In the new feature film release of The Greatest Showman, Ellis Rubin can be seen in his first professional role of Young Barnum (Hugh Jackman), with the film currently proving a huge success around the world. Ellis has also finished work on the upcoming film Ode to Joy as Victor, alongside Martin Freeman, with a release date not yet announced. Catching up with Ellis, we chatted to him about his time filming for The Greatest Showman as Young Barnum, playing Victor in Ode to Joy and his future plans.
You can currently be seen on screens around the world in the new film release of The Greatest Showman as Young Barnum, can you tell us about your time on set and how long were you filming for?
It was exhilarating! I loved working with the talented cast and crew. There was always a rush to get dressed fast and get to set to start filming. The director knew exactly what emotions he wanted to come out of each scene, so he called for many takes until he got what he wanted. I learned so much about acting and got to experience my real first movie set.
Overall, my time spent on the set was around three to four weeks. They didn’t film the scenes in the order that you see in the movie. First, we filmed on the beach and outside the abandoned mansion in December, and it was so cold! Then I filmed more scenes at a different mansion at the end of March. Then we had reshoots in September.
How did you find the experience working with an all-star cast, which includes Hugh Jackman as the older P.T. Barnum?
Besides Hugh Jackman, I didn’t really spend time with the major stars of the movie. But Hugh himself helped me learn a little bit more about my character, and relate him more to his role as the adult Barnum. He gave me tips about singing having to do with breathing and where to pause.
What was the auditioning process like for your role?
It was pretty long. The casting director let anyone submit, so you didn’t need an agent for it. I went in and they liked me enough to give me a callback, and after that, there was another callback, and then after that, there was another callback! Then after that, they had me come in for a chemistry read with Skylar Dunn, the actress playing Young Charity, so that’s when we first met each other. And they liked us enough to cast us both together.
Did you attend The Greatest Showman film premiere and what was it like seeing yourself on screen for the first time?
Yes, I did! It was on the Queen Mary. I had never been on an ocean liner before. It was amazing to get to see the finished movie and to celebrate everything we’d worked for over the past year or so. It was also amazing because this was the first film I’d ever been in, so getting to see my face on the screen was one of the best moments of my life!
Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming role of Victor in feature film Ode to Joy and do you know if it will be released in the UK?
Victor is a very unique child who relates better to adults than other kids. He likes to hang around the library where he bothers Martin Freeman, who plays a librarian in the movie. I am not sure if it will be released in the UK. I don’t know when Ode to Joy will be released.
How different did you find your time filming Ode to Joy to The Greatest Showman?
I thought they would be a lot different in the style of filming or the people involved in the film. After experiencing both, they’re really not that different. In both cases, the attention is centred around all the cameras, letting everyone on set do their jobs, and focusing on what the director wants from you.
When did you get into acting and how did you start professionally?
I started acting at age eight when I joined a children’s community theatre group. I started going to a couple of open calls for professional roles when I was twelve. That’s how I booked my first professional role, for Young Barnum in The Greatest Showman, when I was twelve.
Was there anyone that inspired you to get into acting?
Without a doubt, my mother. She was the one who got me started in community theatre. And everyone in the theatre group and who came to see the shows was really encouraging.
Does acting tend take up a lot of your time?
Not usually. I spend most of my time at school or studying for school, or something related to school, like debate club.
What are some of your favourite TV shows to watch?
I like to watch comedies like Rick and Morty and Bob’s Burgers.
Would you like to appear on stage in a Broadway show if the opportunity came?
Do you know what is next for your career and is acting something you want to continue with as an adult?
Probably just high school for now. I want to focus on my education. Acting would definitely be my dream future occupation. But if it doesn’t work out, I would want to either be a lawyer, a politician, or a baseball umpire.
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