Born: March 14, 1994
Date of Birth: March 14, 1994
Ansel Elgort was born in New York City to an artistic couple – father Arthur is a fashion photographer who famously worked for Vogue, and mom Grethe Barrett Holby is an opera director. His mother has an interesting family background: her mother (Ansel’s grandmother) worked for the Resistance during WWII. Posing as a young mother, she took Jewish Norwegian children over the border to safety in Sweden. She was found out in 1943 when the Nazis came to her door in the middle of the night and sent her to a concentration camp, where she spent 18 months. She survived and moved to the United States after the war ended.
Ansel’s parents’ artistic backgrounds inspired him and his siblings to engage in the arts at a young age. His two older siblings pursued film editing and professional photography, while at the age of nine, Ansel auditioned for the School of American Ballet. He attended a prestigious performing arts high school in New York City, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High school, as well as a performing arts camp during summers. He started acting lessons at age 12, which lead to his first acting gig onstage in Regrets by Matt Charman. His first onscreen role was playing nice guy Tommy in the 2013 remake of Carrie.
Ansel’s acting efforts at an early age have paid off: he scored leading roles in two blockbuster films in 2014. He shot to stardom as Caleb in the first installment of the buzzed-about sci-fi trilogy Divergent (2014), playing the brother of Shailene Woodley’s character. Ansel and Shailene also co-star in the onscreen adaptation of the novel The Fault in Our Stars (2014), in which Ansel plays the role of Augustus Waters, who develops a romance with cancer-stricken Hazel. Even though the two actors have previously acted together, their characters’ relationships in the two films are vastly different – they went from playing siblings to lovers. Ansel has also wrapped up a role in the comedy Men, Women & Children (2014) starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner. More recently, he starred in The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015).
Aside from acting, Ansel’s second passion is music. The actor is a DJ and producer, and he remixes house music under the alias “Ansolo.” Having two photographers in his family has also given him the opportunity to model at a young age. Growing up, Ansel appeared in magazines such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen and Elle. During a photo shoot for Vogue, he worked with popular supermodel Cara Delevingne.