Celebrity Names Blog

Watch Out For 'Boyhood' Star Ellar Coltrane ... And His Name

Watch Out For 'Boyhood' Star Ellar Coltrane ... And His Name
Photo Credit: Fame/Flynet

As the movie Boyhood starts opening in more theaters across the country this month, chances are you're hearing about the remarkable experience of the movie's star, Ellar Coltrane. Writer/director Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) started the movie when Ellar was 6 and filmed it in short spurts over the course of the next 12 years. The result: The audience gets the privilege of watching this little boy grow up and blossom as an actor (in a completely fictional plot). We're also, naturally, curious about the now 19-year-old actor's unusual name.

Born Ellar Coltrane Salmon, Coltrane told New York magazine that he decided to use his middle name as his last name, because Salmon just feels too personal to put on the screen." Given that his father, Bruce Salmon, is a musician from New Orleans, we wonder if Coltrane was also named after the famous jazz saxophone player. But it's his first name that we envision inspiring others to follow suit. Ellar is a version of the Scottish Eallair, which is from the Latin cella, meaning "cellar."

In Boyhood, Coltrane's character is Mason Jr. --- an appropriately trendy pick that was just starting to pick up steam in the 1990s (ranking around #115) before peaking at #2 in 2011. Mason's older sister also bears a popular '90s name, Samantha. She's played brilliantly by Linklater's daughter, Lorelei --- another favorite name of ours.

It remains to be seen if Coltrane will follow in the footsteps of that other illustrious Linklater alum, Matthew McConaughey, (and here's hoping he doesn't go the way of Jason London).

How do you like the name Ellar?

-S.R.W.

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