Erik Fellows is a man of many talents. He was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, and grew up an only child in an Italian-Swedish-English household.
His first passion was basketball. He dedicated himself to the sport and eventually became the starting point guard on his varsity high school basketball team.
At the beginning of his senior year, he sustained an injury that put his basketball career on hold, but it led him into the entertainment industry. Fellows was introduced to modeling through an agency in Georgetown, DC, and began working as a model for ads and catalogs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
Fellows relocated to New York City and began booking print work and commercials for designers and companies like Macy's, GQ Magainze, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. From there he moved his career to Los Angeles where he landed huge commercial campaigns with Verizon Wireless, Gilette, and Pom Wonderful.
Over the years, he has appeared in several TV shows including CSI: NY, NCIS: Los Angeles, and in a recurring role in Days of Our Lives. You can currently catch him in the Amazon Prime series The Bay, the upcoming series Purgatory, and in the new film Starf*cker.
Maggie Lovitt (ML): Have you been working on anything during quarantine?
Erik Fellows (EF): Yes, I've been working on a new series called “Purgatory.” We were shooting season one and season two in Armenia when the virus started to expand, and we filmed until about March 20, and then we were sent back to the states. I still have to go back to Armenia to finish a few episodes for the second season. Once I got back to Los Angeles to keep myself busy, I have two other projects in preproduction, and I'm getting ready to start the sixth season of my Amazon prime show, “The Bay” series.
ML: There's so many new series on streaming services, have you binged anything lately?
EF: Well, let's see I've binge-watched “Ozark,” “The Last Dance” on ESPN, “Tiger King” on Netflix, and “Upload” on Amazon Prime. Those are just a few of them, but there were many.
ML: Have you worked on learning any new hobbies or skills during quarantine?
EF: I sure did. I learned how to adapt to seven people living in a home with four cats and a dog. LOL!
ML: I love getting the chance to talk to another actor who got their start in the Mid-Atlantic. How did you get your start in acting?
EF: It’s sort of random. My girlfriend at the time was babysitting a six-year-old boy for a friend. When the mother came to pick her son up, she came inside for a few minutes, and I was getting ready to head home. The mother stopped me as I was leaving and asked if I had ever thought about modeling and acting. She mentioned that she has her son was in acting and youth modeling for big companies like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, etc. She asked me if I wanted to give it a try because she thought I had a great look and an outgoing personality. I initially was hesitant, to be honest, I hated drama class in high school and quit. All I really cared about basketball. So as far as modeling goes, my friends would have teased me.
She said, ” Well, let's hear them tease you when you're making a great living as a model with that face and maybe one day become a TV/ movie star! ” I laughed and never thought that was ever even a possibility. She said, well, I'm going to introduce you to a modeling agency in Georgetown, DC, as a possible back up plan for you, and hey, you never know where it could lead! I ended up signing a contract and started work as a model doing ads and catalogue in the local area.
This wasn't my first dream, and I wasn't sure if it was something I was fully interested in at all. But it was something to pay the bills, and I was making some extra cash while trying to figure out my life. I eventually started to gather more of an interest in it, and I relocated to New York City. I seemed to have a knack for this industry, so let's give this modeling and acting thing a shot.
ML: As a fellow SAG-AFTRA member, I love hearing about how actors got their SAG vouchers. What job landed you in the guild?
EF: I got my vouchers when I was still living in the Washington DC area, and I was standing for a show called the District and then boom three vouchers!
ML: You starred in Days of Our Lives for three years, with filming schedules on soaps being so tight, what was that experience like?
EF: When you first come onto a soap, you hear all the stories of how much page content you shoot per day. Sometimes we used to shoot one or two episodes in one day; it's something you have to get used to! I have major respect for soap actors and those who started in a soap; it prepares you to be prepared, is the best way to put it. It's easy to get stuck in the soap idea of the soap way of how they shoot daytime. The fast pace and not being able to venture outside the box as much as you'd like to like on film productions or even primetime TV.
ML: Do you prefer the more fast-paced nature of soaps, or do you enjoy having more time with a script like on a film?
EF: I have gotten to a point where I can break a script down pretty fast because of being on soaps for as long as I was. But, of course, I think any actor would like to have more time with the script and be able to endure the character and bring the character through them as authentic as they possibly can!
ML: What can we expect from this season of The Bay?
EF: The only thing I can tell you is that the storylines will be solely based on COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. That's all I'm allowed to give out.
