Dominic Fike, Who Plays Elliot on 'Euphoria,' Is Even Cooler Than His New Character
The latest addition to the 'Euphoria' cast is played by a recording artist who is beloved among Gen Zers.
HBO's Euphoria has gained a reputation for (among other things, like its copious amounts of nudity and daring eye makeup) its interesting casting choices. Of course, the series from Sam Levinson is led by Emmy-winner Zendaya, but much of the ensemble whose emotional inner lives play out are portrayed by promising breakout talent like Alexa Demie and Sydney Sweeney, as well as scene-stealing newcomers who were scouted on the street like Angus Cloud.
Season 2 introduces another rising talent that will surely give TikTokkers heart palpitations and make millennial fans on Twitter feel old. In the Season 2 premiere, we meet Elliot, who becomes a new friend to Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) and is played by first-time actor Dominic Fike. Although his face tattoos, bleach blonde hair, and effortlessly charming presence might have you convinced he was engineered in a Euphoria lab out of a sample of cool-teen-generating-glitter, he's actually a fascinating 26-year-old recording artist who has ascended in the industry rather quickly. We're breaking down who the star is and his role in the new season.
Who is Dominic Fike?
Originally from Naples, Florida, Dominic Fike started out as a Soundcloud rapper who began recording and releasing music independently online when he was 21-years-old back in 2017. He actually wrote and recorded his first EP, Don't Forget About Me, Demos, while on house arrest for an altercation with police. When the release started to gain traction online, it resulted in a now-infamous multi-million-dollar bidding war between major labels who wanted to sign him—all of which played out while he was later in prison for breaking house arrest. Eventually, Columbia won the deal and re-released his EP in 2018, resulting in the charting success of his song "3 Nights" and even more overnight success.
Considering how much Gen Z is known for preferring "genre-defying music" and artists that don't fit into one box (they are the Spotify generation, after all), it makes sense that they're fans of Fike's. He waivers between melodic rap, reggae, and pop, and he's really good on the guitar, too. He's collaborated with the likes of indie favorites like Brockhampton and Omar Apollo, as well as big names like Justin Bieber and Halsey, and Paul McCartney himself even recruited him for a cover album.
So, yeah, basically think of him as one of the biggest former Soundcloud rappers to date—even if you have never heard of him. And now that he's dipping into acting on Euphoria, assume you're going to see and hear even more of him.
What is his character Elliot like?
Although Fike himself is now sober and focused on his music (and now acting) career, he's said that his character Elliot reminds him a lot of his younger self. He's another East Highland student with a bit of a mischievous attitude and, like Rue, is a narcotics addict who can find himself getting up to trouble. At Euphoria High, you can imagine he's the classmate who cuts class to smoke in the bathroom, and when he is in Algebra or Biology, he's likely in the back of the room cracking jokes instead of cracking his books open, or noodling around on his guitar.
We first meet Elliot at the New Year's Eve party in the Season 2 premiere, when Rue walks in on him as he's snorting drugs by himself in the laundry room. After Rue says she was going to use the room for the same purpose and they both admit to OxyContin being their drug of choice, they get high together—with Rue nearly losing consciousness and Elliot saving her with an injection of Adderall. As fans might've expected, it's the first of many instances of the two using together, and the catalyst for him to become a bigger part of both her and Jules' lives.
What can we expect from Elliot in Euphoria Season 2?
As we've seen, Elliot develops a relationship with Rue and Jules over the course of the season. At first, Jules is skeptical of his intentions when he starts hanging around—thinking he has a crush on Rue, who she is newly in a relationship with—but eventually they become very close friends. As Fike plays Elliot with a playful twinkle in his eye, he'll likely make more than a few fans wish they could lie around their room and listen to '80s deep cuts with him. His chemistry with Zendaya and Hunter Schafer also has the power to convince you there's never been a more fun, tighter-knit trio to prank jocks and rob convenience stores with. Their on-screen friendship especially makes sense, as he told us at Thrillist that he instantly became friends with his costars, which is "what made [filming] it so easy." He says, "I don't think I could have done it if we didn't get along."
While Elliot has fun with Rue and Jules, with every new episode, he's also (sort of unintentionally, sort of intentionally) started to drive a wedge between them. As an outsider to the couple's dynamic (and the fact that he tends to be pretty unfiltered), he's made them realize things about themselves and their relationship that they might not have on their own. For example, in Episode 3, "Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys," he points out to Jules that she and Rue might not be super compatible sexually, and is extremely flirtatious, complimenting her and seemingly noticing her in a way that she hasn't been before. Then in Episode 4, "You Who Cannot See, Think of Those Who Can," after Jules asks him for tips in the bedroom, he proceeds to execute a sexy little demonstration and they start making out until Rue arrives. (Gasp!) Once Rue is around, Elliot continues to be a bit minxy—kissing Jules when Rue is in the other room and propositioning a game of Truth or Dare that evolves into, as he calls it, "lesbian power games." (Never mind that he's been the instigator of a lot of this!) The entire moment radiates a whole new level of hotness for even Euphoria, and the song "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar" by Jonathan Richman that's playing only bolsters the naughtiness of it all.
"I don't think he thinks before he acts and he ends up getting himself in sticky situations," Fike says. "Unfortunately, that happens a lot during the season. He kind of takes the hard way out of things." That's definitely true of the love triangle that he inspires, and may come into play even more, in terms of his and Rue's substance abuse. It's important to remember that, even though Jules thinks Rue is sober, the two of them were still using together up until Episode 4 when Elliot decides not to get high on the supply Rue hides in the bathroom when they're hanging out. You can assume their dynamics are only going to continue to change in major ways.
What has the reaction to Dominic Fike on Euphoria been like?
Ever since they've been spotted holding hands and Fike hung out backstage while Hunter Schafer was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the two have been sparking dating rumors. The photos of them were enough to send the internet in a frenzy—they are two very cool stars and it's clear they've bonded on set—but the most recent episodes of Euphoria show just(!) how(!) much(!) freaking(!) chemistry(!) there is between them. Schafer brings an effervescent charm to every scene as Jules, and opposite Fike, who's been playing Elliot like a sultry bad boy with a heart of gold, it's a match made in Euphoria High Heaven. It's definitely not great that the two have cheated (both emotionally and physically) behind Rue's back and, given her addictive personality and the fact that she thinks she's in love, it's sure to be very heartbreaking when she finds out… but fans can't help but get enough of Fike's on-screen presence.
Whether Elliot thinks about the ramifications of his actions or not, Fike has been a welcomed addition to the series. Euphoria High could always use more face tattoos and sweet yet snarky attitudes, so we should all be grateful that this rockstar/26-year-old honorary teen decided to enroll.