When you think of Ansel Elgort, he’s not exactly your stereotypical heartthrob.
He’s attractive, sure but there’s much more to the New York native than meets the eye.
We first met Elgort on the big screen in 2014 in the film adaptation of John Green’s bestselling Young Adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars. Following the role, during which he played opposite Shailene Woodley, he suddenly found himself thrown into the depths of teen idol territory. The film followed the love story of the two terminally ill patients through their journey of the trials and tribulation that comes with your first love. Unsurprisingly, the pair successfully pulled on the heartstrings of anxious teenagers in a position of either eagerly awaiting awaiting their own first love or simultaneously to the movie’s release, were experiencing love for the first time. The film grossed $307 million at the global box office and firmly put Elgort on the map, sealing a future in Hollywood.
Usually at this point, when looking back at the lives of young Hollywood stars, a big break in the industry like this is swiftly followed by a major ego boost. The ugly kind. But as we said, with our Ansel, there’s more than meets the eye.
Growing up on the Upper West Side to famous parents – a mother who was a former ballet dancer and now, founder of an opera company in Brooklyn and a fashion photographer father whose work frequently called the pages of Vogue home – Elgort and the entertainment industry were destined to be in one another’s future from a very early stage. Destined to be a performer, his parents signed him up for classes at the School of American Ballet. Speaking to Vanity Fair at the New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala earlier this year, Elgort reflected on his younger days spent as a student at the School of American Ballet. “I was in the S.A.B for five years. The reason I even tried to get into the S.A.B was because of musical theatre.”
Seemingly, there’s little the man can’t do. Completing the triple threat combo, the star is also a musician in addition to an actor and dancer but says dancing always came third in the trio of performance skills. “I was dancing because I wanted to get better at it, not because I was really good or I liked it. I loved singing and acting and dancing but dancing was definitely third.”
It was his love for performing arts that led him to another major love in his life, high school sweetheart and long term girlfriend, Violetta Komyshan. The pair met while attending New York City’s famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, a performing arts school where Elgort majored in acting and Komyshan majored in dance. They became a couple in 2012 and other than a brief split of five months in 2015, the couple have been going strong ever since.
So far as the story goes, he looks like a model, gets paid like a movie star, can hold down a long term relationship and actually strives for commitment within his love life. Someone get this guy into the Love Island villa to host a masterclass ASAP.
Due mostly to Elgort’s starring role in The Fault in Our Stars, Elgort was quickly slotted into the teen rom-com category. Whether intentionally or not, it appears the actor made an effort to shake that stereotype by participating in more action driven movies. It’s often forgotten (due to an oddly chosen overlap of cast members and release dates in 2014) that Elgort also held a prominent role within the Divergent series, released in the same year (but slightly earlier) than The Fault in Our Stars. Casting choices for the two movies sparked mild controversy as Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort held roles as siblings in one and lovers in the other. During the cancer story that The Fault in Our Stars follows, Shailene Woodley makes out with her on-screen relative (from Divergent). While we’re fully aware that these are made up characters in made up movies, completely unrelated to one another other than in casting choices, it’s all a little weird and a lot like fake incest. Clearly the pair were able to see the funny side with Woodley letting Entertainment Weekly in on their private jokes, “I keep joking with Ansel about it,” she explained. “I’m like, ‘In a few months, buddy, you’re going to be my lover.” – Definitely weird.
Thankfully, the roles that followed for Ansel managed to avoid connotations of Hollywood incest. When it came to his acting career, testosterone drenched Baby Driver was up next on the agenda for the American actor in 2017. In the years between his Divergent days and Baby Driver, Ansel’s attentions were drawn back to his music where he spent time performing at music festivals, writing and releasing techno-inflected songs featuring sweet, romantic lyrics.
Back in the driving seat of his acting career (in more ways than one), Baby Driver promised to broaden both Elgort’s appeal and portfolio within the industry. His character took shape as a conscientious and romantic orphan, struggling to pay off a childhood debt and help his aged, deaf, African-American foster parent build a nest egg, After being coerced into working for a crime boss, the young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. Seemingly he pulled it off. Critics claimed his portrayal of his character gave the movie confidence and acted as the fuel that kept the “giddy, adrenaline-filled joyride” going, some furthering the compliments of the film with phrases such as “a jaw-shattering spectacle of sight and sounds.”
Currently, we’re waiting anxiously for the release of Billionaire Boys Club, Elgort’s latest acting credit, due to be release later this summer. The film’s release in August will see Elgort up against Baby Driver co-star, Kevin Spacey once again in the plot that follows the real Los Angeles based investment group established by Joseph Henry Gamsky, also known as Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort) in 1983. The film marks Kevin Spacey’s first appearance on screen since May 2017 following over 30 accusations of sexual misconduct by men and boys that led to his removal from the cast of All the Money in the World among other consequences. Director, Ridley Scott chose to replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer, a switch that cost $10 million in reshoots while James Cox, director of Billionaire Boys Club, opted to keep Spacey as part of his cast. Deemed as this summer’s The Wolf of Wall Street, one way or another, this film and its cast are set to attract a lot of attention.
Looks like we’ll have to watch this space because clearly, Ansel Elgort is here for the long run.