Transcript of the interview:
"I have a lot of weird interests", Ansel Elgort says while being patiently ignored by a team of waiters at a trendy cafe in New York City's Soho neighborhood, "but everything I do is artistic." That the sun of opera director Grethe Holby and photographer Arthur Elgort - a fashion heavywhite who launched his career shooting Herry Hall and Patty Hansen in the 70s - has artistic inclinations is not surprising; that his past times range from creating house music under the moniker Ansolo to scouring sample sales for Loro Piana and Y-3 finds, to participating in the underground world of competitive miniature painting (customizing figurines and then playing a tabletop strategy game with them) suggest that 19-year old Elgort, who portrays consummate high-school bully Tommy Ross in next month's Carrie reboot alongside Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz isn't your average millennial.
"I think it's important I stay connected to every part of my personality," he says, happily draining the dregs of my lukewarm water and tossing a Link Larkin - esque coil of hair off his forehead. "I play basketball, I rock climb. I paint. I'm a little bit scattered, but it's so I can convincingly play all these characters." Though Carrie marks the 2012 Laguardia High School graduates film debut, Elgort has been acting professionally since he appeared in a 2003 production of the Nutcracker at New York's prestigious Lincoln Center. "Most actors nowadays are models turned actors. That's why a lot of young actors are terrible," he gripes. "You have to learn how to act. It is not something that you can just do." Elgort's roles in two forthcoming films based on best-selling YA novels - as Shailene Woodley's rebellious brother in Veronica Roth's Divergent and as Augustus Waters, a teenage amputee in love with a cancer patient (also Woodley) in John Green's The Fault in our Stars - should catapult him into a new echelon of fame among generation Katniss. Not that the prospect fazes him. "I'm starting to get a following on twitter," he confesses, an awed smile playing over his alluringly crooked mouth. "That's a really awesome power to have. It gives me the opportunity to make any kind of art I want." Watch your back, Franco.
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