“The Quest” on Disney+. Photo credit: Disney, Allyson Riggs
British actor Elliott Ross has spoken about being part of the new Disney+ series “The Quest”, which will be released on May 11.
Ross stars as Prince Cederic in the highly anticipated (and truly unique) Disney+ series “The Quest,” which is based on the popular 2014 ABC series of the same name.
Brought to the screen by the Oscar- and Emmy-winning teams behind “The Amazing Race” and “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Quest” is a groundbreaking immersive hybrid competition series that drops eight real-life teenagers ( paladins) in the fictional fantasy world of Evererealm, where they must save a kingdom by fulfilling an ancient prophecy.
Throughout the eight-episode series, these heroes are immersed in a fantasy world that comes to life with a castle, members of the royal family, ethereal fates, all forms of mystical creatures, and a witch bent on destruction and in power.
On being part of ‘The Quest’, he said: “It was super fun. And actually quite overwhelming at times. I was living my dream! They don’t prepare you for what it’s going to feel like.
“We lived in this immersive fantasy world and I was a prince. I mean, how cool is that? The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is one of my favorite movies, so to be the protagonist of a big fantasy show like this, where I literally worked with the same producers, was crazy for me. And I cared so much about work. I was given so much space to be creative and they trusted me to do my thing, which was incredibly satisfying,” he explained.
Play as Prince Cederic
He talked about playing Prince Cederic in “The Quest.” “Cederic has an amazing character arc and I’ve really enjoyed investing in that. For me, it’s a journey of masculinity – a process of progression from boy to man, and what that actually means,” said he declared.
“Cederic is in a developmental stage of his life and it’s an exciting challenge for an actor. One of the producers told me that this role found me at the right time in my own life, and I believe him. “, he added.
“I just turned 30 and although Cederic was younger than that, I could identify with the transitional stage of life. He faces his immaturities and lets go of his old worldviews, learning to open his heart and mind to new ideas. He mourns his father and also his changing identity. The journey to self is something that I found really engaging and relevant to me,” he explained.
On his daily motivations as an actor, he said, “To be honest, I try to stay motivated in my life in general, rather than just as an actor. Acting is out of my control. I get sent to auditions and I work really hard and sometimes I book the work…that’s how it goes and I take the hits.
“I’ve found that my acting is best when there’s as much balance in my life as possible, so I make it a point to try and achieve that. It comes in the form of getting back into fitness, adventure, social life, family life and general well-being! I also do a few other jobs that bring me joy and purpose. For example, I am a personal trainer for private clients, which I love,” he said.
Ross continued, “I would say it motivates me as an actor because running my own business helps me feel capable and in control. In the end, those are really the important things I have to feel when approaching a new script. So to answer your question, investing in me as a person and as an entrepreneur are the things that really fuel me as an actor.
The digital age
As an artist in the digital age, at a time when streaming services such as Disney+ are so prevalent, he said, “It’s exciting. There are just more opportunities. More projects, more jobs. Doors that have been closed for so long are now open to more people. The audience is also much larger now; it’s global!
Ross continued, “I’ve seen trailers for ‘The Quest’ in Spanish, German and French, to name a few. I know that my work will reach corners of the world where I have never even been. It’s amazing to me. What’s not to like about that? Specifically, because all auditions have been virtual for the past two years, you can audition for projects anywhere in the world.
“Actors don’t really need to be in a big city anymore to book work,” he said. “It’s a game-changer! For example, I booked ‘The Quest’ from my flat in London, doing an encore audition on Zoom with producers in LA. This would never have happened before… I have to many in the digital age!
Advice for acting hopefuls
For young and aspiring actors, he said, “It seems counterintuitive, but don’t focus on big dreams, it’s not helpful. Just focus on the next step. What can you do, right now, with the resources you have, to take your next step forward. This attitude can and should be applied at every stage of your career.
“First, identify a realistic next step on the ladder for you,” he said. “Then do the work and make the decisions that will help you get there. You don’t need an agent to do this and you don’t need to wait for someone else to give you permission. People will try to tell you what you can and can’t do – they’ll almost always be wrong.
Ross continued, “You already know what you can do. So be creative with what’s in front of you. If you’re doing a theater show on the sidelines with no money, great! How can you maximize this opportunity? Is there someone you can invite to come see the work who could offer you some mentorship? People who saw my acting debut ended up becoming incredibly important mentors in my career because they believed in me. Seek mentorship from the right people! And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“I would also suggest putting as much time and energy into investing in your side hustle as you do in your acting career, because that’s what you’ll be doing most of the time. If you can enjoy your life as much as possible outside of acting, it will relieve the pressure of auditions when they come around and your self-esteem will continue to grow whether or not you work as an actor. he explained.
“It’s important that you feel empowered, so do a side hustle that empowers you – take a course in something and run your own freelance business alongside an acting career. It will do wonders for your confidence and it will help make the whole of acting more financially realistic in the long run,” he added.
Dream Actor Partners
Ross has cited Joaquin Phoenix and Hugh Grant as his dream collaboration partners in the acting world. “I would love to work with Joaquin Phoenix. I think he’s an amazing actor and I would watch him in anything! I guess I wouldn’t say no to a project with Hugh Grant either…because that would be fun?” he said.
Of his definition of the word success, Ross remarked, “It depends on the goal, doesn’t it? What am I planning to do? I have found that my version of success changes as I grow older. At one point, my version of success as an actor was just getting a job! And when I got this job, it was a success for me.
“Now my ambitions are certainly different, but I’m pretty open-minded about what I want for the future. It’s largely out of my control, so I just try to live my life according to a set values that I believe will keep me on the right track,” he said.
“For me, success isn’t necessarily career driven, as I value my well-being and my core values as a person. I want to keep growing, having adventures, healthy relationships, and an exciting career that pays for a good quality of life while feeling very calm all the time. How hard can that be?” he elaborated.
Ross said of “The Quest”, “The most important thing to me is that they just have fun with it! Honestly, it’s such a cool concept and it’s just there to be. We place ordinary teenagers in an epic fantasy world and watch them navigate that experience.
“It’s charming, authentic, funny, scary, heartwarming and moving all at the same time. The production value is incredible – it’s spectacular in every sense of the word and every department has absolutely destroyed it. The costumes, the set design , hair and makeup are all amazing. So just enjoy it. It’s awesome,” he concluded.
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