Mitchell Slaggert, this season’s new stud on The Sex Lives of College Girls, has seen your calls for the show’s seasons to last longer, with more, longer episodes. He agrees. Slaggert will gladly flaunt his six-pack for as long as you’ll have him: “Everybody watches it,” he says. “Make each season 20 episodes!”
Slaggert joined Mindy Kaling and Justin Noble’s HBO Max comedy series for its sophomore season after its main love interest, played by Gavin Leatherwood, dropped out of the show. He plays the girls’ next-door neighbor Jackson—who has wildly loud, distracting sex, and eventually with our beloved Kimberly (Pauline Chalamet) too.
But Jackson isn’t a douchey frat guy, nor is he a member of the Catullan (the show’s fictionalized version of The Harvard Lampoon). Slaggert’s character is a fresh take on a love interest, one that feels like an early-2000s teen rom-com heartthrob. Some may say he’s a “himbo.” But himbos don’t get into (fictional) Ivy League-tier colleges! He’s a hottie that can’t be categorized into any traditional “hunk” archetypes.
Jackson transfers to Essex College as a climate refugee after his home college is destroyed by tornadoes—a specific detail Slaggert says fans use to slide into his Instagram DMs. Since joining the show, his message requests have grown exponentially.
“It’s been steadily the same, just funny stuff,” he says of the DMs. “‘I’ll take you in as a climate refugee,’ etcetera, etcetera. I’ve gotta give some of them props—some of them really make me laugh. When I’m bored, I’ll pull them up for entertainment.” (Moral of the story: If you want to DM Mitchell Slaggert, there’s a very high chance he’ll read your message. No comment on whether or not he’ll respond.)
The final two episodes of The Sex Lives of College Girls hit HBO Max today, with a huge twist in Kimberly and Jackson’s storyline. Mitchell Slaggert sat down with The Daily Beast’s Obsessed to predict what’s next for him and Kimberly in the recently confirmed Season 3. Spoilers ahead for the finale of The Sex Lives of College Girls.
When you were filming, what made you laugh the hardest?
Everybody, the cast and crew on the show, is just hilarious. Just our daily banter was funny. I’m a big fan of the bloopers. We’d be filming and someone would flub a line, and we’d all just start dying laughing. It lifts everyone’s spirits. If you have a better day filming, everyone’s happy on set. The overall product’s going to be funnier once it comes out.
Sometimes, we would shoot a scene, and we’d have it all written down one way, and then they’d be like, “Say this instead.” We molded the [comedy] as we went. When I walked into that [frat] party, I was shirtless, and they went with, “He looks like Thor’s stand-in.” But one of the lines was, “He looks like Brad Pitt, but if he was in a porno instead.”
I read that your character was a douchey frat bro in early drafts of the Season 2 script.
Yeah! [Laughs] When I was auditioning, I [played] him to be a douchebag. The lines were so funny. Half of me was like, “I kinda want to play this douchebag, because these lines are so funny.” But now I’m a nice guy.
Why was it important for your character to be nice?
It definitely pooled better with the show. With the other guys that were already in the show, they already had [frat guys] covered. I’m not saying those are the douchebags of the show, but they just didn’t need another one. With my storyline and character, it would be funnier and make more sense if I was the nice guy.
How would you describe Jackson now, in his fully realized form?
Jackson’s just a good, hard-working corn farmer from Kansas—doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. He’s got a good family, a good head on his shoulders, but he’s been dealt a shitty hand. He’s making the most out of it. It was an easy role for me to step into because there was a lot of myself in the character.
Some people say he’s a “himbo.” Would you agree?
What is a himbo?
It’s a guy who’s smoking hot, usually silly and nice, but he might not be… the smartest. A boy bimbo.
[Laughs] Jackson’s definitely intelligent—he’s taking Irish Lit!
He’s at a big prestigious college, too.
You don’t get into that easily!
I’ve gotten random hate comments for writing about The Sex Lives of College Girls. Some people think it’s “objectifying men.” What’s your take on that, being one of the men that’s “objectified?”
My take is that not everything is for everybody. Everybody has the right to their opinion. Good for you, if you don’t like it—it’s not going to hurt my feelings. All the guys who signed up for the show knew going into it, “Yeah, I’m going to be shirtless. No problem!” Most of us guys are already shirtless all the time anyways.
Going into this new season, you were replacing Gavin Leatherwood’s character, TK. Did you feel that there was pressure, being Kimberly’s new love interest?
I walked in with a big smile on my face, happy and excited to be there. Everyone was warm, welcoming, and funny. It’s a good show all around, because I mesh with everybody.
What was it like to develop a relationship with Pauline Chalamet?
She’s honestly incredible. She’s very knowledgeable, very friendly, warm and welcoming. Working with her was great. We hit it off. I couldn’t have been more fortunate.
She told me she wasn’t so sure about the whole comedy thing. Are you in the same boat? Or have you really hit your stride here?
I love comedy. My grandfather, my father, my brother, and I, we were all pranksters and jokesters. I like quick wit—thinking on your toes and coming back with stuff. I’m a big fan.
You and Pauline have talked a little bit about recording the sex noises. Walk me through that process.
Oh God, it’s so awkward, but it’s funny. At this point, all you can do is laugh at yourself. It’s cringy when you hear it, and at the time, you’re like, “This is weird.” But fuck it. You get in that headspace and you go in and try to get carried away without thinking about it logically. It was funny, sitting down and making sex noises. The first time we had to do that, there were a lot of people on set who didn’t know that was going to happen. People kept walking in and being like, “Is that you?” I’m like, “Can I say no?”
Is it better to work with someone else, or record them totally alone?
I think it’s better to have someone else there doing sex noises with you. It’s so awkward, but it’s whatever. Fifty percent of acting is reacting, so it helps.
In these last episodes, Kimberly breaks up with Jackson and—
She breaks my heart!
What’s going through his head?
Jackson really hasn’t been broken up with [before], and I think it’s something that’s so new to him. He’s probably going to need to take some time to recover. Definitely did not see that one coming, because in his mind, everything’s going great.
Kimberly doesn’t think they have anything in common. Is that true?
I feel like they have some stuff in common, because they both come from interesting backgrounds. It’s also one of those things where opposites attract. They don’t have similar interests, just what they want to study.
Their relationship was pretty quick. Is it over for good? Or is Jackson ready to fight for her hand?
Jackson, when he gets invested, he gets invested. He definitely, in my mind, would be fighting for her. We’ll see.
Could we see Jackson end up with any of the other girls?
With this show, you can’t write anything out. We could face other conundrums—Kimberly gets pregnant or something. I don’t know!
I was looking at reactions leading up to the finale, and people really don’t want Jackson and Kimberly to break up. “They’re the one stable couple.”
Oh no! I think there’s always a chance [they get back together].
You guys were renewed for Season 3, congrats! What arc do you want for Jackson, if he returns?
I would absolutely love to see more of Jackson, just more depth of who he is so that you get to really know him as a human more. There are layers to him. He’s not all that meets the eye.
What’s next for you outside of Sex Lives of College Girls?
I have a couple irons in the fire, but in this industry, it’s not a thing until it’s a thing. I’m not superstitious about 13th floors or black cats, but if I talk about it before it actually comes to fruition, I feel like it never actually comes to fruition. I definitely look forward to more challenging roles, because my goal as an actor is to be a hybrid of Heath Ledger and Tom Hardy.