“My older brother wanted to move out to L.A. when he turned 18. We moved as a family before he turned 18 because I was booking jobs from Colorado that were in L.A,” Ross recalled to Issue Magazine in 2017. “It worked because we were all working. We moved first to a motel for a few months, then into a two-bedroom apartment, all seven of us. So we were pretty comfy at first.”
Ross, along with his family, went on to create music together under the moniker R5.
“The goal for me was always to become an actor,” he explained. “The music just came out of nowhere.”
The Colorado native became a Disney Channel heartthrob when Austin & Ally premiered in 2011. He played the title character Austin until the fan-favorite series came to an end in 2016. Then, he started to transition out of his Disney persona.
“I’ve personally never had the fear of that … perception,” Ross told GQ in November 2017. “I have a lot of other things going on. I’m in a band with my siblings, and our fanbase doesn’t necessarily look at it that way. I know a lot of the world probably does, because I come from Disney Channel. But I never really had that fear, you know? To me, I was just an actor with a good job. And a constant job. Four years. When I was on Disney, in the back of my head, I wanted to do — not even for anyone else, just for me — I wanted to do something that was independent. And maybe a little darker.”
He went on to star in the movie My Friend Dahmer before being cast as Harvey Kinkle in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Amid his acting roles, Ross was continuing to create music as a member of R5 until the band transitioned into The Driver Era with him alongside brother Rocky Lynch.
“We’ve approached all of The Driver Era with a lot of freedom and a lot of spontaneity because that’s how we like to create. That’s how we feel like we get the best product,” Ross told FADER in December 2021, noting that some of their “past projects have definitely had a little bit more restraint.” But, going forward, the siblings are happy to work together “making whatever feels good at the time.”
Scroll through our gallery to see Ross’ total transformation over the years.
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