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On Jan. 9, season 2 of Euphoria premiered on HBO. The new season of Euphoria has set up a love triangle between Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), and Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie). During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elordi explained the difference between the relationships Nate has with Cassie and Maddy.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for season 2 episode 3 of Euphoria.]

Jacob Elordi at the premiere of season 2 of 'Euphoria'
Jacob Elordi | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

How Jacob Elordi views Nate’s relationships with Cassie and Maddy on ‘Euphoria’

In season 1 of Euphoria, Nate and Maddy had an on-and-off relationship. The two are broken up at the start of the show’s second season, and Nate starts a secret relationship with Cassie. However, at the end of season 2 episode 3 of Euphoria, “Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys,” Nate seems to be trying to reconcile with Maddy.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elordi expanded on what it is like portraying the two different relationships, saying:

“Yeah, completely different working with Syd. With that particular storyline, I tried to treat it almost like I was making a romance film because I needed to have something different in my eyes in the way that I looked at her. Whereas when I was working with Alexa last season, it was like a drama. Everything was combative, everything was always on edge, everything was always worried — I needed to play every scene like it was a battle. Whereas with Sydney, I never really thought about love a lot in the first season, where I was saying earlier, this season for me was about love. So I tried to play the scenes almost as if I was making a completely different movie, you know? Yeah, completely different working with both of them.”

Nate could have trouble moving on from Maddy in ‘Euphoria’

While there is no doubt that Nate and Maddy’s relationship is toxic, Elordi hinted that Nate could struggle with ending his relationship with Maddy in Euphoria.

“I don’t know. I think we hold love in our DNA, and in our bones, and I don’t think it ever really goes away. You’ll always have a pang when you see that somebody. So that was definitely something that I was trying to play. It’s also very hard to let someone go fully, to say ‘Goodbye forever. I will never see you again or speak to you,'” Elordi told Entertainment Weekly.

The actor continued, “Especially for someone like Nate who, on top of that, is so controlling, and does have something that he needs, and has no idea if he loves who he loves. I think that has so much to do with it.”

How does Nate feel about Cassie?

In season 2 episode 2 of Euphoria, “Out of Touch,” Nate has a dream that he marries Cassie and starts a family with her. During his interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elordi shared how he interpreted Nate’s feelings for Cassie at the beginning of the season.


Sydney Sweeney Feels the Sex Scenes in ‘Euphoria’ Are ‘Very Realistic’

“I think he just has this very primal, ‘American Dream’ idea in him of having a very straight down the line, white picket fence, beautiful blonde life. This idea of love and family that he doesn’t have. This conventional storybook idea for him. And I think he’s doing that thing, that’s what you’re saying, trying to convince himself like ‘This is right in front of me. This is a good girl. She loves me. I have full control over her. This must be what love is,'” said Elordi.

However, the actor does not think Nate truly knows “what love is.”

“Because that’s his thing. The whole time I think he has no f***ing idea what love is. He’s not loved by his mom. He’s not loved by his dad. He’s not loved by his peers. He has no concept of what real love is. So he’s just trying the best he can to understand it,” Elordi told Entertainment Weekly.

New episodes of Euphoria premiere on HBO every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.