Hunter Schafer on writing Lorde's 'Liability' into her Euphoria special episode and how the singer reacted
It is one thing to write a critically acclaimed episode of television on your first go, but it's harder for even the most seasoned writers to know how to soundtrack a scene in a way that creates a music moment that forever binds a song to a series.
Hunter Schafer achieves such a difficult feat with the opener of her special episode of Euphoria, co-written with creator Sam Levinson, and titled "F— Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob." As her eye fills the screen, Lorde's heart-wrenching ballad "Liability" begins to play behind a montage of the ups and downs her character Jules went through with Rue (Zendaya) in season one.
While Schafer immediately apologized to viewers for not giving them a heads up beforehand that she was about to break their hearts, she tells EW's The Awardist that making the moment happen was a dream come true. "With the platform that the show has given me to be able to make connections with artists who I've admired for so long, and ask for them to contribute. It still blows my mind. I mean 'Liability,' Lorde was my first true music love. Pure Heroine changed my life and Melodrama deeply, deeply just hit for me when it came out. I mean, to this day I listen to this album. To those albums."
She adds that the "Solar Power" singer actually reached out to her after the January premiere, saying "I love her to death, and she sent me the sweetest letter after the episode came out, blew my mind, had me in tears, you know that was like a childhood icon."
Diving deeper into why she wanted to co-write and co-produce the special episode centered on Jules, with her lamenting her relationship with Rue, her struggles with her addict mother, and how her feelings about femininity have changed as a young trans woman, Schafer explains "it felt like a safe opportunity to delve into it and have control over that narrative and approach it with a sense of freedom." She says she found the media that is already out there on those subjects "slightly stifling sometimes for something as complex and fluid as transness and gender and sexuality, because they're all linked, and they're all deeply, deeply human spirals, and ways of knowing yourself."
The Euphoria actress, and now writer/producer concludes with an appreciation of her collaborator Levinson, stating "I'm really happy with how it turned out, and obviously I feel so safe with Sam to just throw out any ideas. He gets it down to a tee as far as who I am, and my values as a trans person, and what I'm looking for when I consume trans media. And also just like we want to make cool sh– about trans people, so I hope [the episode] fell into that category."
To hear more from Schafer, including more about her progression from model to actress to screenwriter and producer, watch the full interview above.
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