The first time I met up-and-coming actor Jean Elie two years ago, I corrected him on the pronunciation of his own name.
“It’s zhon! Aye-lee! It’s important!”
It’s especially important when you’ve got big plans to see your name in lights. Jean moved to Los Angeles with only $1000 and an uncertain housing situation. He got a day job and within 6 months he booked work on the film Project X, a Nike commercial as a stunt double, got his SAG card, and then it was off to the races. In late April, Jean and I sat and chatted about his path to acting, his upbringing, his personal style, and what dating is like for him. The following interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.