GQ unveiled its 28th annual Men of the Year issue, celebrating the athletes, actors, musicians and business moguls who embodied the year in pop culture. GQ’s Men of the Year is a global franchise, with distinct Men of the Year issues and events rolling out across 18 international markets.
In the first cover of three dropping this week, Hollywood heartthrob and Priscilla star Jacob Elordi sits down with senior staff writer Gabriella Paiella for a conversation about playing Elvis Presley in Priscilla, why The Kissing Booth films made him miserable, turning down an opportunity to read for Superman, and the “embarrassing” side of Hollywood fame.
On playing Elvis and the approval he received from Priscilla: “She said I got the voice right”
For Elordi, playing Elvis a year after Austin Butler got an Oscar nomination for doing it was something close to madness. “It certainly crossed my mind briefly before I’d read the script. I don’t want to tell the same story over, especially because he did such a fine job of portraying this man,” Elordi says. “It’s a completely different thing. And it’s terribly exciting, too, running into the fire a little bit. I can’t think of anything more exhilarating.” Priscilla, for one, approved. “She said I got the voice right,” Elordi says, “which was everything I needed to get.”
What Elordi can’t quite understand is being told he should just be grateful or being told that he was pretentious. “How is caring about your output pretentious?” Elordi wants to know. “But not caring, and knowingly feeding people shit, knowing that you’re making money off of people’s time, which is literally the most valuable thing that they have. How is that the cool thing?”
Although Elordi grew up admiring Heath Ledger and Christian Bale, he doesn’t see himself in a superhero film anytime soon. “I’ve always been told to say a rounded answer or my agent will get mad at me. ‘Anything can happen!’ ” he tells GQ, with false cheer. “And obviously anything can happen, but at this stage in my life, I don’t see myself having any interest in that. I like to make what I would watch, and I get very restless watching those movies.” He doesn’t want to knock any actor who would do a superhero movie, or even the movies themselves, but the answer is clear: not for him. “And then I’m supposed to finish it with: ‘Never say never!’ ” Cue an ironic smile. “Well, they asked me to read for Superman,” he says. “That was immediately, ‘No, thank you.’ That’s too much. That’s too dark for me.”
On what he’s discovered is “embarrassing” about Hollywood stardom: When he dreamed of being an actor, though he understood that paparazzi, the red carpets, and people being interested in his personal life would all be part of it, he didn’t quite understand how it would feel in practical terms. On press junkets, he mentions a gimmicky video premise in which he’s blindfolded and being fed certain foods and having to put on a show trying to guess what the food is. “And you’re a grown f—king man! That stuff’s embarrassing,” he says. “Then, also, you watch me choke on a banana with a blindfold on. How will you believe me when it’s 1943 and I’m in a prisoner of war camp doing surgery on somebody? ‘I just saw him with a banana halfway down his throat on fucking YouTube.’ ”
An upside? “I never bought a bag,” he tells GQ. “Maybe that should be something that is exposed about Hollywood. All these people think, I wish I had that lifestyle. I mean, yes, to get them for free—that’s great. What a great lifestyle. But people that have all this money aren’t spending it. You just get sent stuff. It blows my mind.”
GQ’s December issue on newsstands November 28.
[Photo Credit: Jack Bridgland/GQ Magazine]
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