The Brisbane-born actor takes a break from filming season two of HBO’s Euphoria (premiering in early 2022) to head into nature and reflect on his rising fame—its annoying trappings, sure, but also the many unexpected opportunities it affords.
“I’m just burning sage,” says Jacob Elordi as he takes a lighter to the business end of a smudge stick. His voice, transmitted over Zoom from his home in Los Angeles, is so deep that the words tend to blur together, as if this six-foot-five Aussie, in a baseball cap and a banana-yellow T-shirt, has been possessed by the spirit of Eeyore. Or it might just be how he’s feeling today. “A little down in the dumps,” he says. He dearly misses his family back in Australia: his brother and sister, both older, and “my best friends”—his parents. He’s in production on season two of Euphoria, HBO’s acid trip of a series that gives Gen Z the prestige treatment. “Work is the North Star. As long as I’m doing that, I’m good. I can be anyone, anywhere, from any family,” he says. “But it’s the in-between moments. There are days when you just sit at home, and those days are tough. Because it’s like, ‘I have a swimming pool and a television and a couch and a tree, and I can’t have Sunday lunch with my mum.’ ”
Above him hangs a painting done by a friend of a boxing match, two blurs forever throwing jabs at each other. When talking, Elordi pulls on the hem of his shirt; when listening, he pinches the flesh of his cheek. You get the sense that there’s a separate conversation racing through his head. But that goes away when talk turns—inevitably—to the man’s eyebrows. They’re thick Basque brows, paternally inherited. “I used to be so self-conscious of having a unibrow,” he says. “I would make my mum tweeze out the middle. I was fifteen and terrified of all body hair.” He finally cracks a smile. “Since I’ve become vain, I do brush them from time to time before leaving the house. Which really kills me, when I reach for that little brush.”
On Euphoria, Elordi, twenty-four, plays Nate Jacobs, a high school quarterback who struggles with an abusive father—in addition to his own multitude of demons. On set, the actor has the heavy task of living in the head of a jock who, in season one, nearly pummels a guy to death, blackmails a classmate with her nude selfies, and projects his confused sexuality in every direction but inward. Elordi reveals that in season two, “there’s a lot more time in his house, with his family.”
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