Eric Dane breaks down Cal's epic breakdown with Euphoria season 2 script page
And it all came to a head in episode 4. After sustaining a head injury from Ashtray (Javon Walton), getting kicked out of a gay bar, and drinking heavily (again, while suffering from a severe head injury), Cal comes home, drops trou, and starts peeing in his own foyer. When the rest of his family wakes up, he starts monologuing, dropping (his) truth bombs on them, and scorching earth before leaving for good.
The scene was a true tour de force for Dane, and he looks back on it as a career highlight. Below, Dane breaks down Cal's breakdown in all its glory for EW's The Awardist.
He learned the scene was coming at a table read
"My reaction was, 'Okay, this is going to be fun.' It was slightly terrifying, but it was written so well, and [showrunner Sam Levinson] didn't want me to change anything from what we had at the table read. The monologue is an exponential rise, and it's a pretty smooth trajectory. I made sure that I knew what I was saying so that I could forget about what I was saying and not have to worry about what I was saying. I didn't want to have to act, I wanted it to just be natural and real."
He interpreted the scene as Cal's big epiphany
"Last year, Cal was so contained and composed and restricted. After I read this, I said to Sam, 'Wow, we get to see a whole different Cal. This guy's finally cut loose.' We get to essentially create a whole new character. I think he's still searching for who he really is, but I know he's let go of who he was. He is starting from ground zero now. He has shaken off the past and he's living his truth. I hope that people feel differently about Cal as a person after this; they saw him be human and broken and beaten down, and maybe the audience has a little empathy for him after that."
He focused on the action while filming the scene
"I found it to be very liberating. All the action in the scene was there to create these obstacles, like peeing in the foyer and moving up the stairs and going to confront the kids upstairs and pulling this picture off the wall and going back down the stairs. I found that focusing on that stuff allowed me to more or less let this thing fly."
But one thing kept getting in the way
"Honestly, the clamp on the prosthetic was the biggest challenge. To get that thing to pee was a challenge unto itself. At the same time, you've got to do this scene and you can't be caught up trying to figure out how to make this prosthetic work. I didn't really care whether it worked or it didn't — I wasn't going to be distracted from what I needed to do because of a prosthetic rig. [Laughs] We're trying to shy away from this, but let's not: Trying to make the penis work couldn't be the no. 1 priority. I mean, I saw the pee come out of the prosthetic most of the time. If it didn't happen, I was still going through the motions of peeing in the foyer. I'm done with the prosthetics! Let's retire the prosthetics, but it was fun while it lasted."
His line delivery of "I am who I am" went viral on TikTok
"That's so weird, because that was one of the lines I wished I would've done differently. I thought there was a better way, or maybe more decisive. It's interesting that's one of the lines that ended up going viral, but I'm happy that was the outcome. I don't know what's best for me. I'm my own worst critic."
Why he loves this scene more than anything he's done before
"This scene had so much in it. I've never been given such a dynamic piece to work with. It's usually pretty binary, somewhat linear, and this one just moves so well and it's all over the place, and I love that about it. I was willing to have it be as messy and sloppy as it could possibly be because that's where Cal was at the time. It's a hard thing as an actor to go, 'I don't give a s--- if I fall on my face and I look bad,' but I really had to lean into that with this piece. There's no vanity with this character, especially in this moment. I hope Cal gets an epic soliloquy every season."
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- Abbott Elementary's Quinta Brunson, Euphoria's Eric Dane, Pam & Tommy's Lily James and more in The Awardist digital magazine
- Euphoria star Eric Dane on Cal's conflicted backstory and 'clusterf---' confrontation with Ashtray
- Euphoria stars Eric Dane and Jacob Elordi unpack Cal's 'master class' meltdown