Jacob Elordi is the bad boy of “Euphoria” thanks to his performance as Nate Jacobs, who is a far cry from the more wholesome heartthrob the actor played in Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth” series. It was the streamer’s romantic-comedy films that first made Elordi an internet sensation, but the actor told GQ magazine that he pushed Netflix to make his character far more edgy. Elordi starred opposite Joey King in “The Kissing Booth,” which was based on Beth Reekles’ 2012 novel. Elordi’s character, Noah, smokes in the novel, but Netflix refused to let Elordi smoke on screen.
“I remember saying, ‘He smokes in the book. I need to smoke. He needs to have cigarettes. He’s a bad boy,” Elordi said, adding that his repeated requests to smoke in the movie were turned down by Netflix.
“I was like, ‘This is bullshit!’ I remember going to war for it,” Elordi continued. “I was like, ‘Are we lying to the fucking millions of 14-year-olds out there? This guy smokes nicotine. It says here on page four – look!’ I imagine people were just like, ‘Jesus fucking Christ. Is this guy serious?’”
Netflix is hardly the only studio that doesn’t want to depict smoking in its movies. Colin Farrell revealed that Warner Bros. banned him from smoking as Penguin in “The Batman,” while Emma Stone went on record saying her request to smoke in “Cruella” was denied by Disney.
“Big studios make big decisions around such things as the presence of cigarettes in films,” Farrell said. “I fought valiantly for a cigar. At one stage I said, ‘I can have it unlit! Just let me have it unlit.’ They were like, ‘No.’ [As if] a bunch of 12-year-olds are going to start smoking Cuban cigars because [the Penguin is smoking cigars in a movie.]”
Elordi starred with King in three “Kissing Booth” movies, the second of which remains the eighth biggest Netflix original movie of all time with 203.9 million hours viewed in its first 28 days. Critics panned the trilogy, but King recently told The Independent she’ll never regret her decision to headline the series.
“I couldn’t be prouder of those movies,” King said earlier this month while promoting her new action movie “Bullet Train,” now playing in theaters. “I loved them so much and playing that character made me happy. I’ll never regret those movies, and I love them so much no matter what anyone says.”
Although critics loved to bash “The Kissing Booth” movies, King told Variety in 2020 that the trilogy was “critic-proof.”
“I understand that critics weren’t all over this movie, but that’s the thing — it’s not meant for critics to be like, ‘Wow, what a movie!’ It’s meant for people to watch and have a great time,” King said.
“The Kissing Booth” trilogy is streaming on Netflix.