Actor Travis Lee Eller to appear in ‘Elkhorn’, a new TV series about the young Roosevelt

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Travis Lee Eller is known for appearing in Westerns, but unlike other Hollywood actors he also supplies the costume department with authentic-looking outlaw hats! Originally from North Carolina and now based in LA, Travis started in entertainment as a TV stage manager and since 2012 has appeared in numerous films, many of them Westerns. He also has his own hat-making business, Ugly Outlaw Hats. He wrote and directed the short film ‘The Killer: A Fight in July’, which was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Actress at the Wild Bunch Film Festival 2016. He also wrote and starred in the short film ‘Bad Men And The Devil’, for which he won a Best Actor award and the film won Best Western Short at the Genre Celebration Film Festival 2017. Now Travis is appearing in the TV series ‘Elkhorn’, about Theodore Roosevelt abandoning politics to become a cattleman in the lawless Dakota Badlands; it is available to watch on the INSP network and various streaming platforms from 11 April 2024. 

What was it like working on ‘Elkhorn’?

“It was amazing!”

“The entire cast and crew were a pleasure to work with.”

It was great seeing it all come together, from the audition process to the sets being built and finally to that first moment you hear the director call: ‘Action!’. I loved every minute of it. The Western genre is something I’m extremely interested in and having this opportunity to work in this environment again and tell this particular story got me really excited, especially knowing there’s a true history behind it.” 

Can you tell us a bit about your role? 

“I play Joe Ferris, who became a dear friend to Teddy Roosevelt. He’s a shopkeeper in the Dakota Territory town of Medora. Joe’s a nice guy, he knows everyone and everything about the town, but at the same time he’s no pushover and is stern when he has to be. He loves his town and wants to see it thrive. He also acts as the town postmaster and bookkeeper for Roosevelt’s business affairs. Joe was an interesting role for me to take on. I was so used to playing a villain in Westerns, that when it was time to be the good guy I had a moment of thinking: ‘How am I going to do this?’ Then I realised how ridiculous that sounded for an actor to say, and I screwed my head on straight again and jumped in.” 

Photo credit: Jason Michelson

Who will enjoy this TV series? 

“I hope as many people as possible will tune in. If you’re a history buff, interested in Theodore Roosevelt, or a Westerns fan in general, then ‘Elkhorn’ will be right up your alley. It’s great because there’s so much literature on Teddy Roosevelt and his life as President and conservationist, but there’s not really too much out there to watch. I’ve never seen any show or film about this particular time of his life.”

“I hope viewers have the same interest and sense of discovery I had when learning about this part of his history.” 

What have been your favourite projects to date?

“I’ve had a few great projects I’ve been part of, including guest-starring roles on major network shows and lead roles in independent films, but I think some of my favourite roles were in smaller productions in my early pursuit of acting. It was all about the learning experience, and the knowledge I took away from each of those, be it technical or emotional. If I had to pick a film of mine that I really enjoyed doing, it would be the short Western ‘Only God Forgives’, which is available to watch on Amazon Prime.”

Photo credit: Morgan Weistling

What are you up to next?

“Negotiations and auditions are happening, but other than that I’m continuing with my hobby, which is hat-making. I own a small business called Ugly Outlaw Hats, which allows me to stay busy with my hands. It’s also offered me an avenue into film and television, as I’ve made a few hats for various productions, including ‘Elkhorn’.”

To find out more about Travis, visit www.travisleeeller.com

Featured photo credit: Morgan Weistling