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Introduced in 1969, the square-shaped chronograph timepiece became a silver screen star in its own right on the wrist of Steve McQueen, who wore it in the 1971 racing film Le Mans.
Which begs the question: Was Elordi making a covert bid for the spot when he changed his Instagram profile picture months ago to feature the Hollywood legend in a racing uniform?
“I definitely wasn’t,” the 24-year-old Euphoria actor protested with a laugh in a telephone interview. “I love Steve McQueen. I think I would be remiss as an actor not to love someone like him. He’s the king of cool.”
He named the 1973 historical prison drama Papillon as a favorite, explaining that beyond McQueen’s charm and ruggedness, “his performances are actually pretty surprising — he had range,” Elordi said.
“It’s strange, when you watch his performances, he did some pretty crazy s–t. I think he’s enigmatic,” he continued.
In this regard, Elordi has been no slouch himself. After teenage heartthrob Noah Flynn in The Kissing Booth, he’s gone for meatier roles, starting with terrifying and troubled Nate Jacobs in Euphoria and a college student who finds himself a pawn in the unhealthy duo formed by Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck in this year’s Deep Water.
TAG Heuer chief executive officer Frédéric Arnault agreed, calling Elordi “the standout star of a new generation, an artist who is unafraid to take risks [by choosing] roles that challenge both himself and the audience,” in a statement installing the actor in his new position.
Asked what caught his attention when reading scripts, Elordi said he looked for “something that would consume [his] life” for the duration of the project. “I just want to stay interested, stay curious,” he continued, deeming himself a “selfish actor” who was in it for the cathartic release brought by his characters.
For his next role, he’ll be changing tack again, playing opposite Rosamund Pike and Barry Keoghan in Saltburn, the sophomore film of Oscar-winning director and writer Emerald Fennell, a project he called “a no-brainer” of a choice given his admiration for all three of them.
Although being asked to wear the same watch as McQueen was therefore “pretty cool,” Elordi revealed he has another reason to be thrilled — proving his acting chops to his mother.
At the beginning of his career, billboards featuring then-TAG Heuer ambassador and fellow Australian Chris Hemsworth, hot off his turn as Formula 1 racer James Hunt in the 2013 drama Rush, cropped up around town.
“He was everywhere in Sydney, and my mum used to say, ‘When you’re pointing and saying [TAG Heuer slogan] ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure,’ I’ll call you an actor,’” he recalled, joking that he would put his campaign image in her front window.
While he isn’t pointing in the atmospheric shot, his debonair pose behind the steering wheel draws the eye to the latest Monaco iteration, a special-edition timepiece in black titanium with gold hands released for this year’s Formula 1 Grand Prix.
This story originally ran on WWD.
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