Category: Press

Jacob Elordi Is So Dramatic

Jacob Elordi Is So Dramatic

In Euphoria, Australian actor Jacob Elordi’s character, Nate, is a case study in American teenage toxic masculinity, a complete 180 from the more conventionally romantic role in his breakthrough film, The Kissing Booth. Off-screen, however, the 23-year-old embodies something of a new type of masculinity unbothered by convention. Perhaps it’s because he spent parts of his childhood dressed in a curly wig and wearing red lipstick. For W’s annual Best Performances issue, Elordi, who is set to appear in the upcoming Deep Water, discusses his first kiss, audiences’ reactions to his role as Nate, and his early crush on Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings.

Have you wanted to be an actor your whole life, or was that a sudden desire?
I think subconsciously, my whole life I wanted to be an actor, because I demanded all the attention from my parents and friends and people around me. Probably from when I was 12, I started doing musical theater. I did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Seussical. From there I took drama classes. And then from about 15, there was not much else for me to do.

Were you a dramatic child?
Yeah, still am. I still am a dramatic child, for sure.

You’d start singing in the middle of public places?
No, I don’t think I would call myself a theater kid necessarily, who just starts whooping out ballads and songs. I’m more dramatic like in a drama movie. I’ll make everything 10 times more intense, serious, or heartbreaking than it needs to be.

You’re the baby of a large family. Did your sisters dress you up like a doll?
I think it was all of us dressing up. My mom has videos of me with this great ginger curly wig, with red lipstick on, and my sister’s purse. I don’t remember ever resenting it or putting up much of a fight.

Head over to the W Magazine website to read the rest of the interview!

Movie review: ‘Mr. Dundee’ proves to be an enjoyable bunch of fluffy fun

Movie review: ‘Mr. Dundee’ proves to be an enjoyable bunch of fluffy fu

When am I going to learn not to judge a book by its cover, or a movie by its title, or by what I think is its premise? I almost passed on watching “The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee.” The title is too long and formal. And I was led to believe that it was a comedy about the Australian actor Paul Hogan, who starred in “Crocodile Dundee” (1986) and its two sequels, still struggling with the idea that, after all these years, people associate him only with that role.

But I did see it. I still think it’s a lousy title, and the above description is exactly the plotline. And to my pleasant surprise, I had as much fun watching it as Hogan obviously had making it.

In order to whet your appetite, here are a few things the film’s got going for it: Paul Hogan as Paul Hogan, reacting good-naturedly to all sorts of “bad” things happening to him; Olivia Newton-John; a car chase; Chevy Chase; John Cleese; and a full-blown song and dance number titled “That’s Not a Knife.”

Aside from numerous, well-placed comedic “Crocodile Dundee” references (many about knives), there’s also, for no discernible reason, one from “Animal House.” Picture John Belushi, in his toga, walking down a flight of steps, pausing to listen to Stephen Bishop singing and playing the syrupy 15th century ballad “The Riddle Song.” You know what happens next. In “Mr. Dundee,” the actor playing Hogan’s son Chase (Jacob Elordi), sitting by a pool, performs the same song, and makes it all the way through the first verse without anyone smashing his guitar!

Paul Hogan was a popular actor in Australia before hitting the big time as the charming guide-poacher in “Crocodile Dundee,” which he co-wrote and which was Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay. It made scads of money, as did, to a lesser degree, its sequel. But the second sequel flopped, as did his follow-up films “Lightning Jack” and “Flipper.” Hogan quietly disappeared from mainstream movies, popping up in recent years in little-seen features by Aussie director Dean Murphy.

“The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee” is silly and goofy and absurd, yet if you just roll with its cheerful attitude, it works. Hogan plays a fictionalized version of himself, a happy, laid-back fellow who made enough money in the movies to live quite comfortably, and misses nothing about the grind of the business. He lives in L.A., has a manager (Rachael Carpani) just in case there’s some work, and, at age 80, is still recognized as that long-ago character.

Three things happen at once. First, a movie studio, crowded with dumbbell executives, wants him to star in a third Dundee film, unaware that there already are three, and they want to hire Will Smith to play his son. “But that doesn’t make sense,” he calmly replies. Which leads to the second thing: He’s labeled a racist, and the story is picked up and exploited by every TV talk show imaginable. He shrugs it off, and moves on. The third thing is that the Queen of England wants to knight him for his contributions to comedy. Hold on, can a racist be knighted? But he’s not a racist.

A pattern begins, placing hapless Hogan in a series of wrong place-wrong-time spots, one involving a nun, another with some awful little kids. It’s a string of small errors and little accidents, with the press always around to make them look worse.

To spice things up, Hogan, still shrugging off the bad press, keeps bumping into old pals. Sure, he’d be happy to do a favor for chirpy Olivia Newton-John; of course he’ll have lunch with self-important Chevy Chase; and there’s John Cleese as his reckless Uber driver. There’s also a strange and excitable paparazzo wannabe (Nate Torrence) hiding outside of his house.

