The Untold Truth Of Ansel Elgort

Actor Ansel Elgort stormed into the movie business in the 2013 remake of the Stephen King classic Carrie. After that, Elgort's celebrity continued to ascend, as he scored roles in the dystopian franchise Divergent, the heart-breaking teenage romance The Fault in Our Stars, and the action-packed crime drama Baby Driver. That's a seriously impressive career arc!

Elgort added yet another impressive bullet point to his resume in 2019, starring as the adult Theo Decker in The Goldfinch, which was based on the best-selling novel by Donna Tartt. Poised to become one of Hollywood's most in-demand leading men, Elgort has a big and bright future ahead of him.

But aside from his extremely successful acting career, what else is there to know about the smoldering thespian? What does he do when the cameras stop rolling and the lights dim? And does his reputation really proceed him? This is the untold truth of Ansel Elgort. 

Ansel Elgort has famous parents

If you suspected that some of Ansel Elgort's talent and charm might be genetic, you'd be correct, as his parents are serious artistic heavyweights in their own right. For one, his father is the

"pioneering fashion photographer" Arthur Elgort, as noted by an article in Billboard. His work debuted in British Vogue in 1971, and he's been one of the industry's most celebrated photographers ever since, according to his website. He's also published books and made films during his tenure as an artist.

Lest you think that dad has all of the creative cred, Elgort's mother can hold her own when it comes to the arts. Grethe Barrett Holby has been in the opera business for over three decades, and she has directed, choreographed, and designed for multiple productions all over the country, as shared by her website. In addition to that, she's also a dancer, and she was one of the original cast members of the seminal Philip Glass opera Einstein on the Beach. Talk about talent!

Ansel Elgort wasn't afraid to disagree with Hollywood icon Kate Winslet

Like many millennials and Gen-Zers, Ansel Elgort is rather savvy when it comes to social media, to the tune of over ten million Instagram followers and nearly four million Twitter followers. And as he tells it, being active on social media and garnering followers is essential for his job. "If you're an actor now and you want to be given big roles in studio films, they want to have an actor and an artist in their movie, but they also want a brand in their movie," he explained in an interview with The Telegraph. "And in order to compete and be at the top level, you have to [be a brand], if you're young." He's not wrong!

So when his Divergent co-star Kate Winslet deemed social media non-essential, he had a response for that. "She was saying, 'You don't need social media,'" he continued. "And I said 'You don't need social media,' because you have six Academy Award nominations, but I'm just starting, and studios want that from me." He does have a point. It's a different landscape out there for young actors.

Ansel Elgort thinks he's easy to hate

There have been several occasions when Ansel Elgort has come off as cocky or somewhat blind to the privileges that he's been afforded in life, according to an article in The Telegraph. But Elgort says that's not something he's done intentionally. "I don't walk around calling attention to myself," he proclaimed in an interview with Billboard. "It's important to be able to blend in, otherwise you turn into a Hollywood d*****bag."

It's also not lost on Elgort that he likely has plenty of haters, or that people think of him as the aforementioned d-bag. "I'm sure plenty of people think I am one, too," he continued. "I'm super easy to hate. But it's fine. It's hard to be liked and successful." That's a pretty pragmatic way for the movie star to deal with the flood of hate that social media can unleash on people, especially the rich and famous.

Ansel Elgort's choice in music helped him snag the lead in Baby Driver

One especially coveted part that Ansel Elgort managed to snag was that of Baby in director Edgar Wright's action film Baby Driver. But interestingly enough, it wasn't until Elgort named "Easy" by The Commodores as a song he knows by heart that he got Wright's attention. "I was so taken aback that a 20-year-old would say that," Wright shared in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "That in itself made me think that maybe he was right for the part."

Wright then asked Elgort to perform the song for him, which further impressed the famed director. "He was great — and he proved, exactly like he said, that he knew all the lyrics," he continued. "That was the thing that really clinched it. And in the next draft, I wrote 'Easy' into the script."

As it turns out, Elgort had learned to sing and play that song on the piano when he was 12 years old. "I think that's what landed me the job. It still is my go-to karaoke song," he added. Indeed, it probably did.

