Old Soul Rejuvenates Young Spirit
When Freeform’s massive-hit show Pretty Little Liars came to an end in 2017, millions of hearts around the world broke. However, now two years later, fans were finally able to see its spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, with new storylines and faces. One of these fresh new faces was Eli Brown from Eugene, Oregon.
After catching the acting bug in high school, Brown did theater acting for years. His very first audition was for The Perfectionists, making this his first time ever in the spotlight, a fact that “terrifies” him. “The idea of not being able to go pick up milk without multiple [people] deciding [if] they have to say hi [to me], is what terrifies me,” the 19-year-old newcomer says. “I’m just another person trying to go about their day.” Since Brown’s hometown in Oregon is “a tight community, and everybody knows everybody,” he hasn’t had to deal with mobbing crowds or people knowing his name, much unlike his famous co-stars such as Janel Parrish and Sofia Carson. “They gave me advice [on] how to deal with the madness of being on a wildly famous show, and how to deal with the sometimes overwhelming aspects of fame, work and people wanting things from you,” shares Brown, who is keen on “staying grounded, humble, and expressing humility.”
Brown even gave up his smartphone for an outdated flip phone “to stay away from the madness of social media” as his Instagram and Twitter blew up seemingly overnight – and the flip phone was a way for him to escape the frenzy that would come along with it. He uses his iPad for social media activity, allowing him the option to “take a breather from it all, whereas with a smartphone, you’re constantly tuning into all these [social forums].” Indeed, Brown is passionate about wanting people to go out and live life, something that a smartphone doesn’t really allow. “I just feel like nowadays you can literally do anything from your room – order any dish, watch any movie, learn any fact, and you’re not really living. It’s taking the life out of life if you’re doing everything from your phone in your room. You’re not actually going out and learning these things. You’re not doing anything because it’s right in front of you, and that’s not the life I want to live,” he affirms.
While he doesn’t necessarily like the idea of a smartphone and social media, he doesn’t think it should be completely erased. “It’s a very cool thing that allows you to connect with new people, reconnect with old friends, and see what your current friends are up to,” he explains. Nonetheless, Brown himself found it difficult to find a healthy balance of using a smartphone and going out and living life. He is now adamant that what comes along with these social apps is “an endless vacuous cycle” of scrolling through feeds with “nothing new happening and nothing really important.”
This rising actor – whose co-stars describe as being an old soul – plans to stick with his antiquated flip phone and hopes his future involves more acting gigs and a fuller embrace of life. He wants to experience everything life has to offer: “travel, try stuff, do stuff, be bigger.”
Writer: Gavy Contreras
Photographer, Stylist & Men’s Grooming: Al David
Special thanks to EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)