Here's what the child star from Christmas classic Elf looks like now

Christmas comedy Elf star Daniel Tay was just 11 years old when he played Buddy's half-brother Michael in what was only his second acting role. In the same year, he also had a small part in the comedy-drama American Splendour.

Even though Elf proved to be an instant festive success, grossing $220m worldwide, a sequel was never made and Daniel only had a few more roles before leaving Hollywood to go to university.

Daniel Tay and Will Ferrell Elf
Daniel starred as Michael, the younger brother of Will Ferrell's character Buddy in the Christmas classic Elf. Photo: YouTube/@MovieZya

Daniel attended Yale from 2010 to 2014, graduating with a BA in Economics, and was awarded the Richard U. Light Fellowship for his studies in Mandarin Chinese.


He also served as a Teaching Assistant and Peer Tutor in the Department of Computer Science.

Daniel didn't give up performing altogether though. Along with some voice acting roles for Rockstar Games, he was also part of a stand-up comedy group.

Will Ferrell, Daniel Tay
Daniel and Will at the premiere of Elf in New York. Photo: Getty Images

After graduation, he tutored a wide array of subjects including Spanish, chemistry, and mathematics to prepare students for their SATs.

Then in 2020, he took a job as a research fellow at Columbia University Irving Medical Center while doing pre-med and now at the age of 30, he is studying medicine at Cornell University.

 Daniel Tay
Daniel retired from acting in 2009 to go into academia and is now studying to be a doctor. Photo: Getty Images

According to his LinkedIn profile, Daniel continues to tutor through a company called Bespoke Education, and volunteers at the New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in patient services.

Looks like we'll soon be calling Buddy's young friend Dr Daniel Tay.

As for a rumoured Elf sequel, it doesn't look like it'll be happening anytime soon.

Before he passed away earlier this year, James Caan, who played Buddy's biological father Walter in the movie, main star Will and director Jon Favreau didn't get along.

"We were gonna do [a sequel] and I thought, 'Oh my God, I finally got a franchise movie, I could make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do," Caan revealed in 2020. "The director and Will didn't get along very well... So, Will wanted to do it, he didn't want the director, and he had it in his contract, it was one of those things."

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