Do The Families of The ‘Euphoria’ Cast Members Watch The Show?
Ever since Euphoria’s first episode dropped on HBO, the show has been courting controversy with its in-your-face nudity, violence, rape, teen sexuality, and drug use. Moms and dads around the world who survived watching the first episode or two can’t stomach the show’s intensity and explicit scenes.
We know these roles are being played by adults, but the show has ventured into new territory for a cable network with its graphic teen content. Zendaya, who plays the lead character, Rue, has certainly broken away from her image in Disney’s KC Undercover and Shake It Up. With everything that’s depicted in Euphoria, it makes people wonder if these actors watch themselves on the show and if they watch with friends and family. If so, what’s the reaction?
Zendaya wanted to try something new but issued a warning
Viewers have watched 17-year-old Rue have an overdose, manipulate friends and family (hello, urine poacher), get high, fall into depression, and almost get raped by a drug dealer. Somewhere in there, she’s formed a friendship with Jules, at times being the voice of reason, and at times being co-dependent.
What’s it been like for Zendaya’s parents? According to her interview with Essence, they’re proud of her work on the show and like to watch it live.
“I showed them the pilot as soon as I got it. I’ve tried to show them other episodes but they want to watch it live with the people, which I understand.”
Hunter Schafer also warned her family
20-year-old Schafer, who plays 17-year-old trans girl Jules, was excited about snagging her first acting role in Euphoria. Jules is smart but is constantly making viewers worried for her safety during her interactions with violent men like Nate the jock and Eric Dane’s Cal Jacobs. The sexual violence displayed toward her character is disturbing to say the least.
A profile piece in the June issue of W Magazine on Schafer mentioned that she brought her mom and younger sister to the Euphoria premiere. She also said that she wasn’t sure if her mom was ready to see her in certain scenes:
“My mom has seen the pilot. We had to skip through one scene, but overall she reacted well to it. She wanted to see the next episode, which was a good sign. But that was a scary scene. I don’t know if she’s seen these sides of me. I might have to cover her eyes for it. We’ll see. We’ll probably have to decompress. We’ll have to talk about it a little, and maybe order some ice cream at home and let it out.”
Schafer recently appeared on Late Night With Seth Meyers and said when first got the job, she warned them the show was very risqué. But her family has been supportive, including her father who keeps repeating to himself, “She’s only acting. She’s only acting.”
Barbie Ferreira hid during one scene
Ferreira’s Kat Hernandez experiences a major transformation and starts having sex in public places and leading a double life as a web cam girl. The 22-year-old Ferreira told BUILD that her grandmother saw her in Euphoria and called her “cute,” but she believes she ignored the show’s content and just wanted to check out her granddaughter on screen.
As for the rest of her family and friends, she said everyone is comfortable watching together, but there is one moment that was the exception for her. During an intimate scene between Kat and Ethan in episode six, she left the room.
Alexa Demie wasn’t used to portraying violent relationships
Demie’s Maddy Perez has a toxic storyline filled with sex, physical abuse (like choking), and a dysfunctional home life. Demie told The Hollywood Reporter that both the sex scenes and domestic violence scenes were intense and uncomfortable, but the Euphoria team worked with her and Jacob Elordi to create a supportive environment.
The 24-year-old has acted in controversial roles before, such as her turn in Mid90s, but she’s also worked as a fashion designer and in the music industry. She hasn’t shared any specifics on what her family thinks about Euphoria but did say that she’s found the bond with her castmates to be extremely important while filming the material.
Sydney Sweeney’s family summed up their reaction with one word
Sweeney has said that her role as Cassie made her feel empowered, even though the character has endured being slut-shamed and has co-dependent relationships with guys. Sweeney shared with MTV News that she was apprehensive at first about all the nudity in Euphoria, but then realized that the scenes were realistic for sexually active teens.
The 21-year-old’s family watches at home but they have their own opinions. Sweeney told PopSugar that her aunts and uncles have called it “interesting” but her cousins love it.
“When I talked to my cousins, who are in their 20s and around my age, they were like, ‘That is the most authentic show we’ve ever seen on TV representing our age.”
One of the things the cast wants the audience to gain from watching Euphoria is empathy for these characters. As difficult and scary as it may be for viewers (cast members’ families included) to watch, that’s at least one thing people can learn.