Jacob Elordi isn't against burning the midnight oil.
Euphoria, written by Sam Levinson, has been criticized on social media for putting its cast through long work days and featuring graphic scenes, which even Jacob has described as hellish. But the star is walking back on his comments, sharing that the conditions make for a better show. "For me, working on that set is an absolute treat," Jacob told GQ in a profile published Aug. 8. "When I'm working with Sam, I'm in the trenches with him, and I trust him, and I work myself to the bone for him."
He continued, "I think I've read people saying, ‘Look, that's a bad image to set, you shouldn't have to work yourself to the bone for art.' F--k that. I enjoy it."
As such, while Jacob understands others may not feel the same way about Euphoria's grueling shoots, he believes they foster creativity. "What everyone's seeing on television, the shots that people are talking about, the feelings that they get, the conversation that's around the show," he said, "that's because certain shots take 30-something takes."
Eric Dane, who plays Nate's dad Cal in Euphoria, agrees that the shoots are tough, but noted that Jacob's ability to deliver a thrilling performance despite the circumstances speaks to his acting abilities. "There's a level of focus that you maintain throughout the day, so that you can stay at that low boil, and keep delivering the performance over and over again—and he has that," Eric said. "He has this gregarious charm and we goof around a lot, but he's always focused, and he's always prepared."
Jacob brought the same intensity to Netflix's Kissing Booth trilogy, sharing that he was incredibly serious about playing his character, Noah Flynn, as described in the books—so much so, he fought to smoke on-screen. "I remember going to war for it," he said. "I was like, 'Are we lying to the f--king millions of 14-year-olds out there? This guy smokes nicotine. It says here on page four—look!' I imagine people were just like, ‘Jesus f--king Christ. Is this guy serious?'"
While this seems like a lot for a trio of teen romantic comedy movies for Netflix, Jacob explained that he takes his job so seriously because he gave up going to university for it. For him, "acting is breathing."
It's not that Jacob feels he's uniquely talented. He thinks anyone can be an actor, explaining that he takes a psychological approach to the craft. "Someone has said that every human being is capable of murder," he said, "and I like to think of that a lot when I'm acting. It's always there, it's in your bones, every single piece of grief or loss or happiness or sadness you feel in your life is there. It's just figuring out how to get to it."
Despite finding success as an actor, Jacob isn't interested in getting lost in the world of celebrity. "I don't want to lose the entirety of who I was when I was little, and when I grew up, to whatever this—I won't say beast, because it's not at all negative—to whatever this public version of myself is now," he said. "I still want to be in touch with my younger self, which is everything that I am."
Euphoria is streaming now on HBO Max.