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Jacob Elordi is hosting ‘SNL.’ He’s different from the leading men before him — and that’s what makes him so beloved.

In Entertainment
January 20, 2024

If it seems like Jacob Elordi is everywhere these days, it’s because he is. He played Elvis Presley in Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla and popular Oxford student Felix Catton in Saltburn, which both came out in the latter half of 2023. Though he’s a supporting actor in both roles, he’s pop culture’s leading man of the moment.

The 26-year-old Australian actor is set to host Saturday Night Live for the first time on Jan. 20 amid his busy week in the celebrity news cycle. On Jan. 18, he received two BAFTA nominations. He made headlines for maybe or maybe not breaking up with his girlfriend, Olivia Jade Giannulli, the influencer whose mom, Lori Loughlin, put at the center of the 2019 college admissions scandal. Even a candle designed to smell like his bathwater is going viral.

Elordi starred as a key love interest in the Kissing Booth trilogy, the first of which was one of Netflix’s most-watched movies in 2018. Taking a page out of Robert Pattinson’s post-Twilight handbook, he later dissed the films. Since 2019, he’s played the dark yet romantic high schooler Nate Jacobs on Euphoria. Elordi dated his co-stars from both franchises — Joey King and Zendaya, respectively.

Then, Elordi was cast as Elvis. A year before, Austin Butler made headlines for taking drastic measures to prepare for his role in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, to the point that his onscreen accent just wouldn’t go away. Elordi, though, remained chill in his portrayal of the King. He said he learned of Elvis’s existence through the movie Lilo and Stitch and ate a pound of bacon every day to get into character. Comparisons between the two actors make Elordi’s craft seem effortless.

Jacob Elordi onstage next to a blue curtain.

Jacob Elordi on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images)

Just months later, Elordi’s promotion of Saltburn alongside Barry Keoghan repeatedly went viral. Elordi, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall, looks enormous beside the 5-foot-8 Keoghan. Footage shows Elordi help Keoughan pick up his coffee cup and the two gazing into each other’s eyes. Keoghan later told GQ that they were “really flirting” and genuinely that comfortable around each other. Elordi’s history of charming co-stars — now on the set of prestige films — suggests that he’s even more loveable offscreen.

In addition to oozing charm in interviews, Elordi has a unique presence onscreen. The same GQ profile that declared him a “man of the year” described him as “buoyant.” His physicality is unique. He’s tall, and as one X user noted, full of “whimsy.” There’s a charm to him that suggests he might be different enough from his peers, yet widely appealing enough next to great movie stars that have been so lacking in the past few decades.

On social media, fans refer to Elordi as babygirl — a term of endearment that is bestowed upon male celebrities who inspire a protective instinct, as a baby would to their parents. He jokingly embraced the title in a promo for SNL.

Alex Abad-Santos, who wrote about Elordi’s appeal for Vox, told Yahoo Entertainment that the leading men of Hollywood used to be predominantly ultra-masculine, but as of late, the public has become more mindful of what kind of men earn our admiration. They’re opting to obsess over men who are “in touch with what we traditionally think is feminine” instead, he said. He explained that Elordi portrays toxic male characters but subverts that archetype in real life.

Elordi isn’t afraid to carry a purse, admit he hasn’t overworked himself while getting into a role or flirt with his male co-star. He shows up to talk shows with jokes about his work, unafraid to show the crowd his affection.

He might be an extremely tall grown man, but he’s the internet’s babygirl.

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