BELLO WATCH: Once Upon a Time’s Elliot Knight

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You discovered acting at an early age, even at school you were excelling in drama. Were your family supportive of this industry?

I’ve always received a lot of support from my family, particularly for my pursuits as an actor. I’m very lucky. My parents made every effort to encourage me to pursue anything in life that I enjoyed or found appealing so that I would be able to better understand myself and my passions as I grew up. Like all parents, they had moments of concern about the unpredictability of the industry, but always reinforced that with their support. They’ve been great.

What was your reaction when you were cast as Merlin in Once Upon a Time?

I was thrilled. I have always been fascinated by the legend that surrounds Merlin’s story and so having the opportunity to bring him to life in Once Upon A Time has been brilliant fun. It’s not a role I anticipated even being considered for so strongly, let alone actually getting to play him. I remember it being announced on my birthday earlier this year – pretty magical timing!

Were you a fan of fairytales and Disney growing up?

I don’t know a kid who wasn’t! Fairytales and stories of myth and legend blend so perfectly with creative souls, which as actors we all are. It’s all about that wonderful ability that we develop as children to create worlds and characters simply with our imaginations, to paint beautifully vivid pictures using only our minds. This was definitely me as a kid. Fairytales were great because they provided a no-limits playground for my imagination, and growing up, there’s nothing more exciting.

You play an important role this season in Once Upon a Time, did you find that at all daunting?

I did when I watched the finale of season 4! The apprentice tells Emma she must find ‘Merlin’ and it suddenly hit me that I would be playing him. I thought “pressure’s on!”. Really though, it’s just hugely exciting. It’s not often that you get to portray such an iconic, famous and all together brilliant character, so I have relished the opportunity.

What would be your dream role to be cast as in the future?

A role I grew up with and always loved was James Bond. I’d even say in some ways that he served as a creative role model for me as a kid, in terms of roles I would want to play. I watched all of the movies growing up with my dad, so to be Bond himself would without a doubt be my dream role.

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About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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