THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – “I really want roles that challenge me and that make being on set a really intense experience,” says Elgort, who followed his breakout in the John Green adaptation The Fault in Our Stars with a starring role in the Divergent franchise. With four films coming out in the next year (including Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver with Lily James and Billionaire Boys Club with Kevin Spacey), he now is turning his focus to music: The Brooklyn resident released his single “Home Alone” over the summer, and says he has 12 tracks that he wrote, produced and performs on ready to go.
I’m still starstruck by: “The guys who have some mystery behind them, like Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio. And any basketball player. I can’t even talk to them. They’re like aliens; they’re from a different planet.”
Favorite splurge: “When I got Carrie, I bought a bunch of DJ equipment. I spend all my money on that.”
Worst audition story: “When I was around 16, I went into an audition and the woman told me, ‘You need to take acting classes. You’re so bad.’ And I said, ‘I am taking acting classes!’ In the next five years, it started to click for me at school. It takes a while — she was probably right. I really think people should take acting classes.”
COMPLEX – 22-year-old Ansel Elgort has quietly been building a name for himself in the music realm for almost five years away from the spotlight of his acting career. He’s already seen success as on the big screen (gut-wrenching YA-novel turned blockbuster The Fault In Our Stars, the Divergent series), but a true vigor for music stems from a childhood of musical theater. His computer offers refuge during hours upon hours of downtime on set where he is able to hone his craft on his own terms.
It’s no secret that a built-in fan base has been beneficial, but Elgort is insistent that he wants to build his sound and position organically. His big screen reputation might bring fans to the table, but he aspires to make music that will make them stay. As Ansolo, he is quickly becoming a festival circuit staple, playing Electric Zoo twice and Ultra shows all over the world. However, it’s debut single, “Home Alone,” that could be the catalyst for everything that happens next.
We caught up with the native New Yorker, who is currently working in Los Angeles to discuss his debut single, upcoming collaborations, his spontaneous sessions with Jamie Foxx, and why he feels it’s urgent that he use his platform to speak about movements that matter.
You’re Just a few weeks off a tour where you played your new song, “Home Alone,” live for the first time. How was that?
It was really cool. I didn’t expect do that, but then I sort of it did it spur of the moment. I wanted to see how the vibe was going to be and get a feel for how the audience was going to respond since it was an electronic show and the song is more of a pop track. I put the track on and stepped out in front with the mic and walked towards the floor. Everything just felt right, and I got a huge reaction from the crowd which was awesome.
Your debut single as Ansel Eglort, “Home Alone,” dropped officially July 22. Were you nervous to sing on it
No, you know I always knew I was going to sing on it. When I wrote the record, it was a very personal song. I wrote all the lyrics and ended up putting the song together over a three-year period. Originally, it was going to be over a dance record, but that didn’t feel right. It felt kind of forced. So I thought, maybe I can just do production for it so that it makes it electronic and emotional. I’m really happy with the final product.
You’ve remixed a track for Alesso. Former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Ingrosso have played your music at their shows. How important has it been to cultivate relationships with other DJs?
I think it’s been really great. It all happened really organically. Maybe three years ago, the first person I ever met was Pierce Fulton, who is also a DJ. We moved in together in Williamsburg. We have a common language and both love music. Of course, it was definitely nice to have the support. I’ve actually never met Axwell and Ingrosso though. They just played my record because they liked it. That’s what I really want. I don’t ever want… I never want anything to be unfair, you know?
Will you collaborate with any DJs in the future?
Yeah, totally. Martin [Garrix] and I, when we were in Korea together recently, we rode to the airport together and played each other a lot of music and had the idea of doing a record together that I would sing on. So, we’re definitely going to do something.
Your Instagram is peppered with pictures with pop stars like Justin Bieber, Charli XCX, and Halsey. Any chance you would recruit a singer or rapper to jump on one of your tracks?
Yeah, definitely. I’m already working on a record right now with Logic that I wrote and produced. Logic is going to do a verse on it. I’m really excited for that.
Ansel has done an interview with DuJour which you read below and you check out outtakes from the shoot taken by his sister, Sophie in the gallery!
DUJOUR – It was only three years ago that Ansel Elgort first appeared on the big screen, as a high-school student in Kimberly Peirce’s blood-soaked remake of Carrie, but considering the number of film’s the 22-year-old actor has already made—10, if you’re keeping track—he already feels like a veteran. Of course, that’s what’ll happen when you star in films like 2014’s YA weeper The Fault in Our Stars, which earned over $300 million worldwide and established Elgort as the resident heartthrob for an entire generation. Then there’s the action-packed, blockbuster Divergent series, which will see its third installment, Allegiant, released this month, in which Elgort stars as Caleb Prior, the older brother and comrade in arms of Shailene Woodley’s rebel Tris Prior.
But while Elgort has made his bones playing dreamy, doomed teenagers and action heroes, he’s poised to be much more than a matinee idol. In the coming months he’ll tackle a series of very serious film roles—starring alongside Kevin Spacey in Billionaire Boys Club and working with Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx in Baby Driver—and will bring his music career (he’s a popular DJ under the moniker Ansolo) to the next level with the release of an album. Here, Elgort talks candidly with DuJour about leaving behind Divergent, finding his voice and why, if you think he’s already made his mark, you haven’t seen anything yet.
The third move in the Divergent series is coming out this month, and then this summer you’re off to film the final installment. Does it all feel as though it’s flown by?
