Saturday Night Live this weekend is for Gen Z with Jacob Elordi hosting and Renee Rapp as the musical guest. Both have had breakout years – Renee is Regina George for a new generation in Mean Girls and a chaotic presence on the press circuit, and Jacob has moved beyond his Kissing Booth and Euphoria era with solid performances in both Priscilla and Saltburn


So I’m curious to see what this week’s episode of SNL will look like, whether we’ll get the strong writing we saw when Nate Bargatze, Adam Driver, and Kate McKinnon were hosting or if it’ll be a lazy effort like it was when it was Emma Stone. 


It’ll also be interesting to see how much they use Renee… because, for me, when I first saw the announcement that Jacob and Renee would be paired was that Renee could easily do both on her own and kill it, especially with her irreverence and unpredictability. Then again, she’s nowhere near that status. Think of the people who’ve pulled double duty on SNL: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, Donald Glover, Chance The Rapper, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, and Bad Bunny, just to name a few. Renee still has a long way to go. But I say this because, like, if we’re basing it on charisma, for me, she’s bringing so much more of it to this kind of environment than Jacob Elordi. But maybe that’s the goal for him tomorrow night – to showcase this side of himself, to prove that he can play and commit to a bit, to not take himself so f-cking seriously. 


I understand, to a certain extent, why that’s been Jacob’s mood as he’s moved into the next phase of his career. Many before him have taken the same path – which was my point when I called him a cliché a few months ago. Jacob’s approach these last few months is straight out of the Handsome Thespian Playbook, so burdened by his devastating beauty that he will turn his back on his heartthrob beginnings in the hopes that you’ll forget how attractive he is. Jacob is playing the monster right now in Guillermo Del Toro’s Dr Frankenstein, LOL, stepping into the role vacated by Andrew Garfield. Production is already underway in Toronto. 


Does it help or hurt then that he’s one of the internet’s “babygirl” men? SNL literally put that in the promo that just dropped yesterday: 


Jacob does, indeed, show up on every babygirl list online alongside Pedro Pascal, Kendall Roy, Paul Mescal, and the members of BTS. Maybe I’m too old, but I see too much f-ckboy energy in Jacob to qualify him as babygirl. For me, his only claim to it is that he’s been known to walk around with a handbag. But maybe that’s part of the playbook, too. Don’t be fooled by his height and his chiseled jaw, OK? Jacob might look like a real-life superhero but in reality, he’s awkward and unsure and just another misunderstood weirdo more likely to trip down the stairs than leap into oncoming traffic to rescue the damsel in distress. That, too, by the way, is the subtext in one of the SNL promos. 


Still, these narratives work in Hollywood – and this formula seems to be working for Jacob. He was just nominated for a BAFTA yesterday for his performance in Saltburn and has an outside shot at an Oscar nomination since there is so much overlap between BAFTA and the Oscar Academy. It’s a slim shot, for sure, but it’s there. 

But on the same day that he received the biggest recognition of his career so far, Jacob was making headlines for a different reason: whether or not he and Olivia Jade, the daughter of college admissions scammer Lori Loughlin, are still dating. (They are.) On my feeds, at least, there was more traffic about Jacob and Olivia Jade than there was about his nomination.

Given how emphatic he’s been about not wanting to be a celebrity at the expense of his work as an actor, and his disdain for that side of fame, I wonder what that’s going to look like as he continues to shape his reputation and move beyond the image that the culture assigned to him during the early part of his career. And whether or not Olivia, in the short term, will be part of that conversation. 

Attached: Jacob seen refueling in Studio City on January 10, 2024.