It’s safe to say Cal Jacobs was one of the most hated characters on TV... until the third episode of Euphoria Season 2 changed everything. Well, maybe not everything — most fans still can’t stand Cal’s violent, predatory behavior — but his backstory did turn out to be surprisingly touching and romantic. That’s thanks in large part to Elias Kacavas, the actor who played young Cal in Euphoria Season 2, Episode 3, and imbued the normally despicable character with a new layer of sensitivity and humanity. Kacavas is probably a new face for most viewers, since Euphoria is his first big acting gig, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of him very soon.
Kacavas only appeared in a couple short films before appearing on Euphoria, per his IMDb profile. On Instagram, he revealed his very first acting gig was as an extra in a 2017 AT&T commercial starring Mark Wahlberg. Funnily enough, that ad was promoting how HBO could be streamed on AT&T devices, and now Kacavas has gotten his big break on that same network. His relationship with HBO doesn’t just end with Euphoria, though. Next up, Kacavas will star in HBO Max’s upcoming Pretty Little Liars reboot, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. He will play Greg, the seemingly picture-perfect boyfriend of Karen’s (Mallory Bechtel). Although Greg and Karen seem to be the ideal couple in public, things are not so sweet when they’re alone, per Deadline.
Warning: Spoilers for Euphoria Season 2, Episode 3 follow. Prior to his Euphoria episode airing, Kacavas teased some key young Cal moments on his Instagram. Most notably, he shared a photo set of himself slapping an imaginary bass back in September 2021, when Euphoria Season 2 was nearing the end of its filming. At the time, the post probably just appeared to be a fun reference to I Love You, Man, but now fans know it was a nod to Cal’s romantic dance scene with his best friend and true love, Derek (Henry Eikenberry). When INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” played at the bar after their high school graduation, Cal and Derek started dancing with each other by goofily pretending they were playing guitars. Of course, the jokes faded away as they grew closer and the dance ended in their first kiss.
It’s unlikely that Kacavas will be back on Euphoria, since the Cal flashback was probably a one-off, but fans can look forward to seeing him on HBO Max once again when Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premieres, likely later in 2022.