Zendaya opened up about filming this week’s violent episode of Euphoria and her reaction to D.A.R.E.’s condemnation of the show for “glorifying” drug use.
Z discussed her character Rue Bennet’s relentless roller coaster of an episode with Entertainment Weekly, spilling all the details behind her show-stopping performance, which left her bruised physically.
Rue’s friends and family conducted a full-fledged intervention after discovering that she had relapsed on drugs in the most recent episode. And, yes, the entire episode was harsh, packed with all of the drama that viewers have come to anticipate from the show.
To be honest, this was some of Zendaya’s best acting to date, since she had to dig deep to pull off this harrowing portrayal. And when I say painful, I don’t mean figuratively. “It was a pretty rough day,” Zendaya told EW about filming the episode. I mean, I’m always berating myself. My legs still have scars, and I’ve got a lot of bruises.”
“I care about Rue, and I hate it when she’s in pain,” Z said, “and I think this entire episode, there’s so much agony boiling to the surface, and it’s also mixed with her retreating, which is physically terrible.” The whole thing was “tough and scary to confront,” as well as “emotionally…[and] physically taxing,” according to Zendaya.
Despite the show’s success, particularly in season 2, it appears that not everyone shares Euphoria’s enthusiasm. Last month, drug education organization D.A.R.E. published a statement criticizing the show, accusing its makers of “misguidedly celebrating” and “erroneously depicting high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other hazardous activities as normal.”
The statement went on to criticize HBO for calling the show “groundbreaking” rather than acknowledging the “possible detrimental implications” on children’s mental health. Zendaya, though, clapped back at D.A.R.E. in a recent interview with EW, saying, “Our show is in no way a moral narrative to teach people how to live their lives or what they should be doing.” “If anything, the feeling behind Euphoria, or whatever we’ve always tried to accomplish with it, is to perhaps help folks feel a little less alone in their experience and pain,” she continued.
Yes, this show does an excellent job of capturing the sorrow and feel that high school students experience from time to time. This show is not for everyone, and it should not be held up as an example to teenagers. For now, viewers can expect to catch up on all of the drama between Jules, Rue, and Elliot following that intervention this Sunday, as well as the highly anticipated Maddy, Cassie, and Nate drama that’s teased for episode 6. As usual, we’re blown away by Zendaya’s performance and can’t wait for the next episode to air next week.
(Image Source: Variety, NBC News)