It really does. There have been times, like when I started working on the second film, when I said, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that we have another two more left. That’s a lot of movies to go!’ But now having only one more doesn’t feel like much at all.
What’s on your Divergent bucket list? Is there anything you want your character to do in this last film that he hasn’t done before?
I’d like to shoot a gun or something, instead of being the character that never does anything badass. Well in this next one that is about to come out, I save the day… I don’t wanna spoil the movie, but he saves the day. It’s nice to save the day and not just be the loser all the time like I’ve been. I would like to continue to not be the loser—maybe in the next one, that would be nice.
GQ-MAGAZINE.CO.UK – Ansel Elgort is a name we’ve been hearing a lot recently, and not just for making young girls swoon after he played Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars. At just 21 years old, the New York-born actor and DJ has an impressive resumé compared to most, including the hit four-movie franchise Divergent and his role in Carrie. Here’s an exclusive preview of his interview and cover shoot…
On ‘Ansolo’, his DJ alter-ego:
‘I just do what I like to do. It’s not about being strategic – I could live in LA, DJ Top 40 hits for tons of cash in bottle service clubs. I could take every YA franchise film I ever got offered. But I don’t think about what’s right for me, image-wise. I don’t care about that shit. The whole Hollywood world – the world that the media sells you – is fake, it’s not real.’
On filming the Divergent series of movies:
‘The process of filming an action movie isn’t about the process, it’s about the result. When filming action movies everyone is working towards getting the perfect shots, hit your mark, lines down, emotion more or less at the right place. It is fun but it isn’t the most artistically fulfilling experience.’
On similarly artistically-inclined actors Shia LaBeouf and James Franco:
‘I view them as very genuine. They are both fucking great actors. They’re great artists in general. If you are an artist you just feel the need to express yourself in a lot of different ways. I think that as an actor, you can actually begin to get away with being yourself.’
Ansel is on the cover of the September issue of Teen Vogue. You can check out the cover and outtakes/behind the scenes photos from the photoshoot in our gallery! You can also check out a behind the scenes video from the shoot and an interview Ansel did with Teen Vogue below!
When I met Ansel, I didn’t know he was a star. We were in Amsterdam, my hometown, at a Nicky Romero Protocol party about a year ago. The funny thing is, I’ve never seen one of his films because I barely watch movies. We had a crazy-fun night — then I posted a picture with him on Instagram, and the number of comments was ridiculous. I found out who he was a week later. What makes Ansel so cool is his easygoing personality. He’s the most humble guy, and he’s always true to himself. He is supertalented, but still the same person I met last October. And he produces his own music, which is a big deal in an industry where most people hand that job over to someone else. We send each other tracks, and we’ve played onstage together — but our friendship is about more than just music; he’s like a brother to me. I think we’ve exchanged around 200 ugly selfies — I’ll wake up and get one from him, and then I’ll reply back with one. Ansel and I recently met up in New York and had a great conversation, the type you can’t have with just anyone. We relate on so many levels — we’re both young; we love music and life; and we each have great careers and are trying to balance them with our personal lives. It’s nice to have a friend who really understands you. — Martin Garrix
Ansel Elgort: I love how you had no clue I was a DJ back then. When I went into the booth and started playing back-to-back, you were like, “What the hell? Why is he playing with us?”
Martin Garrix: That was an awesome night.
AE: We really became close after the first time you came over to my house in Brooklyn. We have a picture of it, all of us on the water, and I put my Knicks hat on you. That was the beginning of the friendship. We’ve been boys ever since. Then we played Pacha [a club in New York]. Oh, my God, that was epic.
MG: It was crazy. When did you start making music?
AE: My senior year of high school. I began DJing for fun. My friend taught me on a computer with Traktor DJ, and I would play for classmates at parties. But I really fell in love with dance music when I was 18. It took a year before I made anything I was really happy with.
MG: It took me four years, so it’s all good, Ansel.
AE: I was so bad. I called myself “Hanzolo,” but when I told a pal of mine at school, he was like, “Dude, that’s the stupidest name ever. You have to change that. Why don’t you just call yourself ‘Ansolo’?” And I was like, “Oh, word. That’s cooler.” Hanzolo just sounds stupid.
Ansel is on the April cover of Seventeen magazine. You can check out photos from the covers and outtakes in our gallery. Below are also some parts of interviews Seventeen has been releasing!
“[My friend] Jordan and I used to throw eggs off my roof and hit cars. We got in trouble with the police when I was 15. They came to our door. I told my dad, ‘We were throwing eggs off the roof and you were out of town and they got really mad at us and said if we did it again we would get in trouble, but we’re never going to do it again.’ I said it all in one sentence. He was like, ‘Okay.'” (Read More)
“I like to buy girls shoes and jewelry. I buy stupidly expensive shoes,” Ansel said. “I got Louboutins for my mom and my girlfriend before. My mom was like, ‘I can’t wear these — they’re too high.’ I was like, ‘Mom, you have to try them, they’re so cool. They’re red snakeskin!’ She still wears them every so often but she can’t walk in them.”(Read More)
“I like romantic dates — going on a long walk in Central Park and then taking the subway downtown and going out to eat and ordering oysters. After that, you walk around again and talk. Morning dates are nice, too. I love doing romantic s***. It’s fun. It’s like you’re living in a movie.”(Read More)