From the covers of Vogue and Elle to guest starring in television series such as Ugly Betty and CSI: Miami, Ella Thomas has been fortunate enough to experience many different facets of the entertainment world.
We've seen her as the woman who tried to steal Vince away from his girlfriend on Entourage, this past summer she starred in the NBC mini-series The Storm, and her career is about to skyrocket as she stars opposite the legendary Bruce Willis in The Surrogate this fall.
Over the years I've been lucky enough to interview some of television's brightest stars, and I can honestly say that just about every one of these celebrities have been normal, down to earth, very nice people. Every so often, a celebrity comes along whom I instantly hit it off with and Ella Thomas happened to be just that actress. I haven't enjoyed a conversation as much with any other interview and I believe we could have easily talked for hours had our phones not begun to lose battery power. Keep your eyes on this one folks -- she's going to be a big star!
Q: What made you decide to pursue acting?
Ella: "I was always interested in acting, but I didn't decide to do it full time until three years ago. I was in school and I used modeling to pay for university and to put my sister through school. My mother became ill and after I lost her, I thought what would I do if I had to live my life just for me, if it wasn't about getting an education and it was about pursuing a dream. Even though she always fostered the idea of following my dreams, she wanted us to have a fallback and always have a means to support ourselves. I didn't want to look back and say that I didn't try something because I was afraid of what people would think or afraid to try."
Q: What were the biggest advantages to being a model?
Ella: "I think it gave me a tough skin. I understand that everyone's idea of what they need for a project is different. You're not always going to be right for everything, but every now and then, you're perfect. I come from an industry where I was based solely on whether I was tall enough, heavy to thin -- there's always a stipulation. It's very rarely something that you can do anything about. It's a very similar thing with film and television where the producers and directors have an idea of what they want their project to be and they're filling slots. Sometimes people forget to give them credit for their creative vision. It's not always just about talent."
Q: You've guest starred in several popular TV shows, which role was your favorite?
Ella: "They've all been so different. I've had some sets that were just exhilarating! When I first worked on Ugly Betty, they were coming off a Golden Globe nomination and they were coming off a high, they were so joyful. When you're working in an environment where everyone is thrilled to be working on a project, you feel that. Over on Entourage -- it's boys town. They're having so much fun and don't take themselves too seriously. Adrian Grenier is lovely and such a pleasure to work with. They are as funny offset as they are onset."
Q: Which show had the swankiest set?
Ella: "Entourage. They've got the fancy cars, they're wearing the watches, they use multimillion-dollar homes.... He's (Vince) meant to be a movie star, so they cover the best and brightest in Los Angeles."
Q: In the mini-series The Storm, you starred alongside some of television's most memorable leading men (Luke Perry, Treat Williams and James Van Der Beek), who was your favorite?
Ella: "Because of the interconnecting stories, most of my scenes took place with Troy Winbush, while James Van Der Beek and Luke Perry are off to save the world. People forget because they had a niche for so long as these memorable characters that live in our consciousness, they're great actors. They're all so talented and gifted."
Q: What TV shows do you follow on a regular basis?
Ella: "You're going to laugh, but I'm a So You Think You Can Dance junkie."
Q: You starred opposite Bruce Willis in The Surrogate, what was it like working with him?
Ella: "There is a reason he's a movie star, there is a reason he has the acclaim that he does. As an action star and someone who has worked in the science-fiction genre, it's effortless for him. His transitions from walking onto the set, his charisma, the command he has.... and then at the same time, he has a wicked sense of humor. For many of us, it was our first time on a project of that magnitude and he just puts everyone at ease."
Q: Did Bruce pull any pranks?
Ella: "No, but he threatened to. And you believed him."
Q: Do you have any projects in the works?
Ella: "I have a few things in the works, but until we have confirmed dates, I don't want to say anything. I'm a little superstitious."