Ansel Elgort once went by another name

In addition to being an actor, Ansel Elgort is also quite the electronic musician, and he has DJed and performed music at EDM festivals for years. For a while, he used the pseudonym "Ansolo," which he did in order to prove he was good enough. "I really respect the dance music industry. I didn't want to come in and abuse the fact I was an actor and use my name to book gigs," he revealed in an interview with People magazine. "I'm not getting into music because I need to — I have a bunch of movies coming out. I just do this because I love it."

Elgort started releasing music under his real name in 2016, after he'd proven that he has the chops to stand on his own two feet in the music business. Additionally, he was signed to Island Records, and now sings in addition to composing and producing. Apparently he really impressed his team at Island with his pipes!

This is what you'll find on Ansel Elgort's playlist

Just as composing and producing his own music is something super important to Ansel Elgort, so too is the music that he listens to on a day-to-day basis. And according to director Edgar Wright, Elgort's taste is refreshingly eclectic. "When I was a kid, ELO was super square — at school you would not say you were an ELO fan," Wright explained in an interview with the Los Angeles Timesdismissive of the critics who were skeptical that Elgort would listen to songs from Baby Driver like "Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Sam & Dave's "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby." "But now it's like, 'I love ELO!'"

In addition to those tunes, Elgort also places songs like "Heroes" and "Life on Mars" by David Bowie, "Porcelain" by Moby, "Don't Matter" by Akon, and "Stan" by Eminem on his top 50 of all time playlist. He also loves John Legend and the late Swedish DJ Avicii, rounding out his diverse selection of musical interests.

Ansel Elgort isn't shy about his political leanings

One thing that Ansel Elgort is not shy about is his political leanings, particularly when it comes to the Black Lives Matter movement, which he tweeted about in 2016. "I'm outspoken and I speak about Black Lives Matter in my daily life, but I hadn't really spoken publicly on it before then," he shared in an interview with Complex, noting, "My hope is that this movement will lead to other movements that create equality between the sexes, the races, religions and that we can relinquish the hatred." Elgort added that he stands by his tweet, and he was glad he could use his platform to align himself with the movement.

Additionally, Elgort is concerned about other pressing issues, as are many of his generation. "There are some issues, though, that hopefully we can detach from politics and take into our own hands, like the environment," he proclaimed in an interview with HuffPost. "I hope that people all over can throw out the window [the idea] that it has to do with politics." In this case, Elgort says it's the science that's what's important.

The biggest role Ansel Elgort lost out on

Ansel Elgort has been quite candid about how he handles various auditions, such as those for The Goldfinch and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Sometimes the auditioning process can go on for months, and often it requires a lot of work. Such was the case for Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic, for which Elgort was passed over in favor of another actor. "With Elvis, I think it just wasn't right. Or so they thought," he admitted in an interview with HuffPost. "That's fine. Baz has a vision."

Still, Elgort took a lot of time trying to nail down Elvis' mannerisms, but, ultimately, he was too busy with other projects to do enough research. "I watched a ton of footage and memorized some of his interviews just to get his speech pattern down and sang a bunch of his stuff," he continued. "But I wasn't really prepared."

Fortunately, Elgort's career is alive and kicking, and he can survive missing out on a big role here and there.

Ansel Elgort follows this rule when he's working

It's well-known that days spent on Hollywood sets are something of an endurance sport. The hours are long, takes have to be repeated multiple times, and the demands on the body can be grueling. So because of the fitness required to make it in Tinsel Town, Ansel Elgort doesn't drink alcohol when he's working. "During The Fault in Our Stars I was definitely the designated driver, 'cause when I'm doing a movie or a project, I don't drink at all," he revealed in an interview with GQ. "We'd go to dinner and I would drive everyone around." He added that this was before Uber was a viable option.

Of course, age was also a factor at that time, as, during The Fault in Our Stars, Elgort was underage. "Well, especially when I was 19 ... I wasn't drinking at all," he continued. "But even now I don't really drink when I'm filming, because the days are so long and you gotta feel as healthy as possible." That's certainly not a bad approach.