ML: I noticed that the filming location for Purgatory was Armenia. What was it like to film overseas?
EF: It was a great time for me in Armenia. It was quite a beautiful country. It was snowing when we first got there, so it's really pretty in the mountains; the scenery was just gorgeous so aesthetically. It was gorgeous to film!
ML: What can you tell us about your character, Bobby, in Purgatory?
EF: Well, Bobby is quite the bad guy. He's actually a pretty bad, bad, bad guy. He's an ex-con murderer that isn't too polite to people, and he demands his way!! The best way I can describe him is a charismatic, charming, sinister, evil, delightful, exciting, sociopathic, and oddly sensitive guy with a twist. Quite a different character, I must say. I'm very excited for people to see the series and get to meet Bobby!
ML: Starf*ckerseems to be an incredibly relevant film, with so much that's come out about the dark side of Hollywood. What can you tell us about your character Jimmy?
EF: Yes, “Starf*cker” is a very time-sensitive and also relatable dark comedy about Hollywood and the underbelly of the twisted dark understandings of the City of Angels they haven't shown on TV or movies, maybe bits, and pieces. Still, we unveiled a lot of what's not shown in a comedic way! It is based on the #metoo movement, the manipulation, the power of the sex, drugs, and how it can lead darkness and or death in the end! I play the role of Jimmy Starr. The story follows the life of Jimmy, the quintessential actor that will do whatever takes to make it.
He has his crossroads in his life. People sort of know who he is. He's not reached the top at this point. Still, there's a wall where it seems if he doesn't start taking advantage of the Hollywood understanding and manipulating its way to the top from what we hear of how many to do it, he'll never achieve greatness. Hence, if he was the life of an actor who struggles with the darkness, rejection, and loss, there's a major conflict in the film that is unleashed and throws a twist into it, but I can't give it away right now. But yeah, the movie was shot uniquely.
It covers breaking the fourth wall as his character/ alter ego / is also driven in his POV. It's an interesting character study on the type of person that either becomes or is a narcissist or has addictions and the things that they go through in this downward spiral down this dark path and are given ultimatums in the end! I hope people see this movie and understand there are lessons to be learned from it. It's funny, sad, crazy, dark, over the top, and offensive. We didn't hold back.
ML: Your resume seems to cover almost every genre — is there any type of film or TV series you're dying to be part of?
EF: As of late, I've been getting roles that have always interested me, like playing the nemesis or just a bad guy. Lately, I've been playing to the extremes of both, so to be honest, I am not sure. Maybe if I were to play a character with some special needs, that would be something for me that's different to tap into that I have not done yet.
To challenge the understanding of life and the brain of someone that goes through some sort of syndrome, the average person isn't capable of understanding what they go through daily! So that's something I would want to dig into, and then learn more about. That's definitely a challenge for any actor to comprehend. I wish to be tested on that level!
ML: What draws you to the roles you audition for?
EF: Do you look for roles that challenge you? As I answered my last question, absolutely. I like to play against my look from what someone would typically cast me as. A sports type, physical parents, race, gender, but yeah, I know I typically look for a role that can challenge me. That I get to play within my head and in really understand.
Where I can relate to this character and make me my own thing, many actors always think you're playing into an idea of something. Still, the audience is watching me / Erik Fellows, so I want to give them whatever I've created within myself to betray that character being Erik Fellows the most authentic way I can live and delivering Erik Fellows within that character.
ML: Do you have any aspirations to write and direct?
EF: I'm not saying that I would never have the interest to write or direct. But I think for now I'm really enjoying creating as an actor in front of the camera. But you never know if one day I get the itch to dabble on that of the camera.
ML: What is something you always have to have in your trailer?
EF: Red Vines, Sour Patch Kids, bottled water, and Coca Cola.
ML: I have always joked that I got into acting because I love set catering. What's the best meal you've had on the set?
EF: Man, let me tell you, this one time we were treated like kings and queens. They had everything imaginable. They fed us Filet Mignon and garlic mashed potatoes with an amazing salad and grilled garlic shrimp with this amazing sauce, including any and every dessert you can imagine.
ML: What do you always have to grab at crafty on set?
EF: Fruit snacks, Red Vines, bananas, trail mix, honestly pretty much everything.
ML: La Croix, Bubbly, or non-sparkling water?
ML: What is something you always have to make sure you have with you on set?
EF: Backpack with all my little essential needs; chapstick, eye drops, deodorant, and phone charger.