On Sunday night’s Euphoria, the second episode of HBO’s boundary-pushing new drama, Jacob Elordi took center stage with a breakout episode on the highs and lows of his character, football star Nate Jacobs.
In the hour, the show explored Nate’s tumultuous relationship with his father (played by Eric Dane), his complicated dynamic with girlfriend Maddy (Alexa Demie) and his willingness to go to the greatest lengths to protect her, stalking and severely beating a young man after Maddy said he had raped her.
Elordi, star of Netflix’s The Kissing Booth, caught up with The Hollywood Reporter to break down that brutal scene and talk dealing with on-set nudity, taking on the portrayal of toxic masculinity and moving on from the hit rom-com.
What was it like to film the scene where Nate beats up Tyler, the man who Maddy says raped her?
It was one of the scenes I was most excited to shoot. It was interesting because Lukas [Gage] —the actor who plays Tyler —and I are actually quite close in real life, so we spent weeks apart from each other. We wouldn’t even go and have a beer together because we wanted to cultivate an environment that was intense and kind of like we didn’t know each other very well. It was quite enjoyable to film because in the beginning, there’s something kind of comical about it and it’s one of the main parts where you get to see his psychopathic nature without him actually being deeply upset, I suppose. He’s relishing in the moment and the success of what he’s done so it was actually, surprisingly, one of the easiest scenes to fall into.
Where is Nate emotionally in that moment?
He’s quite methodical, and I think his emotions get the better of him when he’s dealing with women. His girlfriend, Maddy, makes him get quite unhinged and then every time he sees Jules he isn’t really sure how he feels, so it’s more loaded emotionally. With Tyler, I think it was the kind of thing where he isn’t intimidated or frightened by him, he’s just like a chess piece that has to be moved. While it’s built from anger, I think he’s actually quite calm and that’s why he can talk to him so long in the room, because he knows exactly how it’s going to go. He’s laid out every single option and exactly what he needs, so it’s almost enjoyable. It’s kind of like a lion playing with a mouse or something like that.
He seems to get darkest around Maddy. Why does she have such a hold on him?
Alexa and I spoke early on and we decided they were in love, in love with each other, it was kind of just as simple as that for us. They chose each other. The funny thing about her is she is on the receiving end of a lot of his violence, but she’s quite an interesting character herself and they go together in their own poisonous way. She’s toxic herself in her own relationships, and it’s funny because that gets overshadowed a lot; she’s kind of awful to him as well because he’s awful to her. I think that’s how they compliment each other, in the toxicity, and I think that’s what strays from what his dad has done to him. That’s just him as a teenager and both of them caught in a relationship that they know isn’t good but that they can’t stop. It’s the be-all and end-all when you’re a teenager, it’s like every person you love is high-intensity and the end of the world if you’re not with them.
In this episode, you also have some intense sex scenes and a locker room scene where you’re surrounded by naked men. How was that to shoot? And how did having an intimacy coordinator on set impact the situation?
Yeah, I think she had to review every single penis before putting it on the show. For me, it was interesting because that scene was actually very real and the look on my face and the way that I was feeling was very real. The energy in the room of that many big men jumping and yelling and slapping you — nudity aside — I’m nothing like Nate and it was so intense. I didn’t realize locker rooms could be so intense, but it was actually quite hilarious. I don’t care about that kind of stuff, and it’s funny reading all of the reviews now — everyone’s like, “There’s this many penises,” but when you’re there, it was just hilarious. I think it’s a funny scene and I’ll definitely never forget it.
We learn a lot about Nate’s childhood and upbringing in this episode. What was your reaction to learning his past?
It’s probably the biggest part where I’ve found empathy for him. I think it’s really sad, even aside from finding the sex tapes, just the way his father speaks to him about having to win all of the time and needing to be on top and in control. It made me sad and made me have a lot of empathy for him knowing that everyone on the surface wants to damn him because of his actions, which are awful, and not that it’s an excuse but he has a very, very solid reason as to why he behaves the way he behaves. So kind of finding that out after the pilot when you might think he’s just more of a cliche, you realize that he has a backstory as well and a reason why he does what he does.
We also see more about his relationship with his father. How does that father-son dynamic impact who he has become?
I think it consumes him. I think his relationship with his dad sort of informs all of his behavior, down to the relationship he has with Maddy, it’s kind of dominant and controlling. His dad has such a need for order and it’s been passed down to him and he does the same thing, tries to keep everything in order. I think his dad is the reason for 100% of his problems.
Nate is kind of the stereotypical jock in the first episode, but we see there’s a lot more beneath the surface. Why was that important to you and the show to really dive deeper than most teen shows do?
