Ansel Elgort has only made three movie so far, but he’s already gotten our attention.
It’s the combination of looks and attitude that sets him apart. Interview magazine put it best by saying:
Elgort is exceptionally tall, absurdly good looking, and has the kind of man-child movie-star looks that could read as either pouty teenager or broody twentysomething. These looks—coupled with an easy-going charisma—have served Elgort well in his short but rapidly accelerating career.
In his first leading man role in The Fault in Our Stars, out on June 6, he plays Augustus Waters, a teenage cancer patient who falls in love with a girl he meets in his support group, played by Shailene Woodley.
“He’s not the typical leading man. He’s nerdy, he has one leg, he has cancer,” he told Teen Vogue.
There will surely be many more leading role for the rising star. As we celebrate the 20-year-old actor’s bright future, let’s take a look at his beginnings. Here’s what you need to know.
1. His Twitter Feed Blew Up After He Was Cast in ‘Fault’
When it came to casting choices in the film adaptation of the John Green young adult novel, fans of the book were the first to comment.
They expressed their discontent that the Augustus Waters from the book has blue eyes and dark brown hair.
“I was on my phone nonstop, refreshing Twitter and reading all these aggressive comments,” he told the LA Times.
TFiOS movie is legit shot for me bc Ansel whatever his name is is not painstakingly beautiful enough to be playing Augustus Waters
— Narissa (@NarissaAyy) March 30, 2014
The author put the banter to rest, telling the paper, “Augustus was going to be the hardest character to cast. And I think once people see Ansel, they’ll realize there are more important things than the color of his eyes.”
“A lot of guys that came in knew how to play cool Gus,” he continued, “but very few of them knew how to be fragile while still being Augustus Waters.”
2. He Played Shai’s Brother in ‘Divergent’
The casting for The Fault In Our Stars was announced while the pair was filming Divergent, the dystopian young adult film, also based on a popular book.
Although Woodley went from playing Elgort’s love interest to his brother, the actor didn’t seem to mind.
“You almost start to think that Shailene is two different people in the projects,” he told Time.
There is a definite mutual admiration between the actors.
Woodley gushed about her two-time co star, who she still has three Divergent movies left to film with:
Ansel and I have an affinity for each other just as far as recognizing and admiring the spirits in one another. It was nice to do a movie like Fault, which does have so many vulnerable scenes with somebody I was already comfortable with.
3. He’s Named After Ansel Adams
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, he explained that he’s named after Adams, the famous photographer, because his dad is also a photographer.
As a child, Elgort would accompany his dad, fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, on photo shoots.
“My dad used to bring me along on shoots. I think I was 8 years old, or maybe younger. And put me in the picture,” he told Kimmel.
Many times, the shoots involved models, but at the time, the younger was unimpressed. ” I don’t think I had any clue when there’d be famous models around. It was always just fun seeing my dad work,” he said.
His mother, Grethe Barrett Holby, is also in the creative field, and works as an opera director.
At the Divergent world premiere on March 18, he tweeted that his family was there to support his film:
My whole family is here. I’m so happy!
— Ansel Elgort (@AnselElgort) March 18, 2014
Elgort’s family includes an older brother and sister, who are also artists.
His brother, Warren, is a filmmaker in New York City.
His sister, Sophie, followed in their father’s footsteps as a fashion photographer in New York City.
4. He’s a New Yorker
Elgort grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The actor credits his city for giving him a lot of life experience. He said, “…it’s really nice coming from New York where there’s so many people and so many different experiences that you can have. It’s important to surround yourself with that, especially as an actor.”
His experience there was a positive one, and he told Interview magazine:
LaGuardia High School is a place of acceptance. You have every type of kid there, performing. The outcast girl would not have been made fun of in my high school.
It’s been reported that he’s in a relationship with Violetta Komyshan, a senior at La Guardia.
In 2012, while still in high school, he landed a role in the off-Broadway show Regrets, opposite Alexis Bledel.
Sandy Faison, the head of the drama department at his school, told the Daily News, “He’s a very clear type — a handsome leading man. He goes out of his way not to play that up.”
In an interview with Complex, he dished about his typical Saturday in New York City with his childhood best friend:
Anyway, we’d go to a pancake shop, and then go paint pictures for a few hours. Then we’d go rock climbing in at Brooklyn Boulders, before going back into the city. If we still weren’t tired, we’d go to Trinity Boxing Club and box. After that, we’d go back to his house or my house and eat cheese wedges or cereal bars and watch Hell’s Kitchen or Jersey Shore. Nothing is better than watching a bunch of guidos being idiots when you’re really tired after boxing and rock climbing.
5. He’s Not Ready to Be the Next R-Patz
In February, he landed his first talk show appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel did the honors of interviewing the young star, asking him a question that seemed to stump the star.
“Are you ready to be the new R-Patz?” Kimmel asked.
Elgort, visibly taken aback, was not able to give a definitive answer.
Instead, the stammered, “I don’t know, you know. I just sort of. You can’t..”
“OK, I think what we can gather is that you are not ready for this,” Kimmel concluded.