Zendaya's Perspective on ‘Euphoria’: Highlighting Teen Struggles and Imperfections


Sep. 30 2023, Published 5:57 p.m. ET

You've probably heard the news already. We can only expect HBO's Euphoria series to return in 2025. I find this long wait heartbreaking as would other fans of the series. But hey, I'm using this time to rewatch the previous two seasons.

And it keeps getting better — the series is that good!

Watching Zendaya's portrayal of Rue never fails to surprise me. She nailed every scene. This made me wonder what magic happened behind the scenes. How did it all play out?

And as you'll expect, it was a high of an experience.

‘Euphoria’: The Making

From the captivating storyline to the chosen cast, Sam Levinson (the writer) had a vision in mind and flawlessly executed it.

What captivated me most about this show was how it effectively captured the essence of "modern teenage life." The heightened emotions and complicated relationships portrayed are something that teenagers can truly relate to. It had everything one could ask for.

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While the Euphoria story isn't original, HBO's adaptation brought real-life experiences into play making the show unique.

Filming each scene brought its set of challenges. Long hours on set and occasional disagreements among the crew made for quite an experience. However, the result is a TV series that changed teenage representation in mainstream media.

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Playing Rue: How Did She Pull It Off

Who will play Rue? Sam Levinson only had Zendaya in mind. The character Rue is different from the likes of Michelle Jones which Zendaya was best known for playing.

Rue is a teenager in school who recently returned from rehab but unfortunately relapsed into her habits. Throughout the series, she faced challenges related to anxiety, depression, and addiction.

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Zendaya herself acknowledged in an interview during production that taking on this role was personally challenging for her. She even acquired bruises and scars while filming scenes. However, you can trust Zendaya to maintain professionalism throughout it all.

“I was always a bit scared,” she explained to Elle. “I was scared to tackle it because I didn’t want to see Rue like that, or have to go through that. Your body is a person, it doesn’t know that what you’re doing is not real. My brain can say ‘ok I’m pretending’ but when I’m doing it, my body and my heart don’t know that it’s not real. It can be exhausting in that way and it can make you feel bad because she says and does things that I don’t want her to do and say, but here I am.”

Furthermore, Zendaya also played a role behind the scenes as a producer during the second season. She said this experience allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and grow personally.

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The “Euphoria Effect”

Since its premiere on HBO, the teen series has had an impact on its audience. This influence goes beyond trends, memes, makeup, and fashion; it even extends to Euphoria-themed parties.

However, not everyone views this influence as positive. Some adults may have concerns about how sex, drugs, and violence were portrayed in the show.

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Additionally, some critics argue that it falls short when it comes to providing role models and meaningful messages.

Zendaya’s Opinion About ‘Euphoria’

I was captivated by the perspective of the actress in the series. From her viewpoint, the show highlights the idea that life isn't always perfect. Moreover, she argued that the show brings attention to the struggles that teenagers go through during their naive years.

“Our show is in no way a moral tale to teach people how to live their life or what they should be doing. If anything, the feeling behind Euphoria, or whatever we have always been trying to do with it, is to hopefully help people feel a little bit less alone in their experience and their pain,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “And maybe feel like they're not the only one going through or dealing with what they're dealing with."

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