For me, it was really important because I would never play another jock on screen if it wasn’t more. I’ve read a lot of stuff that’s like “the jock, the jock,” so I’m excited for people to see it. It’s important to me because in the term “stereotypical jock” and “toxic masculinity,” that kind of character can get written off straightaway, the same way as that kid can get written off in real life. If you are that person, and all of a sudden you’re always that guy, and no one has ever really taken a beat to think about where that person comes from. You’re always the bad guy when you’re the jock or have toxic masculinity, but I think it’s important to show that that person comes from somewhere as well. It’s almost like an unspoken thing and they’re usually used as a trope to show a villain or a humorous character, when really there is a real boy there who has fallen victim to ages of toxic masculinity which has been passed down and there’s a reason why he is how he is. And there’s so much more thought that has to go into it when you’re playing it, it’s more of a person than a Hollywood trope.
You had your breakout role in The Kissing Booth, which is also about high school romance. How has it been to tell totally opposite stories about high school?
It’s two completely different experiences. The Kissing Booth was the first film I ever made, it was sort of my ticket to Hollywood so I was really grateful for that. It’s almost like righting my wrongs a little bit too, because the character in The Kissing Booth is awful and it’s never really explained. He’s kind of idolized and made into a hero, so I suppose this show is showing why.
The episode ends with the reveal that Nate is the one texting Jules on the dating app. What’s next for the two of them?
It’s kind of the question that I asked myself and Sam and I talked about all season. I think it’s beautiful. I think that texting sequence is beautiful and as for what’s to come, I don’t know. Truly, I’m not even saying that in the contractual Hollywood way. I truly don’t know.
A lot has been made about the sex and drugs aspect of show but what do you hope Euphoria says about high school today?
At first I just wanted people to watch it and enjoy the show, but after reading everything, I hope it wakes some people up. I’ve read a lot of things, I literally read a tweet that was like, “Why can’t we make a show about a bunch of kids who read the bible, abstain from sex and are good to their parents?” but it wasn’t a joke, they were literally saying that’s what the show should be about. I hope for the kids it lets them know that we know — to the 14, 15, 16 year olds in high school — I know how it is and I’m there with you. I’ve seen a lot of parents’ tweets that are like, “Not my kid, not at my high school,” and I think it’s cool to not to tell them what to do or how to do it, but let them know that we believe them and we know.
I’ve added HD screencaps of Jacob from the first two episodes of Euphoria as well as a behind the scenes featurette from episode 2. Enjoy the photos!
This June, HBO’s Euphoria will propel an already impressive cast into superstardom. The show — produced by Drake — follows a group of teenagers (played by Zendaya, Algee Smith, Storm Reid and more) who’re navigating the minefield of experiencing first-time independence, while trying to define who they are.
Given a contemporary update over your classic high school tropes, Euphoria’s inclusive storyline follows authentic facets of life like addiction, affairs and LGBTQ+ relationships as well as slut-shaming and body shaming. Our cover star Jacob Elordi plays Nate, perhaps one of your more typical high school characters, a “jock” type and a straight up bully, but Elordi assures us things are more complex than they may seem.
We won’t know until it airs on 16 June, but pre-order the Summer issue of Wonderland in the meantime where we get existential and lost in a DMC with The Kissing Booth star.
– Source / Buy Magazine
Jacob attended the Euphoria premiere in Los Angeles. I’ve added a bunch of photos from the premiere. Enjoy!
Netflix is giving fans of “The Kissing Booth” a very sweet Valentine’s Day present: news of a sequel.
Yes, the “The Kissing Booth 2” is currently in production, with stars Joey King, Joel Courtney and Jacob Elordi all set to return for the follow-up to the streamer’s 2018 rom-com, Netflix announced on Thursday.
Debuting last May, “The Kissing Booth” is based on the Beth Reekles self-published coming-of-age novel that tells the story of a high school girl who is forced to confront her secret crush at a kissing booth.
“The Kissing Booth 2” will be directed by Vince Marcello with a screenplay by Marcello and Jay Arnold. Producers include Marcello, Michele Weisler, Andrew Cole-Bulgin, Edward Glauser. The film hails from Komixx Entertainment Inc.
The sequel is currently in production and will be released on Netflix. No premiere date has been set.
Netflix released a report of the 2018 original Netflix films that were the most rewatched by their viewers last December, and the streamer says nearly half of all the people who watched the teen romances “The Kissing Booth” and “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” ended up rewatching the films.
Watch the announcement video above.
