‘Euphoria’: Martha Kelly Was Not Sure She Could Film a Scene as Laurie Because It Was ‘Very Disturbing’

Season 2 Episode 5 of Euphoria, titled “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” is one of the most intense episodes of the series so far. In the episode, fans learn more about Laurie (Martha Kelly) as she spends some crucial scenes with Rue (Zendaya). In an interview with Vulture, Kelly shared that it was “uncomfortable” filming a scene in the episode because of how “disturbing” it was.

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

Martha Kelly attends the FX Starwalk at the 2017 Winter TCA Tour
Martha Kelly | Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Martha Kelly thought it was ‘disturbing’ filming a scene in ‘Euphoria’

In “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” Rue visits Laurie while going through withdrawals. Laurie injects Rue with morphine, gives her a bath, and Rue wakes up the next morning fully dressed.

It is implied throughout the episode that Laurie planned to force Rue into prostitution. Because of this, Kelly found filming the scenes with Rue to be challenging.

“I found it very disturbing. The day we shot the bathroom stuff with Rue, I was really uncomfortable and nervous about it and really glad when it was over, and also really grateful [about] the way Sam chose to shoot it, where the focus is on that little squirrel or chipmunk and Laurie and Rue are totally out of focus in the background,” Kelly told Vulture.

She continued, “That was a huge relief because we didn’t have to do anything where Laurie is actually putting her hands on Rue and moving her around. When I read that in the script, I was like, I don’t know if I can do this. It’s definitely in the neighborhood of creepy, pedophilia-type exploitation of a kid.”

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How Martha Kelly views her character on the show

Before being cast as Laurie on Euphoria, Kelly mainly acted in comedies and performed as a stand-up comedian. Given her background, Kelly brought some of her comedy skills to the role.

Speaking with Vulture, Kelly explained how she views Laurie, 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.”

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‘Euphoria’ fans learn about Laurie’s backstory

While speaking with Rue in season 2 episode 5 of Euphoria, Laurie tells Rue about how she became a drug dealer in order to gain her trust.

“I assume it’s true, but I wouldn’t take anything Laurie says at face value in any way that makes her less of a monster,” Kelly told Vulture about Laurie’s backstory.

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

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