Euphoria cast members answer more burning questions about season 2
Hard to say all of it was fun, but time has certainly flown when it comes to Euphoria season 2.
The long-awaited eight episodes have been a total rollercoaster, with unexpected pairings, uncanny dream sequences, and one unbelievably well-funded school play, and EW has been there every step of the way unpacking all of the HBO drama's wildest moments and most mesmerizing storylines with the talented cast.
Here, we collect the interviews we have done the past several weeks with Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Maude Apatow, Eric Dane, Storm Reid, Colman Domingo, and more, and share some bonus Q+A content that touches on threads like the status of Nate and McKay's friendship, whether or not this season gave a nod to Grey's Anatomy, and the age gap between Fezco and Lexi.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Does it feel like you all are on a different show because you guys have some of the darkest moments of the season?
COLMAN DOMINGO: I do almost feel like that. We are part of the same universe, but we have a different function in a way. We're sort of like that honesty, that reality you can't get away from. You can't put on an air like you could for a fellow classmate or something. I think that [Ali] is just — I don't even know if it's love. It's just saying the truth and really holding that space. I even feel like Sam does different things with the camera work in our scenes. Actually, it feels a bit more steady. It doesn't feel as chaotic. Right? I don't know, because I don't work on the other sets with the other castmates, so I always feel like Zendaya always says it feels a little different when I'm there. Because the scenes are more steady and we sit and we just talk, and I don't think we're covering it to death, so it feels different. So I think that's Sam's intention as well. He gives a little bit more grounding. I'm always a little playful with Rue. I can come in, I can tell some little jokes and tell her she looks like the cat dragged her in or something like that. And I can flirt with her mom, play with her little sister, you know, make everybody uncomfortable [Laughs].
STORM REID: Yeah, I think we are the people in the show [that are] most trying to save her, to save the world that is crashing and burning around us. And that is real. We are trying to salvage the bones. So for me, it totally feels different than season 1, but I think feeling different is the right way to go in season 2, because if we were in the same space we were in, in season 1, I don't know if it would work.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What parts of Fezco come from you? For example, in the premiere, we kind of see how Fezco gets his scar.
ANGUS CLOUD: Yeah, yeah. That was a cool little add-on. I mean, that's not how I got my scar, but that was definitely a cool way to bring it into the story.
Are there any other elements of the character that come from you?
Yeah, I'd say so. I mean, our lingo is pretty similar, and we share some similarities in our backstory.
What is your collaboration with creator Sam Levinson like? Did you get to talk to him about what would be an interesting way Fez got his scar?
You know, not that in particular. But we definitely get to collaborate a lot, and he's super open to new ideas. We will be on the set and I'll have an idea and just pitch it to him. And for the most part, he's like, "F--- it, sounds good. Let's try it out and see if it works." And he'll come up to me, the same thing, and say, "Hey, why don't we try to switch up the script, and do a little something different? What would you do in this situation?" So we have a great, great collaborative relationship. It's a super blessing to have that.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you think Nate's friendship with McKay (Algee Smith) is dead? He doesn't seem to care about his friendship with McKay as much as Cassie cares about her friendship with Maddy.
JACOB ELORDI: I don't think he ever has. I think [McKay]'s just somebody that he can use. And someone he played sports with.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You mentioned that you enjoyed young Cal's performance. Did you get to talk to that actor Elias Kacavas at all, and maybe share any advice with him?
ERIC DANE: So yeah, no, he was fantastic, this guy. The barroom scene that we shot in episode four had to go back and forth between me and young Cal, so we were both on set that day. [He's] just a sweet kid. He wrote me a thank you note. I thought that was very, very sweet of him.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jules has gone through a bit of a style evolution. Was that something that was on its way before the production hiatus started in 2020? Also, I saw you said you desperately wanted a haircut for season 2. Why?
HUNTER SCHAFER: Well yeah, I've been wanting to cut my hair for a long time, even before season 1 probably. I was a model at the time, and the agencies have first say over what you do with your look. So I hadn't really had the opportunity to change it when I was a model. And then of course, for continuity sake, I couldn't change it once I was on Euphoria. So it had to be something that we would've had to work into the story somehow. And so that's why I ended up just begging Sam over and over again to work in a haircut for Jules. Just because I've had that hair for so long and I was ready for something new. Also, my hair was fried from being bleached so much, so I just wanted to chop as much off as I could. And yeah, they let me do it.
And as far as her style goes, [costume designer] Heidi [Bivins] and I worked on continuing the style arc in season 1 for Jules. We just wanted to continue seeing where that arc took us as she's still growing in season 2, and having more fun with it playing around. She's less like a one trick pony with the miniskirts and the pastel colors. I think she's starting to feel more comfortable experimenting.
Do you bear the brunt of people asking you if Rue or Elliot (Dominic Fike) is gonna die? Do you get a lot of those questions?
Oh, I have not been asked those questions recently. I really haven't been looking or talking about it that much I think. Especially as it's coming out and it's everywhere, I think it can be overwhelming, so I try to avoid it a little bit more in day-to-day conversation and stuff.
Those questions definitely bubbled up after the season 1 finale, and now midseason it's like "Oh no, the theories are back again."
Yeah, I definitely think there's validity in saying this might be the worst we've ever seen her. And there's more than enough reason to be worried about Rue and Elliot.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I do have one question to get over it real quick. We see Derek again this episode and I have to ask, because social media's asking, is Cal's friend being named Derek a nod to Grey's?
ERIC DANE: Huh?
JACOB ELORDI: I don't even know what that means.
