I hear Jacob Elordi before I see him. “Hey, guys!” he shouts from another room in the hotel suite we’re shooting in, moments before his six-foot-five frame enters the living room. “Great to meet you,” the 25-year-old says, his hand outstretched to shake. Elordi’s voice is deep, with a faint American inflection betraying the Brisbane-raised actor’s Hollywood address, a move he made in 2017 to take a gamble on the Los Angeles audition circuit.
The difference a few years can make is head-spinning. After relocating, Elordi endured a string of casting call noes and his bank account dwindled to just a few hundred dollars. On more than one occasion he was forced to sleep in his car. Now he is working alongside some of the industry’s most venerated talents: he stars in the director Emerald Fennell’s forthcoming feature “Saltburn” alongside Rosamund Pike and Carey Mulligan, and he recently wrapped production on the Sofia Coppola-directed Priscilla Presley biopic, “Priscilla”. “It’s like something that you would think of in a dream, and then it coming true and then having to live it — it was really nothing short of magic,” he says of being directed by Coppola. “And she’s a really beautiful, calm person. I just learned so much about filmmaking.”
Elordi recognises that his ascent, though not unique, has been uncommonly swift. He broke ground and gained public attention (and millions of Instagram followers) through his portrayal of the bad boy Noah Flynn in Netflix’s three-part film series “The Kissing Booth”, before joining the ensemble cast of HBO’s hedonistic drama “Euphoria”, set at the fictional East Highland High School. In the latter, Elordi portrays toxic masculinity incarnate Nate Jacobs, a psychologically volatile quarterback who favours violence over vulnerability. He notes that his approach to character preparation differs for each role he undertakes; to channel the mindset of the polarising jock, for example, Elordi studied the behaviour of TikTok-famous “gym bros” and predatory sharks.
Some actors, when speaking to the benefits of a serialised performance, cite cast and crew camaraderie or the long-term devotion of fans. For Elordi, recurring roles provide something different: a do-over. “Often when you’re making a film, you’ll do a scene and it’ll haunt you for years,” he says. “[Television] gives you an opportunity to maybe right your wrongs.”