'She’s an incredible artist and a very caring person to all of us.'
The 22-year-old actor covers the December/January issue of GQ Australia and is quick to shoot down romance rumors circulating about he and his Euphoria co-star.
"She’s like my sister," he says of Zendaya, with whom he vacationed in Greece back in August and was recently spotted hanging out with in Australia while they were both in town for the 2019 GQ Men of the Year Awards.
Though they may not be in a romantic relationship, Elordi has nothing but kind things to say about the 23-year-old actress.
"Zendaya is an amazing creative, you know? She’s super dope to work with. She’s an incredible artist and a very caring person to all of us," he says, before adding that the entire cast of the controversial HBO series is "really close."
"There is not one weak link in that show. We’ve spent so much time together and everyone is just so cool to work with," he says. "[Creator] Sam Levinson is just a genius and working with him, it was just like electricity all the time. I was in awe. Like a kid in a candy shop."
Prior to landing Euphoria, Elordi was best known for his role in the Netflix rom-com, The Kissing Booth. Even after rising to fame after playing Noah Flynn -- alongside his now ex-girlfriend, Joey King -- Elordi wasn't sure if Hollywood was for him.
"I’d been in LA for about a year, I didn’t have any work and I had no money. I didn’t really have anywhere to live and I was in my car and on mates’ couches. My visa had like two weeks before it expired, so I was going to dip out and go back to Australia," he admits.
"... Your money runs out pretty quickly in Los Angeles. I had my mum and dad making sure I was eating and I had a lot of support from friends, so I was very lucky," he continues. "I was never down and out. But in terms of America, I was done."
Shortly thereafter came his Euphoria audition, though, and Elordi says he knew that "from the moment I auditioned that the content was going to be good because Sam’s writing is so impressive. I didn’t know if people would respond to it or not, but I knew it was something I wanted to play and the world was something I wanted to live in."
As for concerns about shedding his heartthrob image by appearing as his oftentimes unlikable character, Nate Jacobs, Elordi admits that he "was kind of hoping that some people would start to dislike me. I was so excited to shed the skin of what everyone thought about me."
"I wanted to make things like Euphoria before I even came to Hollywood, when I was still in high school," he says. "So there was no change in my brain where I was like, 'OK now I need to do serious work.' I knew the caliber of work that I wanted to do and I’m just lucky that I’ve been able to step up and do it so early on."
When it comes to his career, Elordi has lots of things in the works -- the sequel to The Kissing Booth, season two of Euphoria, movies he's signed on to, and plans to write and direct someday -- but is focusing mostly on enjoying life and whatever comes his way.
"I don’t really feel like I’m building a career or trying to be this kind of actor or that kind of actor. Every morning I want to wake up and be excited about what I’m going to do. I want it to be honest and fulfilling for me personally, and then maybe it can be fulfilling for the rest of the world, too," he says. "I still feel like I have a lot to prove, but I’m finally in a place where I can be proud of the work that I’ve done. It’s been a blur and it’s definitely a version of living the dream. But it’s starting to feel a little more normal now."
Zendaya Thanks 'Euphoria' Fans for Receiving Show With an Open Heart on Finale Night: 'I’m Forever Grateful'