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!