The Euphoria and Deep Water star talks dating in the public eye, playing opposite Ben Affleck, and his admiration for Zendaya.
Every generation has its heartthrobs; Gen Z has Jacob Elordi. The lothario of streaming, thanks to Netflix’s The Kissing Booth trilogy, shocked Hollywood as a demented jock in HBO’s Euphoria. Next, he’ll tangle with Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas in Adrian Lyne’s erotic adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s classic thriller Deep Water—this Australian-born movie buff is picking his roles to build a leading man that lasts.
Elordi was auditioning for Australian soaps in Sydney and studying Noah Baumbach films when he landed The Kissing Booth. “I’m a purist and love the movie theater, so I had this weird moral battle of ‘What am I aiding and abetting? Am I the face of this robotic, terrifying new age? Am I murdering this thing that I love?’ But there was this mentality of, ‘I’ll do whatever the fuck I’ve got to do to get to the United States and do what I love.’ ”
The movie spawned two sequels. “This is really the last kiss,” he says of the final installation.
He fumbled his Euphoria audition but “got a callback and met Sam [Levinson]; he will stop at nothing to get that goal. To be one of the soldiers out there for him…that’s the environment I love to work in.”
He wasn’t surprised when Zendaya made Emmy history as the youngest-ever best actress in a drama series. “She’s a power unto herself and so talented, such a sweetheart.”
Affleck, his colleague in Deep Water, is “a hero”—“I have a picture in my house of him and Matt Damon with the Oscars for Good Will Hunting”—and he was thrilled to work with Lyne following his nearly 20-year hiatus. Elordi plays Charlie, a classical pianist and lover to de Armas’s character. “She had me on my toes and was surprising every single take.”
His perfect date is “a night in Paris with wine, and you’re dressed to the nines,” but he’s still adjusting to dating in the public eye (and has been snapped jet-setting with model Kaia Gerber). “You want it to be genuine and real and have all the feelings of what you read in 1920s literature, but when people are watching and talking about it, it makes it a little bit difficult.”