Ansel Elgort received an odd gift from Shailene Woodley that he's never used

It was fairly early on in Ansel Elgort's career that he landed a role in the Divergent franchise as Caleb, the brother of Tris Prior (played by Shailene Woodley). Naturally, that allowed the pair to nurture a friendship, which Elgort says he learned a lot from. "Shailene is very different," he explained in an interview with Elle magazine, adding, "She hates people pleasing. She wishes the world could be a place where we could be really honest and true to our emotions." Don't we all!

Still, regardless of their bond, when the Big Little Lies star gifted Elgort with a container of natural deodorant, Elgort wasn't exactly on board to try it out. "I didn't really see how you could put it on," he continued. "It was in a jar. I just didn't like the idea of putting a cream on my armpits." Given the wacky Hollywood trends that have come and gone, that sounds a little tame by comparison!

Who is Ansel Elgort's longtime girlfriend?

With his good looks and successful movie career, Ansel Elgort has amassed quite the following of starry-eyed fans. But Elgort isn't interested in sowing his oats, as he's been in a committed relationship with ballet dancer Violetta Komyshan for many years. In fact, you'll see the two of them walk the red carpet together quite often.

Komyshan recalls when she first met Elgort, all the way back in high school. "I think he had his eye on me, because we were in the same lunch period or something," she recalled in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine. She continued, "I didn't even know he went to my school — I just thought he was really attractive."

Eventually they met through a mutual friend and got to know each other. "We exchanged numbers and became friends, and then we started dating when I was at the end of sophomore year," she continued. And while Komyshan sometimes deals with jealous haters on social media, fortunately it doesn't bother her that much.

Ansel Elgort voiced his support for the #MeToo movement

Ansel Elgort started his movie career in 2013, four years before the #MeToo movement kicked into high gear. He even worked with Kevin Spacey on Baby Driver and Billionaire Boys Club, the latter of which flopped massively on the heels of the allegations against the veteran actor. Fortunately, Elgort was spared from the bulk of the fallout. "I'm glad that I'm young. I haven't really had to deal with this stuff," he shared in an interview with Variety. "People who are older, their whole careers they've dealt with harassment. That sucks." 

Additionally, Elgort is openly supportive of the #MeToo movement, and he sees himself as a force of change in Hollywood. "I'm proud to be part of a younger generation that's not putting up with that and is changing everything," he continued. "Men right now, we don't look [too] good. I'm proud to be a young dude who can set a good example for men." Keep up the good work, Ansel!

Ansel Elgort has a strategy for dealing with the paparazzi

When you're a famous Hollywood actor, chances are you're going to have to learn how to cope with the paparazzi. Certainly Ansel Elgort has learned how to deal with them, as evidenced by an encounter he had in Amsterdam when he was followed by a photographer. "I'm pretty good with faces, and I recognize him from last year, when he was hanging around the shoot," he recalled in an interview with GQ. "And so I ask the driver to pull over."

Rather than get into a heated argument with the photographer, Elgort took a more mature approach. "I get out of the car and go up to the guy and say, 'Hey, man, how have you been? Listen, I know you have a job to do, but I'm with this girl,'" he continued. "'And we're on this date, and we're just trying to go to some park to hang out some more, and I don't think we're gonna be able to do that if you follow us.'" Surprisingly, it worked, and the photographer left them alone. That's more effective than a fight, for sure!

Ansel Elgort has big dreams for the future

Although Ansel Elgort is surely busy with acting, music, and everything else going on in his life, there's an additional creative endeavor that he wants to pursue. "I want to get into painting more — I used to paint when I was younger — and I have a new house in Brooklyn that has a room set up just for that; it that has really great light," he revealed in an interview with DuJour magazine. "It would just be nice to paint in there."

Elgort also has an interest in women's fashion, which isn't surprising given his father's profession as a fashion photographer. "I also really do like fashion. But particularly I love women's shoes, which is kind of weird," he continued. "Women's shoes are beautiful. So that's something I would like to look into." It's not all that weird, given that plenty of male fashion designers design women's shoes all the time.

Whether or not Elgort will start having gallery shows or will launch his own shoe line remains to be seen, but his ambition could very well make both dreams happen!