Before Ansel Elgort had us wading in a pool of tears with his performance in The Fault in our Stars, he made his bloody debut in 2013’s thriller remake Carrie. This week he stars in Baby Driver, so we thought we’d get to know the actor a little better, with facts you probably didn’t know about Ansel Elgort.
Growing up and family life
Born in 1994 in New York, Ansel Elgort is the youngest of three siblings. He comes from a very artistic family, his father, Arthur Elgort is a famous photographer and Grethe Barrett Holby, his mother, is an opera director.
His siblings are also in the arts, Ansel’s sister Sophie is a photographer and his brother Warren is a filmmaker. In fact, Ansel even got his name from an artist. Ansel's named after Ansel Adams, a famous photographer.
When Ansel was 9, his mum took him to tryouts for the School of American Ballet, and he was just 12 when he began taking acting classes.
Ansel attended to La Guardia High School of Performing Arts as a drama major, where he starred in a production of "Guys and Dolls" as Sky Masterson, and the musical version of "Hairspray" starring Link Larkin. He graduated in 2012. Some of LaGuardia's alumni include Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Paulson, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Adrien Brody.
He also spent seven summers at Stagedoor Manor, a theatre camp in the Catskills where fellow actors Natalie Portman, Lea Michele, and Robert Downey Jr. have also attended. At camp, he played roles in the musicals “Rent,” and “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
He's a trained dancer, more specifically though, Ansel is a trained ballet dancer. At the age of nine, Ansel auditioned for The School of American Ballet. He even trained with Olga Kostritzky, the woman who trained Natalie Portman for her role in Black Swan. As a child, he performed both in "The Nutcracker" & "Swan Lake" at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet.
He's also a musician. Ansel goes by the stage name Ansolo and records dance music. Ansolo is a nickname his brother gave to him.
He started his music career by creating a SoundCloud account to publish electronic dance music. He has since signed a record deal. He’s even played at huge events like the Electric Zoo Festival, Ultra Music Festival and played his first headline show on his 21st Birthday in Pacha NYC.
Ansel’s acting career started before he even left high school. Back in 2012, Ansel was cast in the off-Broadway play Regrets alongside Alexis Bledel.
Has been dating Violetta Komyshan, his high school sweetheart, since 2012. They broke up briefly in 2014 because Ansel was garnering plenty of success and a bust schedule, but they were soon back together and have been since.
Random facts about Ansel Elgort
Elgort is an ally of the LGBTQ community. At the premiere of the Broadway hit “Finding Neverland,” he said in an interview with GLAAD that he can't see why people shouldn’t be allowed to be who they want to be. He hopes that people will be genuine in their efforts to make positive changes in the LGBTQ community.
His favourite hobby is probably one you’ve never heard of: painting miniatures. On 24mm surfaces like pebbles and mini canvases, Elgort paints beautiful replicas of famous paintings, including Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware.
Although he loves house and EDM music, one of his all-time favourite songs is “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin. The song is a 1924 composition that pulls influence from classical piano and jazz. The actor describes it as “a real piece of music.” But as for the one artist he most wants to produce for? Missy Elliot. Apparently, “Lose Control” was his jam when he was in middle school. He said, “I used to dance around to that sh*t all the time,” in an interview with GQ Magazine.
His favourite movie is Billy Madison, he boasts that he has the film 100 percent memorised.
Ansel told Yahoo he's got a talent for making eggs, because he would make them every single day for years.
He’s a fan of Adam Lambert too, saying he's only watched one season of American Idol and it was because of him. He says he's one of the best singers he's ever heard.
He has a sensitive side. When asked by BuzzFeed if he cried while reading The Fault in Our Stars Ansel said, "Yes. Once every 10 pages." I think we can all relate to that.
He's a former child model. It turns out when Ansel's dad needed someone in the background of his photo, he would put Ansel into the shot. Ansel told Vogue: "My dad would throw me in the picture if they needed an extra."