“It was a very tough day,” Zendaya recently told Entertainment Weekly of filming the episode. “I mean, I beat myself up. I still have some scars on my legs, and got quite a few bruises.”
The star shared how she shot the episode immediately after returning from the Venice Film Festival, something she described as “intense and scary to tackle,” as well as “emotionally…[and] physically taxing.”
“I care about Rue and I hate when she’s in pain,” Zendaya said. “And I think this whole episode, there’s so much pain and it’s bubbling to the surface, and it’s also crossed with her withdrawing, which is extremely physically painful.”
Zendaya described how Rue has “lost all control of who she is,” adding how “It’s just a really painful cycle to watch her go through. And I didn’t particularly enjoy having to watch her deal with that.”
The actress went on to share that while she is an empathetic person, taking on “other people’s pain and a lot of other people’s stress and fears and anxieties” while acting can be overwhelming at times but filming certain scenes for the episode helped her “release” those feelings.
“I’m very grateful that I’m in a space where I feel comfortable and safe, and with actors and actresses that I’m obviously very close with,” she said. “After every take, we’re hugging each other, we’re talking through it, we’re embracing, checking in, because obviously it’s like a war zone.”
Zendaya’s comments come after Euphoria was slammed by Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), which slammed the show for attempting to “misguidedly glorify” teenage drug use and “other destructive behaviors.”
In a statement to TMZ, the program said: “Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world.”
Which prompted an immediate defense from Zendaya, who shared: “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. And maybe feel like they’re not the only one going through or dealing with what they’re dealing with.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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