Jacob Elordi attends the 2022 Met Gala. (Getty/ Jamie McCarthy)
Euphoria star Jacob Elordi has opened up about the homophobic bullying he endured when he began acting at the age of 12.
He said: “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 theatre. I felt like I was above it, or it made me feel older. It made me feel wiser. I never was worried that my peers would think that 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.”
Jacob Elordi was never fazed by the homophobic jabs, and fought them by ‘welcoming the femininity’ of his roles
Although the taunting continued, Jacob Elordi found power in it, determined to subvert his peers’ expectations.
In one production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he played Oberon, the King of the Fairies.
He recalled: “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**king hottest King of the Fairies you’ve ever seen.
“I started welcoming those kinds of characters. I started welcoming the femininity. I started speaking with my hands. I started really playing the thespian.”
He added: “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 bulls**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?”
Elordi insisted that this outlook was not “a hindsight thing”, adding: “I knew it at the time. And I still carry it now. I hope that’s what the performance is in Euphoria.
“It’s muscle and heart. It’s Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando.”