Close-up: An Interview With Tarik Ellinger

Young actor Tarik Ellinger joins us on Close-up Culture to chat about his recent work, the directors who inspire him, attending Comic-Con, and more.

Q: I’ve read rave reviews of ‘Fish Head’. Can you tell us about the short film and how your character, Matt, fits into the story?

A: This story is about a boy who has a hard time fitting in with the kids around him. He encounters bullies that make fun of his race and call him “fishhead” because he is Filipino. My character, Matt, is one of Milo’s only friends and is a role model for who Milo wants to be. Matt sticks up for Milo anytime he can.

Q: I understand you’ve taken some interest in writing and directing. Did you get to observe or pick the brain of ‘Fish Head’ director Marcos Durian while working on the project?             

A: Yes, when working with him I saw a lot of characteristics a good director needs. Marcos was very approachable and supportive during the filming of our scenes. I was very lucky to work with someone as talented as him.

Q: You wrote, directed, edited, and starred in a short film called ‘The Library’. How important is it for you to learn different elements of the film industry?         

A: It’s very important to learn the different elements so you know your strengths and weaknesses. It is important to be well rounded because you never know what people will ask of you. It was a challenge to do a no dialogue black and white film for the first time, but I felt that I did excel at it.

Q: Are there any directors or actors who you particularly admire or draw inspiration from?      

A: The Russo Brothers and Duffer Brothers are directors that inspire me through their creative minds and storytelling through film.

When it comes to acting Dacre Montgomery really inspires me. The stories he shared through his career tell me to never give up on my dreams and to keep pushing for it. The way he portrayed Billy in Stranger Things was amazing.

Q: I saw you were recently at the Sam Diego Comic-Con. What did you get up to?      

A: I always love attending San Diego Comic-Con and this year got to see my friend, Lia McHugh, get announced at Hall H for her new Marvel movie, The Eternals. I also got to see the premiere of the SHAZAM! documentary exclusive to the DC Universe streaming service. I also added many new collectibles to my collections such as Funko Pops!

Q: What else do you get up to away from the camera and screen?      

A: I play many sports with volleyball being my favourite. I hangout with my friends a lot and take many family trips to Disneyland! 

Leave a Reply