Cleveland International Film Festival } March 25 – April 5, 2020 } Tower City Cinemas

A Freak's Best Friend

April 01, 2017   |   posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers


You may not immediately know Ely Henry’s name, but you’ve seen him more often than you probably think.

Since playing the “Homeschooled Boy” in “Mean Girls” (2004), who believed that God invented the Remington rifle so humans could battle dinosaurs and homosexuals, Henry has become a staple of film and television, largely in character and comedic parts.

“When I was younger I played a lot of nerds and dorks, but now that I'm older I find myself playing a lot of assholes and weirdos,” he explains. “I pray that change doesn't apply to me personally but...well, not for me to say.”

In “Some Freaks,” he steps out of those roles, at least a little, playing the charismatic but closeted Elmo.

“When I auditioned for the part, Elmo was described as the ‘typical horny high school best friend, except he's gay,’ and that's pretty much how I see him,” he says. “In a movie like "Some Freaks," which examines what it means to be an outsider, Elmo demonstrates the difficulty with being outgoing and seemingly confident but secretly ashamed to be who you really are. It's something I really relate to, personally, not from a sexuality point of view but rather in my own dealings with social anxiety.”

He was also drawn to the part because Elmo was so layered. “On the surface he's this funny, charming guy, but underneath there's a lot of pain.”

Humor comes naturally to Henry. When I ask him if he has plans to direct, his immediate response is “I would love to. Do you have something for me? Let's set up a lunch.” And when I tell him about this year’s CIFF theme, he has a ready answer as well: “Illuminate … that's that group that runs the world right? I'd love to be a part of that through my work.”

His streak is continuing; next up for him will be a superhero comedy called “Zeroes,” and the work keeps coming.

“In the future, I'd really like to be able to follow in the footsteps of someone like Phillip Seymour Hoffman,” he reflects. “He's a character actor who managed to break away from bit parts and oddballs to creating these incredible roles in larger projects.”

Lara Klaber

PDF  Download Related PDF [1.8 MB]

Related Screenings:
03/31/17 @ 8:50 PM – SOME FREAKS
04/01/17 @ 3:30 PM – SOME FREAKS
04/02/17 @ 11:25 AM – SOME FREAKS

Permalink  [Permalink]

CIFF Tweets

Did you see?!? Cleveland International Film Festival permanently moving to Playhouse Square in 2021 via @WKYC

about 2 hours ago   .   Reply   .   Retweet   .   Favorite

CIFF Facebook Posts

Miss the big news? Check this out!

about 2 hours ago   .   Link

CIFF on Instagram

Follow us @clefilmfest

Two of the region’s cultural gems embark on a new chapter together. Today, we’re elated to announce that the Cleveland International Film Festival will move to @playhousesquare in 2021.
Moving to Playhouse Square, CIFF remains in downtown #Cleveland and under one roof.  Festival attendees will experience films in historic and stunning venues, including the Allen Theatre, Key Bank State Theatre, Mimi Ohio Theatre and Connor Palace. Plus, movie-goers will be steps away from dining and nightlife spots in the district. 
As it has for the past several years, Opening Night at #CIFF44 will take place at Playhouse Square. The Festival, as a whole, will remain at Tower City Cinemas for 2020. Find program details for #CIFF44 at on Feb.28th so stay tuned.

Posted by clefilmfest at 7:00 PM

Questions? >


Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about entering the film festival.

Become A CIFF Member >

Become A CIFF Member

We have six different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



Sign up to receive news and updates


No thanks, maybe later.