- Raviv (previously known as Ricky) Ullman starred in “Phil of the Future” from 2004 to 2006.
- Since then he’s acted in other series and films, but took some time to reflect on his Disney days.
- He said that even though he was having fun, he wishes he’d had more of a career strategy back then.
Raviv Ullman, known as Ricky Ullman at the time “Phil of the Future” aired, was the titular character on the Disney Channel show from 2004 to 2006. Since then, he’s branched out from kids’ television — joining a band with Zoe Kravitz at one point — and acting in a few films and notable TV series, like “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and “Broad City.”
In an interview with E! News, Ullman discussed his time on the beloved Disney Channel show that became the “centerpiece” of his career. He said he felt he could have handled his success at the time differently: “I was just a kid and enjoying what I was doing,” but “looking back now, I wish I’d been a little more strategic. I was 17. I don’t think I knew how to be strategic or what that actually meant in terms of a career.”
He said Disney, at least back then, kept their stars’ schedules packed: “You shot your show during the week. But on the weekends, often you would shoot something like Circle of Stars, you’d go to an event at Disneyland, or you’d shoot a ‘Disney Stars Are Just Like You’ or a PSA about exercise,” he said in April.
Ullman also said he still keeps up with his co-stars from time to time, including Aly Michalka (known for the sister-band, Aly & AJ), who played his best friend and love interest in the series. Even though Ullman spent time in the “Disney Circle of Stars” in the early 2000s, he said he was rarely star-struck. “I knew Ashley [Tisdale] when I first moved to Los Angeles. I knew Dylan and Cole [Sprouse] before their show aired. Those were the people that we were hanging out with.”
The shift to being a Disney Channel star was a big one for Ullman, who’d been attending public school in Fairfield, Connecticut when he was first cast. “All of a sudden, I was living in Los Angeles and going to work at 6 a.m. and doing schooling on set,” but “I loved being an actor, performing, working with a team of funny people to figure out how jokes work and how to make a good show.”
He went on to star in a few other projects for Disney, including “Pixel Perfect” and “That’s So Raven,” but seemingly disappeared from Disney very suddenly. Ullman said it wasn’t an intentional decision — it just happened that way. “I don’t think I was looking at it like, ‘now I am a Disney star and will do Disney movies forever,'” but “I never consciously was trying to break out.”
Fans remember that “Phil of the Future” had a short run, with only two seasons, and ended without resolving the romantic arc on the show. Ullman said he has no idea why it happened: “Actors are rarely privy to network decisions, so I don’t know why the final decision to end it was made,” he said in a previous interview.
Ultimately, Ullman said he’d be open to a reboot if the opportunity presented itself: “I’ll never say no. We had such a good time. I’m not going to be the one to turn that down, but I haven’t heard any rumblings.”