In this episode of Broadly Hotline, actors Joey King and Jacob Elordi, stars of the Netflix film ‘The Kissing Booth,’ sit down with host Bunny Michael to discuss what it means to be a young professional and the challenges that accompany it.
IT’S 3am and a 16-year-old Jacob Elordi is wide awake at his Wavell Heights home.
The St Joseph’s Nudgee College student and aspiring actor is gripped with anxiety as the same dreaded question wreaks havoc on his sleep — “What if I never make a movie?”
The stage is Jacob’s second home and he has read hundreds of plays. Hollywood is his “plan A” and he refuses to distract himself with a “plan B”.
Fast forward to today and Jacob, now 21, shares a manager with Hollywood heavyweight Chris Hemsworth and played the lead in one of Netflix’s most-watched summer releases, teen drama The Kissing Booth.
He was back in Australia last month filming another top-secret project, but has since returned to his base in Los Angeles to film HBO teen drama Euphoria alongside Zendaya (The Greatest Showman) and Maude Apatow (This Is 40, Knocked Up), produced by rap megastar Drake.
“Euphoria is my dream role in terms of something meaty and real,” Jacob says.
“That’s the biggest thing happening in my life right now.”
But family remains his rock and Jacob was sure to fit in quality time while home, though visiting his old haunts is no longer so easy. Teenage girls flock for a piece of Noah Flynn — the bad boy heart-throb Jacob plays in The Kissing Booth.
The 195cm actor, who had parts in Swinging Safari (2018) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017), now has more than six million Instagram followers, multiple fan-pages and a girlfriend — Hollywood actor Joey King, 19, who plays his love interest Elle Evans in The Kissing Booth.
During their first Australian Christmas together in 2017 and prior to the Netflix release, fans would stop more-famous Joey for photos and Jacob would take them.
How the tables have turned.
“In all honestly, it’s been a little bit difficult for me,” Jacob says.
“I’m pretty private … so to me it’s a little unnerving to see my face and my name everywhere.
“I’m so stoked that people enjoyed (The Kissing Booth), and I have a lot of love for people sending letters and writing appreciation posts, but it’s a bit of a shock. I don’t think I’ll get used to it.”
He’s just wrapped filming on his next film, 2 Hearts, in Vancouver, where screaming fans gathered outside his hotel. It’s all been cause for good-natured ribbing from Jacob’s former Nudgee classmates.
“On Instagram people make a lot of compilation videos of me shirtless and smiling and dripping in sexy sweat. I get sent a lot of those by my friends,” he says.
The Kissing Booth was Jacob’s 103rd audition, filmed against a blue sheet on the garage wall at home.
“I’ll never forget the day I got the call saying I got the part. It was a Saturday and I was walking through Westfield Chermside. I could see it was a conference call with about five managers. They always told me that meant either really good or really bad news. When they told me I’d got the part, I collapsed and just started crying. It meant a whole lot.”
When the time came to leave Brisbane, Jacob was ready.
His mum Melissa, the Nudgee College tuckshop co-ordinator, says his American accent has been perfect since he was 10 years old.
“He was in grade four, and for show and tell he rapped an Eminem song. He just loved that American accent,” she says, adding he was 12 when she knew he had serious talent.
“His school did a production of Seussical and Jacob was The Cat in the Hat. He was so confident and so funny, and even then he had such a strong self-belief.”
It was that conviction that Jacob’s LA manager, Christopher Burbidge, saw when the pair met at the Park Hyatt Sydney about three years ago.
Jacob was in town for an audition.
“He basically sat me down and was like, ‘Look, you clearly love acting’, but he said I should ‘win a Logie or something’ before moving to Los Angeles,” Jacob recalls.
But Jacob would much prefer an Academy Award, according to his dad, John. “He told me once that he wanted to win one and I said something like, ‘You know that’s a one-in-a-million chance?’ Jacob looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Someone has to be that one’.”
Jacob is not the only star in the family.
Sister and “best friend” Isabella, 23, studied at The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. The Elordi family moved to the Victorian capital for four years after she won her place and Isabella says her next move will be to LA, to help Jacob navigate his new life.
“My family (including brother Michael, 31) are my best friends on the entire planet,” Jacob says.
“There was never a moment when they didn’t support me. They put me through every class and bought me every book. They let me watch any movie (and) let me take days off school to work on auditions. They helped me survive in LA last year.”
Now writing a screenplay, Jacob says his ultimate goal is to return to Brisbane and bring it to life.
“I’m so arrogant about Brisbane when I’m in LA,” he says.
“I tell everyone I’m from Brissy and it’s the best place on earth. I got to Hollywood and realised I wanted all my friends (with me).”
But home will have to wait.