I Am Not Okay With This | Richard Ellis
Photographed by Ian Morrison. ![Photographed by Ian Morrison.](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bd4728d062243a5ccc09_image-asset.jpeg) Photographed by [Ian Morrison](https://www.instagram.com/imorrison/?hl=en). _I Am Not Okay With This_ is the latest coming-of-age series from Netflix, directed by Jonathan Entwistle, which follows fifteen-year-old Sydney through the complexities of high school, including unrequited crushes, bullies, and P.E., all while discovering that she has a unique set of telekinetic superpowers. Richard Ellis, the ebullient actor, plays Brad, a jock archetype with a penchant to make others feel less than, a trait which eventually lands Brad in some serious hot water with Syd. _Flaunt_ had the lovely opportunity to chat with Ellis on his character, practice, and goals.  **Why do you think coming of age stories are so important today and in general?** They give you the road map of something to follow, because a lot of people don’t have anybody to go to. I think that’s been art as a medium for centuries—it’s given people an outlet and something to aspire towards. When you go back to cavemen, they were drawing on walls. It’s always a need to have art for the human experience. **Describe working with the director Jonathan Entwistle and collaborating with each other.** He’s awesome! We were fortunate to have the same director through the duration. Most shows there’s swapping out, but to have this singular vision that we were all striving for as the shoot went on made it very much a team effort. **What have your own coming of age stories taught you?** What’s interesting is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, it’s always the same themes of learning how to accept yourself. For me, personally, it was acceptance. Richard Ellis wears GENTLE MONSTER glasses.Photographed by Ian Morrison. ![Richard Ellis wears GENTLE MONSTER glasses.Photographed by Ian Morrison.](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bd4728d062243a5ccc11_image-asset.jpeg) Richard Ellis wears [GENTLE MONSTER](https://www.gentlemonster.com/) glasses. Photographed by [Ian Morrison](https://www.instagram.com/imorrison/?hl=en). **What kind of advice would you have for young adults that are discovering themselves?** Confidence. Confidence is really a decision. This is coming from someone who grew up so insecure and hypercritical of everything. I have a younger brother who is just the epitome of ‘No F’s given,’ like he would just do whatever he wanted, when he wanted, and was very happy with himself. I remember calling him one day asking, ‘How do you do it? How are you so confident?’ And he says, ‘I don’t know man, I just don’t care.’ And it clicked. On that day, I decided I was going to be confident, I’m gonna go into situations now with a different mindset and everything changes with that. So it really is just the decision that you want to be confident, the decision that you want to be happy. It’s always a work in progress, but it starts with that. **On a personal level, what motivates you?** I want a life of no regrets. It sounds vague, but after growing up and having certain things happen you know, I just want to be in a situation where I can look back and I not lament over anything and be happy with how I conducted myself and connected my life. **Filming can be a super arduous process and take a toll. Other than acting, what kind of passions do you have, and what do you do to unwind?** Music, I love music! I play four instruments myself and sing, that was always my first love. Even on set, I had my guitar with me the whole time, and whenever I had a pocket of time, I was always playing or bringing it on trips. It’s something where I can let my mind go blank and just be present in the moment. And reading—just any form of escapism. Photographed by Ian Morrison. ![Photographed by Ian Morrison.](https://assets-global.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bd4728d062243a5ccc0d_Flaunt-Magazine-Richard-Ellis-Netflix3.jpeg) Photographed by [Ian Morrison](https://www.instagram.com/imorrison/?hl=en). See our other features with other cast members [Sophia Lillis](https://www.flaunt.com/content/i-am-not-okay-with-this-sophia-lillis), [Wyatt Oleff](https://www.flaunt.com/content/i-am-not-okay-with-this-wyatt-oleff), and [Sofia Bryant](https://www.flaunt.com/content/i-am-not-okay-with-this-sofia-bryant). * * * Flaunt Film Directed by: [Daniel Mayúgba](https://www.instagram.com/danny.mov/) & [Ryan Kevin](https://www.instagram.com/ryankevin/) Director of Photography: [Isaiah Shinn](https://www.instagram.com/isaiahshinn/) Camera: [Martin Gradek](https://www.instagram.com/citizen_xeno/) Sound & Editing: [Timothy Huang](https://www.instagram.com/timo4041/) Sound Assistant: [Sarah Peretz](https://www.instagram.com/sarah_peretz/)