenly their world personality switched. If you continue to treat everything with the same humility and respect you will have it for a long career. 

 I’m a big believer in that because things could go to your head in a second. I think just being aware of that and remembering how lucky you are to be doing what you’re doing is so crucial. 

 

What was the hardest part about playing Brad?

Richard Ellis: Being friends with everybody and having to completely strip away any ounce of respect that I had for my peers in the scene was very odd. We’re friendly off-screen and joking around but then I suddenly had to go to a place where I despised a person. I enjoy the challenge though, it’s an interesting part of the job.

Sweater- Armani
Pants- Ports 1961
Shoes- Dolce Gabbana

 

Working creative jobs, you’ll need to be ready for a lot of rejection – as an actor and musician what keeps you motivated to keep trying?

Richard Ellis: My friends and family, um, I’m an incredibly competitive person and I always had this unshakeable drive where I tell myself “It’s going to work!” But when things would get tough and when I was down on myself, I have the most supportive friends and family in the entire world who are willing to just talk and reassure me that, that it’s all going to be good okay. I think just having, having a good support system like that is pretty rare and I don’t think I could have lasted without that.

If you could go back in time and leave yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Richard Ellis: I would tell myself just to stop caring about what people were saying. I was insecure in my adolescence. Those teenage years were pretty hard for me. I was so concerned with trying to keep up appearances and I wish I could tell myself that “you can do whatever the hell you want to do because at the end of the day, no one, no one’s going to care.”

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What’s something you’re afraid of?

Richard Ellis: I have a really weird fear of horses.

That is weird…

Richard Ellis: When I was like a chubby 10-year-old, like one of them threw me off and it just like scarred me. But I w I’m willing to overcome that fear. But for some reason that is the first one that came to me! Like I don’t see a horse and get scared and run off or anything! 

Finally, what is your FAULT?

Richard Ellis: I have to remind myself to have fun sometimes where like I will get so wrapped up in working on things and striving to be better and to do more and to do this. I put a lot of pressure on myself and I would, I would love to stop doing that. I’m working on it, but, uh, sometimes it’s hard to turn that off.