Sweater by John Varvatos @johnvarvatos



Actor and musician, Richard Ellis has a lot going on. Not only can you find him as Brad Lewis on the Netflix series “I Am Not Okay With This”, but his passion also lives within music. With his down to earth character combined with his undeniable charm, Ellis is a talent to keep an eye out for.

Blazer by The Kooples @thekooples. Pants by MAVI @mavi. Boots by John Varvatos @johnvarvatos.

Imagista: What came first for you, acting or music?

Richard Ellis: Music was first for me. I remember my mom telling me that when I was a year old, she heard me humming along to a K.D. Lang song before I ever spoke a word. I ended up learning guitar, drums, bass, and piano throughout my adolescence. Acting felt like a natural next step!

Blazer by The Kooples @thekooples. Pants by MAVI @mavi.

Imagista: Can you tell us a little bit about your new Netflix show “I Am Not Okay With This”?

Richard Ellis: “I Am Not Okay With This” is an offbeat coming of age story that just happens to have a superhero origin story happening simultaneously. We follow Sydney, played by Sophia Lillis, as she tries to navigate high school while dealing with mysterious powers that have begun to awaken inside her.

Coat by PRIVATE POLICY @privatepolicyny

Imagista: What similarities do you have to your character Brad Lewis? 

Richard Ellis: I definitely have the same love of sports that Brad has. Sports are basically the only thing that defines him, and I would definitely say that I got obsessive about sports in middle school and high school. I hope that I’m not like him in any other way than that.

Sweater by John Varvatos @johnvarvatos

Imagista: It must be surreal to be on a Netflix show, how have you been staying grounded throughout this time?

Richard Ellis: I honestly have the most supportive friends and family. They have been my foundation since day one, and they treat me no differently. I think it’s really important to have people around you that love you for you and nothing else. Those are the people who will keep your feet on the ground. 

Sweater by John Varvatos @johnvarvatos. Pants by MAVI @mavi.

Imagista: You have quite a large social media following, how do you feel like Instagram has both helped and hindered this generation? 

Richard Ellis: There are definitely pros and cons to social media.  I would say one pro is the fact that you get to engage with your fans. They get to know you on an almost personal level and that is something that we have never seen before. I will say a hindrance is the constant comparisons to other people online. I’ve been guilty of it too. It’s hard not to be jealous of someone’s “perfect life” online sometimes. We have to remember that Instagram is a curated thing. We don’t know someone’s full story by looking at their online profile.

Coat by PRIVATE POLICY @privatepolicyny. Hoodie by John Varvatos @johnvarvatos.

Imagista: If you weren’t a performer, what would you be doing?

Richard Ellis: I’d probably work with my brother. He already owns his own construction business and is really successful. It would be a blast to work with him every day.

Black tee by Zanerobe @zanerobe

Imagista: What should fans expect to see from you in the future?

Richard Ellis: I hope that they get to see me in really gritty projects. I want to do things that challenge me as a performer and a person. I really want to push my boundaries and I hope that my fans get to go on that journey with me!


Photography: Sergio Kurhajec @sergiokurhajec
Stylist: Erica Pitnick @ericapitnick
Groomer: Erin Anderson at Exclussive Artists
Interview by Katina Goulakos @katinagee