Ross Butler may be known for portraying teenagers, but a conversation with him reveals a smart and gracious artist far more sophisticated than his characters. Then again, Ross thinks we should all give teenagers a little more credit. Through playing roles like Zach on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” and Reggie on The CW’s “Riverdale,” he’s come to appreciate the complexity and maturity of teens these days. And as a bonus, he thinks that playing so many high-schoolers is keeping him young.
Ross has loved acting ever since a buddy bought him an acting class for his 21st birthday. He enjoys being an entertainer and making people smile, but acting has also helped him explore his identity. Growing up as an Asian-American, Ross says he struggled to fit in and figure out who he was; these days, he’s thrilled that American audiences (and American teenagers in particular) have accepted him with open arms. He decided long ago that he wanted to play more than just stereotypical Asian roles and through a combination of luck, skill, and a changing social landscape, he’s been able to do just that.
A superstar on Instagram, Ross loves sharing his life and creativity with the world. His feed is full of pictures of himself playing music, riding motorcycles, cuddling with his dogs, and inspirational messages alongside movie promos and photos from set. He wants to inspire his followers to pursue their own creativity and find what makes them unique. Ross’s ultimate goal, not just for himself but for every person in the world, is simple: happiness.
We were excited to chat with Ross about his life, his career, and what makes him happy.