It’s raining outside, but Nadine Ellis is undeterred. As she pulls up to the set to shoot her exclusive cover for rolling out, the talented actor and dancer just pops open her umbrella and jogs to the door flashing a warm smile.
“Hi, I’m Nadine.”
Oh, we know who you are. And why wouldn’t we? As a star on the BET series “Let’s Stay Together,” as well as an impressive turn alongside Idris Elba in the sleek new Toyota Avalon commercial series, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t familiar with the work of Ellis. But today, she’s just bubbly Nadine, who seems determined not to let a little rain dampen her mood.
As she settles into the makeup chair with artist Jeremy Dell to begin her prep for the shoot, Ellis took a moment to thank everyone on the set for their help in creating this moment. What we would soon come to find out is that the New York native has always been keenly aware of the people who have helped her along the way. That much was apparent from the moment her interview with rolling out began. Here are a few excerpts from that interview.
You’ve been everywhere lately. The first thing that we need to know is how did it all begin?
I’ve been a dancer for most of my life. I started at the age of 13, which is later than most girls. But I caught the bug and it took me to where I am now. I’m from Jamaican parents, who supported my dance, but they also wanted me to get an education, so that’s what I did. I went and got a communications degree, and had aspirations of being a newscaster, but dance kept pulling me back. I would be on tour during the summer when I wasn’t in school, and I was fortunate to have professors that worked with me. But one day, my father had a heart-to-heart with me and let me know that I couldn’t dance forever, and [he] just pushed me to discover what would be next for me. That’s when I told him that I had been taking acting classes, and that I [thought] that I wanted to become an actor. But to do that, I would have to move to L.A. So my dad just paused and then asked me when I was moving. It really surprised me how supportive he was of such a risky move and it really launched me into this career, and there’s been no looking back ever since.
So are the passions equal between dance and acting?
I honestly don’t know if they were ever equal? Dance has always been my first love, and will probably always continue to be. I know that may not be the best answer as an actor, but dance is just a part of who I am. I will probably dance until my legs fall off. Acting is just an extension of myself where I get to share myself in a completely different way.