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.
MG: Do you have time to produce music while shooting a film?
AE: I actually get into it more when I’m on set. Right now I’m filming Allegiant: Part 1 in Atlanta all week. I like to focus on it when I’m in the trailer waiting for my scenes.
MG: When you’re going on tour, do you find it hard to travel with just hand luggage?
AE: Everyone makes fun of me because I’ll go places with only a change of clothes and my computer. I even forgot to pack for the Oscars, and my friends thought that was so absurd. I put what I wanted to wear on my bed and didn’t remember to place it in my suitcase. I was in L.A. for four days, and every day leading up to the ceremony I wore the same thing, and I smelled so bad. One day we went hiking in the mountains, and I got so dirty. The day of the Oscars, I go from looking like a slob to wearing a gorgeous Prada suit. It’s like living in two different worlds. But I don’t care. I was fine! I would just go down to the hotel pool in my underwear.
But it was nuts — only a year before, I’d been watching the awards show at a viewing party; then, all of a sudden, I’m there presenting an award. I brought my mom, and that was so special.
MG: Unbelievable. Do you have a big suitcase in Atlanta?
AE: No, I have a little one with a few changes of clothes. If I’m lucky, I can get someone to help me with laundry.
MG: You just filmed November Criminals. How was that?
AE: It was great. I worked 13-hour days and was in every scene. That was a really challenging role and, since it wasn’t a big- budget movie, we shot the entire film in 25 days. But I had the weekends off. I actually played Ultra in Miami during that time.
MG: Amazing. How did you have time to prepare your set?
AE: I was going into total overdrive, man. But it was incredible. I felt invincible because I would get up so early and go to sleep so late. All the scenes were really hard. It’s about a kid who is coping with his mom dying of a brain aneurysm and whose dad is a drunk. I love doing emotional work, like The Fault in Our Stars.
MG: I haven’t seen that movie, but I want to watch it with you.
To read the full interview (and see additional Ansel covers), pick up our September issue, on newsstands August 18.