Does all of this come together and add up to anything? Yes, it does, on both counts. It’s relentlessly silly in its gentle slams at celebrity and the industry that’s been built up around it. But don’t forget, it’s also got that big musical number about a big knife!

“The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee” premieres digitally and On Demand on Dec. 11.

Ed Symkus can be reached at esymkus@rcn.com.

“The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee”
Written by Dean Murphy and Robert Mond; directed by Dean Murphy
With Paul Hogan, Rachael Carpani, Olivia Newton-John, John Cleese, Wayne Knight, Chevy Chase, Nate Torrence
Rated PG-13

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Jacob Elordi Is a Classic Romantic

Jacob Elordi Is a Classic Romantic

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.”

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Why ‘Kissing Booth’ Star Jacob Elordi Wants to Play the Bad Guy

Why ‘Kissing Booth’ Star Jacob Elordi Wants to Play the Bad Guy

Jacob Elordi isn’t just another heartthrob. The 23-year-old actor has the grit to travel to dark places on the HBO TV series “Euphoria,” where he plays Nate, a high school jock with anger management issues. More recently, Elordi switched courses to reprise his role as Noah in the Netflix rom-com “The Kissing Booth 2,” a sequel to the hit 2018 movie (a third installment has already been shot). Up next he stars in the indie drama “2 Hearts” (in theaters on Oct. 16) and in “Deep Water,” a thriller with Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, scheduled for release later this year.

For Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue, Elordi talked over Zoom from his home in Brisbane, Australia, about preferring to play the bad guy.

“Euphoria” is set in high school. What shows about high school did you watch growing up?
I watched “High School Musical.” I was actually a big fan of that. I watched “Gossip Girl” start to finish. It’s intense. The soundtrack on that is crazy, by the way, if you go back and watch it. Also, Chuck Bass. What an irredeemable character. I believe he rapes two girls in the first episode, and then by the last season, you love him. How do you do that? What kind of arc is that?

What’s it like playing a morally questionable character?
When I was younger, I didn’t question it so much. I just wanted to work and make movies. If the script is acknowledging them — and they’re meant to be there, and not just an outcome of bad writing — then I think it’s much more interesting to play it. I’d hate to play someone who’s morally correct all the time. We do shitty things all the time to each other.

Did you have to audition for “Euphoria”?
It was super simple. It was really just like a conventional audition process. I went down to the casting office, fumbled through my lines and ended up getting called back. And yeah, it was just like that. Sorry, I have a cough. I think I have this asthma thing going on. It’s not the virus. Please don’t jump to any conclusions.

What can you tell us about “Euphoria” Season 2?
Sam [Levinson] changes scripts like a madman. I could tell you something now, and it would not be at all relevant to what I’m going to read when we go back. It’s ever changing, even up until the day that we’re shooting.

Head over to Variety to read the rest of the interview!

Jacob Elordi Wants You to Stop Talking About His Body

Jacob Elordi Wants You to Stop Talking About His Body

The Kissing Booth star is actually really bothered by your extreme thirst.
Even with his mom cutting through the background of a Zoom call from Brisbane, Australia, Jacob Elordi looks at peace. He’s been quarantining with his family in the land down under ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and as a result, he’s many miles away from the hype that’s about to hit a certain subset of people in the United States, prompting his latest film, The Kissing Booth 2, to reach the top of Netflix’s charts.

Elordi’s come a long way since 2018, when he had his breakout moment in the original Kissing Booth, a full year before he became perhaps the definitive zoomer sociopath in HBO’s Euphoria. Fans swooned over his portrayal of Noah Flynn, a self-centered womanizer who eventually falls in love with his brother’s best friend. But it wasn’t the 23-year-old’s performance they vehemently responded to—it was his washboard abs that became the piece de resistance, on display whenever the scene warranted it—and the scene warranted it quite a bit.

“I trained extensively for the first film, because it said it in the script,” he says with a laugh when reflecting back to the time. “I was so terribly nervous that I wouldn’t be what the script wanted me to be.”

While shooting the first Kissing Booth in South Africa, Elordi developed an intense fitness regimen that required him to be in the gym seven days a week, twice a day. The routine never changed—it was strictly about lifting heavy weights, gaining muscle and looking well-defined whenever the camera turned to him. As the world became enamored with the result of his diligent workout schedule, Elordi became disillusioned with how people only seemed to remark on his physical appearance, rather than the work he was doing when the cameras were rolling.

“At the time, I was super young and got thrown into a world where everyone wanted to talk about my body… it really fucking bothered me,” he says. “I don’t identify with that whatsoever. I was trying to prove myself and be known as an actor. It was so much working out and I hated every second of it.”

You can read the full article by going to the Men’s Health website.