DANE: Oh, oh, okay. I get it, I get it, I get it. I can't imagine that that's — that would just be weird.
[Laughs] Complete coincidence.
And then Jacob, what was it like shooting the puke scene in episode four? Did it get on you? That was definitely a fake thing, but did it feel very real?
ELORDI: Yeah it's disgusting. It's like chopped up potato and leek soup or something like that, in a warm body of water that was like human soup that we'd been in for like 14 hours.
DANE: Oof, you're not painting a good picture.
ELORDI: I have a very weak stomach as well. So as soon as she throws up, then I'm like blech, everyone was like [Wretches]. It was foul.
Made the job of reacting a little easier?
ELORDI: [Laughs] Yeah, absolutely.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Thinking of the criticisms of the show, and knowing the importance of this Rue-focused episode that was coming, did you look at some of the criticisms of this season and feel that the work really speaks for itself?
ZENDAYA: I remember last season, there was an episode that Sam wrote about depression, because he was kind of going through a depressive episode and he just wrote about it, and so many people connected to that because it put words to a feeling that they don't feel like they could maybe express themselves. And I think, at least with episode five, we didn't wanna shy away from the ugliness of those moments because it's scary and it's painful. And I think what became even more important to us when we got there is we can't leave Rue here because again, she means so much to so many people who are on that journey in sobriety or are healing or dealing with their own loss. Whether it be a loved one or a parent or whatever the case may be, and how they're healing and growing from that. Or maybe they're a parent of someone, maybe they're Leslie, maybe they're Gia. And just to kind of feel like you're not the only one and to feel like your experience is a valid one, and that there can be hope after that I think was so important to us.
I'm at the mixing stages with everyone working on music right now, Labrinth and Sam and I. There were several days where, in between work, I'd go off and go in the studio with Lab, and we wrote a song together that is in episode 4. But it encompasses that feeling of what Rue's looking for, safety and comfort. And I think that that whole ending of that episode was just her reckoning with the loss of her father, and Lab was kind of like this angel or maybe this projection of comfort or whatever. And yeah, music has been such a beautiful way for us to also convey that journey that Rue is going through.
Euphoria star Alexa Demie on Maddy's 'traumatic' scene with Nate, and being 'intuitive' about Cassie
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Do you think Maddy is a better friend to others than others are to her?
ALEXA DEMIE: I mean, in this season it seems so, right? [Laughs] I think that's a big part of this season. She had her big blow up with Kat (Barbie Ferreira) season 1, and it really feels like season 2 she is trying to be a better friend, and she is trying to be more present for them. She's listening to Kat and she's trying to be sweet and guide her. She's trying. And with Cassie and Maddy, I mean, it's obvious this season who the better friend is I think.
True. I believe this changed in what finally aired on HBO, but the version I first saw of episode 6 was a little more explicit in juxtaposing Kat's breakup with Ethan (Austin Abrams) with Maddy's horrific scene with Nate, and it drove home that feeling of when you're young, everything is so relative that Kat can feel like her breakup is the end of the world not knowing Maddy actually just went through hell.
DEMIE: Yeah. And I think that's just with humans, when something happens to us, it's so big for us, you know? And sometimes we can be a little bit unaware when maybe somebody close to us is going through something incredibly traumatic and then something happens to us. We can sometimes be a little unaware of [having to] first think about "Is this something that I should bring to this person while they're going through that?" And as a teenager, you're just so caught up in your own world that you're not thinking of those things.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What other Euphoria kid would you want to parent besides your own?
ALANNA UBACH: Oh boy. I'd love to grab that little Ashtray (Javon 'Wanna' Walton) and give him a good scrub. Oh, and a good lunch, and a great education, all that. That poor little guy.
Exactly. Fezco too. There's a chance that Suze is gonna come into Fezco's life for the better.
UBACH: Oh my gosh. That would be fantastic. I love that kid. He's good people.
NIKA KING: I don't wanna scrub up any kids. I want an easy kid. I want Lexi.
UBACH: [Laughs] I'll give you Lexi, yeah.
KING: I need Lexi in my life where I can just chill. I know she's gonna do her work. She ain't gonna get in no trouble. I don't know, she's getting a little close to Fez, so we'll see how that goes.
PAULA MARSHALL: I would probably pick Lexi too, but mostly so we could just go to lunch and shop. I just don't have a daughter on the show and I think that would be fun.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The only sort of negative things I've seen about Fezco with Lexi is, of course, him being a drug dealer, but also the age gap.
MAUDE APATOW: I don't think Fez is older, I think he's around the same age. Unless he's—you know what, I don't even know how old any of the characters are fully, but I think they're only like two years apart. So I know people are saying that, but I think they're just assuming Fezco is older, but I don't think he is. I think he's around the same age as all of us.
Yeah. I think one episode may have said he was 20, and I think Lexi is a junior. So it's like a 17 year old and a 20 year old.
Does it say that he's 20 for sure?
I thought it did, but I don't know. I rewatched season 1 recently, and if his age was in there at all, it still feels like people hanging onto a line of dialogue that may not have been as important as they thought it was.
I feel like in my head he was 18.
Also, do you still want the traditional Euphoria backstory treatment for Lexi? And do you think Bobbi (Veronica Taylor) is going to get the Lexi treatment next?
I don't know.
Would you wanna see that though?
Well, just more with Bobbi. What I meant is that people have latched onto her the way they latched onto Lexi in season 1.
She's the best, Veronica. She's so funny. Yeah, I love her. I'd love to know her backstory.
These interviews have been edited and condensed.
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