On Gregg Araki’s new series Now Apocalypse, a sex-positive sci-fi sitcom, Avan Jogia plays Ulysses, a gay stoner who identifies lizard people and snags guys on hookup apps. At a time when many actors still shy from outwardly queer roles, Jogia – who prefers not to label himself when it comes to sexuality – is diving headfirst into the show’s gloriously kinky set-pieces, polyamorous mischief and explosive Grindr adventures. It’s quite a leap, then, from his three-year stint on squeaky-clean Nickelodeon series Victorious, the show that brought the world Ariana Grande.
“What I need is to create,” Jogia says of his motivations, “and I try to source from within myself to do that. On a very basic level, it’s me trying to communicate with the world.” And when he isn’t occupied by TV projects, activism, or music (he’s one half of the band Saint Ivory), he just so happens to be a movie star – recent credits include The New Romantic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Year of Spectacular Men.
A packed 2019 awaits. Along with co-starring in Zombieland 2 and Shaft, Jogia is publishing a poetry book, Mixed Feelings, and directing his debut feature, Door Mouse. “But what I’m most excited about are the things that I don’t know are coming yet,” he says. “That’s sort of the thing you look forward to the most.”