Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (2024)

Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (1)
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24 February 2022

With Euphoria showing no signs of easing its stratospheric success, we sit down with Jacob Elordi to join the dots between the actor and his complex role in the series.

You don’t have to watch Euphoria for long to absolutely hate Jacob Elordi. Despise him, even. Think he’s scum, a misogynist, a narcissist, a manipulator. It doesn’t even take an episode for you to think that he’s the ultimate antagonist — the one you know will make you shout at the screen from the outset. But, albeit, he’s troubled scum with his own demons. And, of course, you don’t actually hate him, you hate his character: Nate Jacobs.

And even then, you don’t really hate Nate Jacobs. You hate what he does, how he acts, how he talks to people, his narcissism, his violent temper, his misogyny and the rest of it. But still, it’s difficult to fully hate the character because, well, he’s a fine addition to an already beautiful cast. Shallow, I know.

Already, our perceptions of Jacob are skewed. There are a lot of layers to the character, who has, quite successfully, completely revamped everything global audiences thought about ‘American bullies’. Our heads have been pulled out of the toilet, underwear un-wedgied, the bag of dog sh*t on the doorstep has been extinguished, and now we’re faced with Nate Jacobs, who feels like he poses much more of a deadly, scarring threat; one where drink-driving at 100mph is just a thrill, having sex with someone’s best friend is no cause for concern, and manipulation is first nature. Worst of all, it feels like he can get away with it.

So it’s strange talking to the 24-year-old actor late one evening. There’s an urge to shout down the line, or launch at the screen. But that feeling quickly subsides, as soon as you hear Jacob’s soft Australian accent and the immediate glimpses of personality that remind you he’s only an actor — don’t take it out on him.

It’s even more strange talking to him as his face and character grows in popularity day by day. The more you turn on TikTok, the more you see videos of Jacob’s style from various paparazzi pictures and talk shows. It’s strange because on the one hand, he’s an actor, but on the other, he’s a sensation.

Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (2)

Euphoria, right now, is the show everyone’s talking about… again. But this time, as season two is here, the conversations go beyond the fact that it’s a show like no other. During the first season, it sort of felt like a ramped-up, better version of Skins. But now, the drugs, penis, sex and the rest have reached new television heights. It really feels like the golden age of TV liberalism wrapped up into one show that is also managing to prove that binge-watching television isn’t necessarily the way forward. HBO has kept us hooked week on week.

“I think, for me, we’re at a time where there’s so much content on our screens and just so much nonsense, and almost like fast food in entertainment,” Jacob says about why now is the right time for a show like Euphoria. “And I think it’s cool to have something that I know that these people have put so much time into making sure that it’s art and it’s unique and it’s quality. I think that that’s really important when we’re inundated with… less than that.”

The show, based on the Israeli series of the same name, has risen to the top of the entertainment chain and broken the boundaries of a regular television show. Viewers don’t just want to watch Euphoria, they want it to be an extension of their own lives. Hence the new Half Magic beauty range that A24 is releasing in conjunction with Euphoria’s head of makeup, Doniella Davy, and hence the billions of views #EuphoriaMakeup has garnered on TikTok.

According to Jacob, the reason for this is that the show provides audiences with real, hard-hitting content that outshines other productions that do little more than fill the slots on a broadcasting channel, or sit idly on a streaming site. Euphoria is sustenance in a world of stodgy entertainment. It delves into topics that other shows wouldn’t dare to, and it never comes across as if discussions around drugs, sex, and violence, for example, have been shoe-horned in for the sake of inclusion. It feels real, it feels authentic, and that’s why Nate Jacobs is a character that doesn’t leave your mind after an episode has ended.

We were first introduced to Jacob back in 2018, in the US rom com The Kissing Booth, which may have become one of Netflix’s hottest shows at the time, but also received damning reviews for its wince-worthy story. However, that wasn’t enough to dampen the actor’s blossoming career. When we saw Jacob he was, of course, a good looking, jock-like character who could have well been burdened with a role that goes no further than his aesthetic. But he was able to reinvent himself for Euphoria. It was the perfect opportunity for Jacob’s looks to symbiotically tie in with the dark parts of a character that will make audiences think, not just drool. Again, the complexity of Nate Jacobs goes deeper than the skin.

Ostensibly, Nate is a dark, sinister character who thrives off of manipulation and violence. He’s the embodiment of toxic masculinity; so much turmoil, neglected issues and expectation rolled into one young man who could burst at any minute. But the line goes further. His father, a similar character in many ways, keeps his p*rn hidden in his office and spends his evenings hooking up with various people for dominant sex. And there is a softer side to Nate. We see that early on in season two, and we quickly learn that maybe we can’t blame Nate for his troubles. Rather, we can understand a bit more why he is the way that he is.

Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (3)

Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (4)

“I think [the role] helped me develop empathy for the kind of person that I would usually just write off as being rubbish,” Jacob explains, proving that his character couldn’t be further removed from who he is — which must imply that getting into the headspace of the role must be quite a dark process.

“Honestly, it’s just in Sam [Levinson’s] writing. It’s on the page, and you just play what’s in front of you. That’s the beauty of great writing, I think, is you just have to be there.”

There are likely to only be a handful of people left in the world that think Jacob reflects his character. Well, maybe only in fashion sense and the beauty that lingers around Euphoria episodes and around our phone screens as the actor takes centre stage. It’s fitting then that, at a time when the actor is becoming a style icon, Jacob has been named as the new face of BOSS Perfumes and Eyewear, joining the brand’s family of big name ambassadors, including Chris Hemsworth. Most notably, Jacob is featured in the new campaign for BOSS The Scent which brings the brand’s seductive nature to the fore. The brand says that Jacob is the perfect fit for the campaign due to embodying the “mysterious charisma” of BOSS The Scent, and “represents a new generation of BOSS Men.”

“There’s a lot of actors that have worked for the brand… I grew up seeing the billboards and their commercials, so it’s very humbling,” he says. “It’s a great honour to share a similar space that they have. It’s a pinch-me moment. I’ll see the campaign, and I’m like, that can’t be me in it… I don’t know how much I have to bring, but I hope I can do them proud and the brand proud. And, hopefully, my mum thinks I look cool. That’s the best I can do.”

And there it is. That’s what joins the dots between Jacob and Nate. That’s the ‘softer side’ that brings authenticity and relatability to the role — the adoring, family-orientated person that the actor is.

Jacob says that, because of Sam Levinson’s writing for Euphoria, all you have to do is turn up on the day and act, as every nuance of each character is in the writing. However, in that case anyone could play a dark character that whips audiences into an empathetic frenzy. But what makes Jacob’s portrayal different is the sincerity that he brings; the undercurrent of vulnerable adolescence, the connection he has to the people around him. What we see when we watch Nate isn’t just a nasty boy with a bad temper, it’s Jacob Elordi navigating and understanding the character for himself, and for the world to see. Because what lies beneath is someone who Nate Jacobs wants to be.

“I think a great ambition would be if I could be half the human being that my mother and father are, that would be incredible,” Jacob concludes, humbly.

Jacob Elordi on his character in Euphoria, his greatest ambitions, and what it means to join the BOSS family (5)

BOSS The Scent Le Parfum

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