New web television series Love, Simon is set to be released later this year on Disney+ with Tarik Ellinger playing the role of Ethan and the show being produced and narrated by Nick Robinson, the star of the 2018 film adaptation. Last year, Tarik appeared in short drama Fish Head which was shown at many film festivals seeing the production win numerous awards, and he has written, directed, edited and starred in his own short film The Library which saw him win the People’s Choice and Best Sound Design awards at his first festival. We caught up with Tarik to talk about filming Love, Simon, appearing in multi-award-winning short film Fish Head and what drew him to an acting career.
What was it like on the set of Love, Simon?
It was very hot! Lol! We shot at a high school, and school was in session, so it was fun doing scenes with students around. The cast and crew were all great and I loved having my own trailer.
Can you say what Ethan is like to play?
I enjoy this character and had a great time filming.
How did it feel booking this role?
It was super exciting because I got to be a part of the Disney family. I was familiar with the original movie and happy to be involved in this project.
How was it meeting the cast and crew for the first time?
It was really cool and everyone was friendly and I have made great friends who I hang out with off set.
Fish Head is getting great reviews and winning awards, what was this project like to be involved with?
At first it was nerve-racking because I didn’t get the script beforehand, went straight to callbacks and I had to do a cold read audition. The director is a great guy and inspiration for myself as I am also a filmmaker. The entire cast and crew on this show were awesome.
Have you attended any of the festivals where the film has been shown?
I attended the world premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood!
You appeared on Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, how was the experience?
It was super fun and Blake was so nice and we were joking around in-between takes. He even let me tour his personal trailer after filming.
Can you tell us about your first festival entry, The Library?
It is a film inspired by the Quiet Place when being quiet in the library is your key to survival. It was shot in black and white with no dialogue and only sounds/music. I won People’s Choice and Best Sound Design at my first festival so I was very excited.
How did your acting career come about?
I started acting when I was six years old. I grew up with my sisters acting, modelling, singing and dancing and we travelled back and forth from Colorado to California a lot before we moved here ten years ago. I saw my sister Temara auditioning and told my mom I wanted to do that. She submitted me and I booked something right away. Then I got a manager and agent and have been doing it ever since. I love it!
What do you remember from your first acting role?
It was called Just Desserts and I remember eating a lot of cake. I also was introduced to the game Angry Birds for the first time.
Have any of your acting jobs seen you work overseas or with any British actors?
I haven’t filmed overseas but I did live in England for a few months while my sister was promoting and recording her music. I honestly cannot remember if I have worked with a British actor.
How are you finding studying Film and Cinema Arts?
I love it! It’s good to know and understand all aspects of the industry. I really enjoy my school and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
You are the face of the F45 prodigy teen athlete training program, can you say more about this?
The F45 teen program is just launching and I love the workout. It’s been fun to work on and one of my first big modelling jobs.
Apart from Love, Simon, what are your current and upcoming career plans?
My dream is to be on Stranger Things 4!
I am auditioning a lot and waiting to hear back from several projects. I just did something for Nickelodeon and Dreamworks.
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