Director: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
Photographer: Emerson Miller @emersonmiller
MUA: Dominique Lerma @dominique_lerma
Hair: Rene Cortez @hairbyrenecortez
Wardrobe: Casey Hinders @caseyhinders
Interview: Dylan Jader @thedylanjader
Prune: You star in Netflix’s Girlboss. Talk to me about the show.
Ellie: Girlboss is about a girl, Sophia, in her early 20s. She doesn’t really have a purpose or place in life. She discovers her calling when she starts an eBay business selling vintage clothes online. It’s based on a true story, based on the real Sophia Amoruso, who eventually found Nasty Gal.
Prune: Annie is Sophia’s best friend. Talk to me about Annie as a character.
Ellie: Annie is weirdly one of Sophia’s only friends. Annie has been described as the life of the party, the crazy one. She’s outgoing. She’s the life of the party, not because she’s the wildest one at the party, but because she wants everybody to have fun. She’s generous and cares a lot about Sophia.
Prune: What makes this show unique?
Ellie: We’re getting to watch a young flawed female go through life making mistakes, treating other people in definitively imperfect ways, but you get to watch that knowing she will find success in the end. It’s something we’ve never seen before. It’s loosely based off of Sophia Amoruso’s life. (Amoruso) now runs a company that empowers other women, so to watch a young girl who’s decidedly a bit selfish go through a huge successful journey and end up in a place where she only wants to empower others is a unique storyline we haven’t seen before.
Prune: Girlboss has the common theme of female empowerment. How important is this to you in the real world?
Ellie: Oh, extremely important. Female empowerment is something that gets touched on in a lot of different ways, and I think the most important thing to me is that women feel free to be themselves in any which way they so choose. Women and young girls should not be afraid to make mistakes and be flawed. Girlboss does a particularly good job of representing the not so perfect women, and displaying they still deserve all the power in the world.
Prune: What drew you to the script of Girlboss?
Ellie: For me, it was the humor. I am a huge fan of Kay Cannon and all of her previous work, so this was no different. It made me laugh out loud, and it has such funny lines and scenarios. I was initially attracted to how funny the pilot was, and luckily that stayed consistent throughout the season.
Prune: Which character on Girlboss do you relate the most to in real life?
Ellie: I equally relate to Sophia and Annie. I relate to Sophia’s feeling like she doesn’t quite fit in. As an actor, that is something I realized early. Something about me was not meant for an office or a 9-5 a job. That is kind of a scary feeling when you realize it, because you feel limited, and you don’t know what you’re going to do. I think I handled it a little bit differently, though. In terms of Annie, I relate to her loyalty to her friends and her ability to brighten any situation.
Prune: Girlboss is your first steady TV role, and you’ve gotten a lot of recognition after only one season. Did you expect this success?
Ellie: No, not at all. I’m so flattered by it all. I was flattered that they took a chance on me for the role, because this is the first consistent series regular role that I’ve ever had. Everything in the past year has felt like a fairytale, not to sound cliché. I didn’t expect any of it, and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m just along for the ride.
Prune: How has Girlboss changed your life and career?
Ellie: It’s completely changed my life and my career. It’s like a video game, I’ve leveled up. It’s really helpful. I was working in Chicago for seven years, and you’re always told that acting is going to be a terrible grind. This relieved a little bit of that pressure, which is incredible, and will hopefully open doors for other opportunities that I wouldn’t have had before.
Prune: Netflix shows seem to never disappoint. What is your favorite show, besides Girlboss, to binge watch?
Ellie: I watch so much TV, it’s upsetting. I love Orange Is the New Black, but I haven’t kept up with it. I have a strange answer, I’m watching Bojack Horseman right now and I just love it. It’s super funny. I definitely also binge watch Netflix’s Gilmore Girls. Black Mirror is another great show, and Stranger Things. There are so so many.
Prune: Can we expect another season of Girlboss?
Ellie: I hope so. I haven’t heard anything yet. They are pretty secretive about their decisions, so we’re all waiting like everyone else.
Prune: Aside from acting, what are your other passions?
Ellie: I’m a writer, as well. I did some playwriting in Chicago, and screenwriting out here (in LA). I try to write as much as I can when I’m not acting. That is how I keep creative juices flowing when auditions are slow. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to see something I’ve written.
Prune: Who is the most influential “girl boss” in your life?
Ellie: My mom. She has always been a working mom and still managed to make time for us. She was the boss of several different companies and taught me everything I know about being a woman, and being a woman in the real world and in business. I think I owe any and all of my success to her advice and her support.
Prune: Let’s talk fashion. Describe your everyday style.
Ellie: I dress very casual. I like jeans and a t shirt with sneakers or sandals. I rarely get dressed up.
Prune: What are your three favorite trends at the moment?
Ellie: I’m really loving the mom jeans trend. I am surprisingly into cropped shirts. I thought I would hate them, but with high waisted jeans they fit together quite nicely. I’m also really into the fact that less makeup is becoming an acceptable thing. For a while it was deep contouring and a fully done face, and lately less is more.
Prune: If you could fashion prune one trend, what would it be?
Ellie: I’m not into the choker trend. They pop up every few years, and they never seem to last. I think there is a reason for that.