31 July 2019
Jacob Elordi and Alexa Demie spill about their toxic relationship on Euphoria
If there was ever a physical example of what a toxic relationship looks like, Euphoria’s Nate and Maddy would be the poster couple. They’re played by Jacob Elordi and Alexa Demie.
Jacob and Alexa are no strangers to the acting world as both performers have featured in a number of well-known films. Jacob made his first Hollywood debut when he appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He’s also featured in films such as The Kissing Booth and Swinging Safari.
Alexa, on the other hand, is not only an actress but a budding musician as well. She’s had recurring roles on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, and appeared in independent films such as Brigsby Bear, Mid90s and Waves. However, it’s their roles on HBO’s Euphoria that will stand out as a memorable highlight in both their careers.
Jacob and Alexa tell us more about their characters and experience on the most-talked-about teenage series in 2019.
What can you tell us about your characters?
Jacob: I play Nate Jacobs, who is on the surface level this ultra-violent obnoxious jock type but really is this frightened little boy in an enormous aggressive body.
His dad runs the town and owns all the buildings; he’s a picture of masculinity and gives Nate these speeches nightly about how he should behave and hold himself. It’s like, ‘Don’t let anyone see you down.’
He can’t put his finger on what you’re supposed to be as a man so I think he fights the urge that he can be anything but this ultra-masculine front that his dad puts on.
Alexa: Maddy is extremely confident in her appearance and she’s really put together; her hair and makeup and wardrobe are really thought out and detailed.
You don’t see her family too much but when you do, you realise why she’s in this volatile relationship with Nate. Her parents don’t speak or sleep in the same bed; they’re really disconnected. Her mum doesn’t really know what’s going on in her world.
How much did you relate to her?
Alexa: Not so much with the volatile relationship, but I’ve had friends in relationships like that and I’ve helped them. I can relate to the things I’ve seen and heard.
All the sex and promiscuity? I am so the opposite of that! I actually had a panic attack one day on set.
You have to remember that you’re working and try to have compassion for the character and why she’s doing this. I like to be pulled out of my comfort zone, and I really stuck to that with Maddy; I kept thinking, ‘I’m out of my comfort zone and this is good.’
With Maddy and Nate’s relationship and the physicality and emotion of it, Jacob and I just tried to connect in any way other than that to make sure it was a safe space for each other.
Some scenes are quite harrowing. Did you find anything particularly shocking?
Jacob: My high school experience was nothing like it, but we don’t personally find the show shocking or jarring. Maybe because we’re living it and we made it, but I think if you stopped in everyone’s household in every city in the world, you’d see pretty quickly that this is not as strange as it seems.
How did you find working with director Sam Levinson? He seems to take a very collaborative approach?
Jacob: He just listens to you. He’ll hear your conversations and then you’ll get a script and something you’ve said is in the script. He’s very in tune. And sometimes we’d be like, ‘Sam, this line!’ and he’ll be like, ‘Change it to whatever you want.’ It never felt like he didn’t care about it; he just trusted us.
What sets Euphoria apart from other dramas depicting teenage life?
Alexa: Visually we’ve not seen anything like this before in a teen show; it’s stunning.
The teen shows I’ve watched are not relatable, it’s kind of like, ‘I don’t know anyone who acts like this,’ like someone has imagined what it is and makes it this thing that it’s totally not.
Euphoria is so grounded, raw and real that it is incredibly relatable.
Catch the latest episodes of Euphoria streaming First on Showmax in South Africa.