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.
The talent — aged 25 and under — on Variety’s annual list are platform agnostic (and so are the adult reps on the list who’ve impacted the careers of young performers). Showbiz finds stars almost anywhere — and it’s an exciting time when YouTubers move into traditional, while the music biz can mine various platforms for exciting new talent. On our Up Next report, we focus on talent poised for a breakthrough.
Elordi got his big break this summer as Noah Flynn in Netflix hit “The Kissing Booth”— the film Netflix boss Ted Sarandos says one in three viewers re-watch. “In hindsight, I think this movie struck a chord because it’s just pure enjoyment,” Elordi says. The Aussie, who grew up breaking down scripts like “Blue Valentine” for fun, will appear next in tearjerker “2 Hearts,” horror anthology series “The Mortuary Collection” and HBO ensemble drama “Euphoria.” “I got into that three weeks before ‘Kissing Booth’ got released, and it was my dream job straightaway. It’s like a cacophony of madness,” Elordi says of the series produced by Drake.
Jacob was out tonight with Joey at Variety’s Annual Power Of Young Hollywood event. I’ve added some photos to the gallery and will add more should I come across them. These two are so adorable!
ET Canada sits down with “The Kissing Booth” star Jacob Elordi, who opens up about filming his latest movie “2 Hearts” in Vancouver, mastering the American accent and dating his on-screen co-star Joey King in real-life. (Extended interview)
Jacob was out a couple days ago in full support of his lovely and talented girlfriend, Joey King, as the duo attended the Slender Man screening. The film is Joey’s current new project. They looked lovely at the event. Check out some photos in the gallery. Enjoy!
HBO doesn’t make teen TV. It makes sprawling historical dramas with timeless yet prescient themes. It makes gritty mysteries featuring detectives who realize the biggest mystery of all is trying to unravel themselves. It makes television about (and for) upper-middle-class women who sip merlot on their porch while contemplating their textured inner lives. It does not make shows about the time Becky walked in on Serena giving a handy to her boyfriend at Tommy Filbin’s pre-Halloween rager.
And the most prestigious of all the prestige networks has been content to let the CWs and Freeforms of the world handle all of those high school concerns while it worries about trying to figure out a way to get Nicole Kidman more Emmys.
Yet, as streaming has disrupted the way we watch television over the past few years, so too has it disrupted traditional notions of audience segmentation and target viewers. As it turns out, the same people who enjoy watching Carrie Coon navigate the end of the world also sometimes like to watch Becky and Serena battle it out for prom queen. Raise your hands if you have both a college degree and strong feelings about Riverdale.
So, perhaps sensing that there’s an audience out there for the first truly prestige teen TV show, HBO has ordered Euphoria to series. Adapted from an Israeli series and co-produced by Drake (who knows a thing or two about groundbreaking teen television that goes there, as he recently reminded us), the series will star Zendaya as a pathological liar who ropes everyone around her into a world of sex, drugs, and social media.
Zendaya alone is a selling point, being one of the true icons of Generation Z, but this is HBO. It turns out that the cast is completely packed full of social media savvy teen icons and promising young up-and-coming actors. Here, get to know the rest of the cast of Euphoria, who may be poised to become the most talked-about teen TV cast ever.
Just a few months ago, no one knew who Jacob Elordi was. Then Netflix released The Kissing Booth, a teen rom-com whose viral success (along with Elordi’s real-life relationship with co-star Joey King) has rocketed the 21-year-old actor to the sort of fame that has netted him 5.2 million followers. The Jacob Elordi business is hot right now, and HBO is buying in at the exact right time.
HBO has picked up the drama “Euphoria” to series with both Drake and Future the Prince joining the show as executive producers, Variety has learned.
“Euphoria” follows a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship. It is based on the Israeli series of the same name from HOT that was created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, both of whom are executive producers on the HBO version.
Zendaya will play the lead role of Rue. In addition, the show will also star: Maude Apatow as Lexi, Brian “Astro” Bradley as McKay, Angus Cloud as Fezco, Eric Dane as Cal, Alexa Demie as Maddy, Jacob Elordi as Nate, Barbie Ferreira as Kat, Nika King as Leslie, Storm Reid as Gia, Hunter Schafer as Jules, and Sydney Sweeney as Cassie.
This will mark the first TV producing credits for both Drake and Future the Prince, with the former known early in his career for his time as an actor on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” before becoming a world-renowned musician. Future the Prince serves as Drake’s DJ and manager.
All episodes of of the series are being written by Sam Levinson, who will also serve as executive producer. In addition to Levinson, Drake, Future the Prince, Leshem, and Levin, the other executive producers on the series are: Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Tmira Yardeni, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokadi, and Gary Lennon.
Augustine Frizzell directed and served as co-executive producer on the pilot, which HBO ordered in March. A24 will produce for HBO.
Among HBO’s other recent series pick ups is the Joss Whedon series “The Nevers,” which was ordered earlier this month. The premium cabler also announced just last week that they are moving ahead on the long-gestating “Deadwood” movie. On the pilot side, HBO recently ordered the Danny McBride televangelist comedy “The Righteous Gemstones” as well as Damon Lindelof’s “Watchmen” and a “Game of Thrones” prequel from Jane Goldman.