Greek American “Fuller House” star taking television audiences by storm

Elias Harger
*Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

Young actor and star of hit show Fuller House, Elias Harger, is one of the busiest 11-year-olds you will come across. Juggling filming of the show with school, Harger, who has Greek heritage on his father’s side of the family, has also dabbled at learning French, Spanish, the piano and archery.

Sharing the Fuller House set with most of the original cast, including Candace Cameron-Bure, who plays his mother, and John Stamos who reprises his role as uncle Jesse and is also one of the show’s producers, Harger has been winning over audiences with his butter wouldn’t melt smile and hilarious humour. His recent nomination of a Fox Teen Choice Award granted his performance much-deserved recognition and cemented his status as one of the show’s most popular cast members.

 Articulate, mature beyond his years and enthusiastic about all that life has to offer, the future looks bright for the talented Harger. GCT recently chatted with Harger ahead of the Season 4 premiere on December 14 about getting into acting, why he loves the show and his character, and his plans for the future.

 

* Photo Credit: Mike Yarish / Netflix

When and where were you born and where do you do you live now?

I was born on October 22, 2007, in Denver, Colorado. My family moved to California right after Christmas 2016 so we live in California now. Before we moved, we went back and forth between Colorado and California when I was filming Fuller House, but it got to the point where it was easier to just move the family to California.

Where in Greece are your ancestors from?

My great-grandma on my dad’s side was born in Greece. Our family was from Athens.

How did you get into acting?

My parents signed my sister and me up with a modeling agency in Denver. I remember the first audition we went on was for a local commercial. My sister was two, and I was four-years-old. She booked the job! I wanted to get a commercial too, so I went on a bunch of auditions. I really liked the process of memorizing lines and trying out, so I started learning more about acting. I was only five years old, but I discovered I loved the thrill of auditioning and booking work. I booked my first commercial when I was five. It was a national commercial. After that experience, I was hooked. I thought the whole process was fun and exciting.

My parents helped me get a local acting coach who taught me basic stuff. I booked roles in student films and did local professional theater. Then, I auditioned for an acting school in Colorado that held showcases with Hollywood talent agents and managers. I signed with my agent at one of those showcases. He sent me audition material, and my mom recorded me on her smartphone with her video camera. That’s how I booked Fuller House. I put two auditions on tape, an initial audition, and a callback audition. Several weeks later, my agent called and said they wanted to fly me into town to test for the role of “Max.” So, my mom and I flew to Los Angeles the next day, and I went through three rounds of auditions at Warner Bros. in front of different executives and the casting directors. They offered me the job that evening. It was super exciting.

 

*Photo Credit: Mike Yarish / Netflix

What do you love about the show?

I love the family dynamic. There isn’t much out there right now that is good for the whole family to watch. There aren’t many shows that are both funny and show how important family is.

What do you like about your character Max Fuller, and do you share any similarities?

I think Max is a great role model for kids. He’s neat and tidy. He cares about the environment and the world around him. He’s smart and creative and loves school. He helps his friends and family. In some ways, I’m like Max, but I’m also different. I don’t dress up as much as he does. I guess I’m more of a regular, laid-back kid. I do get good grades in school though.

What is it like working closely with Candace and Jodie who were on the original show Full House?

Four seasons into the show, it feels very normal to work with Candace, Jodie, and Andrea. They are three of the nicest and most supportive people you could ever meet. When I first met them, it was a little overwhelming to meet people I saw on TV. I did watch Full House before getting cast in Fuller House. I really like the original show and all the characters. It’s an honor to be part of this TV family.

* Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to do gymnastics, swimming and play piano. I just started learning archery. I also like to play games on my iPad with my friends and read. My favorite books are mysteries and adventures.

How do you balance the show with school work?

I got cast on Fuller House when I was 7 years old and in the second grade, so I’m pretty used to balancing school and set life now. It’s definitely a challenge for child actors though because it’s like you have two jobs. Even though I’m an actor, I still am expected to get a full-time education and do well in school.

When we’re filming the show, we have to get to set very early so I can get in school time with my set teacher before we start working. Then, during the day, I trade-off between going to school in the school trailer and working on set. It means switching gears between student and actor all day and focusing a lot for many hours.

Who would you love to do a show or movie with?

There are many actors I’d love the chance to work with. I really admire Michael J. Fox as a comedian, and I think Leonardo DiCaprio is super talented. I also really admire Chris Pratt. He started in sitcoms and is doing great as a leading man in action/adventure feature films. I’d love to have a career like that.

What would you like to do after Fuller House?

At the moment, it’s hard to imagine not wanting to continue being an actor. It’s hard to say what I’ll do after Fuller House. I guess that depends on how many seasons we film and what other projects I might be lucky enough to land.

What is your favourite Greek food?
I love saganaki and chickpea dip and pita! Also, I remember my great-grandma made a yummy pastitsio and lahanodolmathes during the holidays.

Gina Mamouzelos

Gina is a third generation Greek Australian who grew up immersed in her Greek heritage, including the language, traditions, culture and listening to her grandparent’ mesmerising tales about life in Greece. Passionate about ensuring the Greek language is not forgotten among the younger generations, in 2002 she became a panel member on the SBS Greek radio show ‘Let’s Talk Openly.' She graduated with a Media and Communications degree from the University of Sydney and has put her lifelong passion for writing to use working in social media, public relations and advertising. Gina now joins GCT's team as a writer.

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