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Elf child star quit Hollywood and has a very different life now

Elf child star quit Hollywood and has a very different life now

Elf was released 20 years ago this month.

If you don't have Elf on at Christmas time you're quite simply a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.

The iconic Christmas flick - turned 20 this month - following its release on 7 November, 2003.

The movie follows Buddy (Will Ferrell), who is raised by elves at the North Pole.

After discovering that he is not actually an elf, he travels to New York in search for his biological father, played by the late James Caan.

The star-studded line up also includes Zooey Deschanel (Jovi), Bob Newhart (Papa Elf), Mary Steenburgen (Emily) and Peter Dinklage (Miles Finch), as director Jon Favreau also plays Dr. Leonardo.

However, another key character - Buddy's brother, Michael - seemingly has gone off the radar since the hit film.

He's quit Hollywood and has a very different life now.

Buddy's brother, Michael.

Actor Daniel Tay was only 12 when the film came out and now he could not be further from the bright lights of Hollywood.

He went on to star in a couple films before doing some voiceover work for Grand Theft Auto.

But after all that, he headed to Yale where he achieved a BA in Economics, according to IMDb.

Once he got a degree, he went on to work as an SAT instructor at Veritas Prep, a consulting firm for graduate schools.

According to the Veritas Prep website: "While at Yale, Daniel served as a Teaching Assistant and Peer Tutor in the Department of Computer Science.

"He was also a recipient of the Richard U. Light Fellowship for his studies in Mandarin Chinese language.

"He believes that teaching and learning are expressions of the basic human need for mutual understanding.

"With this in mind, he works with students to cultivate relationships based in clarity, humour, structure and respect.

"When away from SAT/ACT instruction, Daniel is a professional actor and avid writer."

You would have thought that the success of the the film would mean that Tay, now 30, would never have had to work again.

But to be fair, he looks to be doing very well for himself.

If you don't have Elf on at Christmas time you're quite simply a cotton-headed ninny-muggins.

Elf was a smash hit and grossed a worldwide total of $220 million (£178.9 million) at the box office, against a lesser production budget of $33 million (£26.8 million).

Sadly, it seems not even a huge cheque could convince main character Ferrell to revive his iconic role for a sequel.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, Ferrell admitted that he never expected Elf to be the hit that it was.

He recalled thinking, while dressed in his yellow tights, 'this could be the end'.

Remembering calls with his manager about test screenings, the actor said: "He was like, ‘Well, the family one went great, but we could really get eviscerated in this next one. I’m looking at a bunch of what look like USC frat boys about to go in'.

"Then later I hear, no, that group actually liked it, too.”

Had Ferrell accepted the opportunity to return as Buddy, he would have walked away with a cheque for $29 million (£23.6m).

Featured Image Credit: Universal

Topics: Christmas, Elf, TV and Film, Will Ferrell, Celebrity, Education