Sometimes, it can be hard for boys to pursue acting careers in school – just look at Troy Bolton in High School Musical!
During an interview with British GQ, Jacob Elordi revealed that he had to deal with speculation that he was gay back in his school days due to his desire to become an actor. The Euphoria star explained:
“From the moment I did a play I was called gay at school. But I had this abundance of confidence in myself because I could do both: I was quite good at sport and I think I was quite good at theater. I felt like I was above it, or it made me feel older. It made me feel wiser.”
“I was never worried that my peers would think I was less than a man. And also, I was doing plays with girls’ schools. I’m spending my weekends with the most beautiful women from the school next door, reading the most romantic words ever written.”
When it came to playing Oberon – a.k.a. the King of Fairies – in a production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Elordi looked forward to blurring gender lines even further at his young age. In fact, the actor wore purple glitter all over his face and even rocked spiked hair with pink stripes.
“When they said I was gay, I remember leaning into the makeup. I was like, if I’m going to be the King of the Fairies, I’m going to be the f*cking hottest King of the Fairies you’ve ever seen.”
In a way, the young actor learned even back then that it was exciting and important to embrace those different kinds of characters in his career.
“I started welcoming those kinds of characters. I started welcoming the femininity. I started speaking with my hands. I started really playing the thespian,” Elordi said.
“I enjoyed playing the actor. I stepped away from beer culture and from sport culture and I was like, well, if you think this is gay, I’m going to be who I am when I was your friend, which is this hetero guy, but I’m going to play the arts. I’m going to do it, and I’m going to show you that’s bullsh*t. I could never understand – how could you label anything, ever? How could you label sport as masculine? How does your sexuality inform your prowess as an athlete, or your prowess as a performer?”
According to this interview, Elordi was much more confident about where he stood in his sexuality while in school – not having to “peacock” his masculinity as much as his Euphoria character Nate constantly does on the show.
Euphoria season two is streaming on HBO Max.