‘Euphoria’: Martha Kelly Did Not Audition for the Role of Laurie

Euphoria returned to HBO for its second season on Jan. 9. The new season welcomed Martha Kelly in the role of Laurie, a drug dealer. Despite Laurie’s calm external demeanor, Kelly’s character is quite menacing. During an interview with Vulture, Kelly revealed she did not have to audition for the role of Laurie.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for season 2 episode 5 of Euphoria.]

Martha Kelly performs onstage at Room 415 Comedy Club
Martha Kelly | FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Martha Kelly did not have to audition to play Laurie in ‘Euphoria’

There is a reason Kelly appears to play Laurie so perfectly, and it’s because she was sought after to play the part. Speaking with Vulture, Kelly revealed she was asked to play a “villain” on Euphoria.

“I didn’t audition. It was the very beginning of 2020, before the pandemic, that someone from Euphoria reached out to my manager and said they were thinking about me for a role, a really interesting kind of villain,” Kelly said.

She continued, “Before everything shut down, I met with Sam and they offered the part and I accepted very gratefully. Then things shut down, so we ended up shooting much later.”

While Kelly was asked to play Laurie, Kelly felt “nervous” to portray a villain in a dramatic series.

“When I met Sam, I had already read the scripts and I was very nervous about playing somebody as bad as her. I’ve really only done comedies before this and I was scared to be that unlikable, but he was so lovely and made me feel like, Okay, this is worth trying,” Kelly told Vulture.

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Martha Kelly thinks Laurie is a ‘sociopath’

Because of her soft and deadpan expression, Laurie does not appear scary at first glance. It is only once Euphoria viewers spend more time with Laurie that she begins to feel like an unsettling person.

“… it’s really smart of Sam to know that a mild-mannered sociopath is much scarier and more dangerous in real life. If someone is aggressive up front, everybody knows to be on guard,” Kelly said in her interview with Vulture.

The actor continued, “But sometimes, really manipulative sociopaths are very, not just mild-mannered, but charming. They can project that they are the victim, which Laurie does toward the end of the last episode.”

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How Martha Kelly approaches Laurie on ‘Euphoria’

Euphoria fans see more of Laurie in season 2 episode 5, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.” Despite how alarming the stakes are in the scene, Laurie comes across as nearly empathetic, adding to how scary she is as a character.

Speaking with Vulture, Kelly explained how she plays Laurie in Euphoria, saying:

“I wanted to back out of her creepiness as much as possible because as a stand-up comic, I always want to be likable. Part of me was like, I hope there’s a way I don’t have to go full monster. But it’s also scarier. It reminds me of a documentary about a guy who forged a bunch of documents and then killed a few people. Some of the people had a relationship with him and were fooled by him. After he was caught, they became so distraught that they were suicidal for a while, because of what you just said: Someone like this can seem like they’re almost nice. Then you’re confused, like, Were they trying to do this terrible thing? What’s really going on? In real life, people like that are the most damaging because anyone who trusted them leaves with this feeling of What’s real, then? How could I have been fooled? Then they’re always still wondering, like, Are they really not that bad? That’s so scary to me.”

New episodes of Euphoria premiere on HBO at 9 p.m. ET on Sundays.

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