Whatever Happened to Phil of the Future’s Raviv Ullman? A Rare Convo With the Disney Star

Raviv Ullman was a small-screen staple back in the early days of Disney Channel. But what is the Phil of the Future star up to now? He exclusively sat down with E! News for a rare check in.

By Jillian Fabiano Apr 15, 2022 4:00 PMTags
Watch: Raviv Ullman Recalls FIRST Phil of the Future Fan Reaction

He may be Phil of the Future, but we're here to provide you with a blast from the past.

Picture this: It's 2004 and you just got home from a long day of school. You throw your backpack and Lisa Frank notebook to the side (which is covered with your crush's name in gel pen, of course), sit down on the couch, turn on the TV and Phil of the Future is on. Life is good. 

Well, get ready for a serotonin surge once more, because E! News exclusively caught up with the OG Disney Channel heartthrob himself, Raviv Ullman.

Raviv, formerly known as Ricky, first entered our hearts back when he starred on Phil of the Future. He played Phil Diffy, a 15-year-old from 2121 who gets trapped in the year 2003 (back then, it was present for us) after his family's rented time machine breaks down.

Though the series only ran for two seasons from 2004 to 2006, we'll never forget his crazy shenanigans (like when he created a fake pinky toe) and how his character's relationship with Aly Michalka's Keely had us yelling, "Kiss her already!" on the reg.

We sat down with the newly engaged 36-year-old to answer all of the burning questions we've had since the show said its final goodbye. You know, back when our biggest worry was trying to win the "Zack and Cody Danimals Sweepstakes."

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E! News: We grew up on Phil of the Future! What was it like joining the show?

Raviv Ullman: That experience for me was just a total flip of the life that I had been living. I was going to public school in Fairfield, Connecticut, and I was doing theater. But all of a sudden, I was living in Los Angeles and going to work at 6 a.m. and doing schooling on set. 

E! Do you still keep in touch with your co-stars?

RU: That team was just so incredible. I still keep in touch with Amy Bruckner [Phil's little sister, Pim], Craig Anton [Phil's Dad, Lloyd], Aly and that whole team. They became family and we're proud of the thing that we made. 

E!: What's everyone's up to now?

RU: Aly and AJ [Michalka] are making incredible music so I follow their career. I'm such a huge fan, I try to go see them whenever I'm in the town that they're touring in. Craig is teaching in Savannah, Georgia, right now and Amy just graduated from law school. 


E! With all of the reboots recently, would you be interested in a Phil of the Future reboot? 

RU: 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.

E!:  We'll just start it to get it going. But what do you think Phil would be up to now? 

RU: If he's still stuck here now in 2022, I would just hope that he's become some kind of climate warrior. I never thought of Phil as a superhero, but I'd like to think that he'd be working with Keely at his side saving the planet.

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E!: Do you remember the first time you were recognized by fans?

RU: My dad had come to visit me and we were in my car and there was a group of kids crossing the street and they stopped and pointed at me and all started yelling. The marketing campaign around that show was so big at the time so my face had been plastered all over The Grove in Los Angeles. It's wild to look back on.

E!: How about now? Do you still get recognized as Phil?

RU: What I've noticed now is that it's whoever was watching Disney Channel at that time. So the people who do recognize me, it's because that show is such a huge part of their childhood. The breadth is a smaller group of people now but, in a way, it's more meaningful.

E!: Why do you think people are nostalgic for their old favorite shows?

RU: It was a part of their childhood. I look back on the shows that I grew up on and I know where I was when I was watching them. I would love to live that life now, go to school, come back, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and watch my favorite TV shows.


E!: Do you ever go back and watch old episodes?

RU: Oh, absolutely not. No, I have a hard time watching myself do anything. 

E!: But would you ever watch again?

RU: Maybe if I have kids, grandkids, it'll be fun to look back on. At this point, I'm still a little too close to it.

E!: What was the best part about working on the show?

RU: 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. Those were my college years and that became my school. We had writers that had written on Shrek and producers from Friends and to be able to learn and come up with them as mentors was such a privilege.

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E!: You were also in Pixel Perfect and appeared on That's So Raven. But then you seemed to walk away Disney. Did you want to break away?

RU: I don't think I was looking at it like, "now I am a Disney star and will do Disney movies forever," I just wanted to work. I never consciously was trying to break out.

I look back at that time and, even though it is a centerpiece of my career at this point, it was one of many jobs that I've done over, you know, the 25 years that I've been working in the industry. 

E!: Were you strategic about your career path and choosing what you were doing next? 

RU: 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. I was just a kid and enjoying what I was doing.

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

E!: You were in the Disney Circle of Stars with some pretty cool people. Were you ever starstruck?

RU: We were friends and making those shows at the same time. 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 because Disney Channel, at least back then, kept you really busy.

E!: How so? 

RU: 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. 

E!: Are you in touch with any of them? 

RU: Loosely. I see people around. Nobody specifically is still a really, really close buddy. But I follow what everybody's doing and I think it's great.

Phil of the Future Is On Disney+ and Raviv Ullman Just Shared Some Fun Facts

E!: You've since moved on to music—and were in a band with Zoë Kravitz. How did you meet?

RU: When I moved from Los Angeles to New York in 2011, I had known Zoë through a friend and she kind of adopted me. She became my New York mama. 

E!: And how did the band come to be?

RU: When she started Lola Wolf, they asked if I would come and do some drumming. I didn't last for a long time because the band shifted towards a little more electronic. But we played shows in London and New York and it was fun while it lasted.

E!: Do you two still keep in touch?

RU: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I saw Batman and I just thought she was incredible. I saw her on SNL and I immediately texted her. She's just been killing it and I'm so proud to know her. 

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Porsche Design

E!: You do a little bit of everything. What are you up to now?

RU: I'm in Los Angeles and I just returned from San Francisco. I was there for about a month and a half, directing an opera at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 

E! How did you get involved in that?

RU: About a year ago, I worked as a director and an actor in an operatic web series. I don't sing opera, but I was acting in it. Since then, I've gotten pulled into this group of people that are all young, cool, hip, opera makers. I didn't know anything about the world beforehand but now I'm totally in love with it. 

E!: Okay, we've touched upon the past, the present. Now, in honor of the show, let's talk about the future. What's next for you? 

RU: I'm about to be an associate director on another opera coming up soon and I have a short film that is going up to festivals. If a year and a half ago, you even told me that I was directing opera in San Francisco, I would have laughed. So who knows what's coming next. I'm engaged. So that's a wild new thing in the past year and a half or so. Adventures abound.

juliapott / Instagram

E!: Congratulations! How did you two meet?

RU: We met, like every good millennial, on an app. Julia [Pott] is an insanely talented animator. I'm just smitten. We have a cute little house together in Los Angeles and we're figuring it out as we go. A couple crazy artists just trying to make some cool stuff. 

E!: Did she watch Phil of the Future?

RU: She didn't. Which probably helps.

E!: I'm sure it would give you some brownie points. 

RU: Maybe. The good thing is, I was like, "I can't clean the dishes right now. I have to go have an interview with E! News."

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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