Zendaya fighting her mother as Rue in Euphoria

Things We Saw Today: The Set of Euphoria Sounds Like an Extremely Stressful Place to Be

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The Daily Beast offers a lengthy, exclusive dive into what it terms the “messy, behind-the-scenes drama” plaguing the production of HBO’s hit teenage wasteland series Euphoria. As the show has gained accolades and an obsessive audience in its second season, so too have issues behind the scenes apparently ballooned.

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It’s worth reading the entire Beast piece in full. Unlike the interpersonal frictions that fuel Euphoria, the alleged issues offscreen don’t seem centered between the young actors. Instead, there appears to be tension between creator and writer Sam Levinson and some of his cast (and maybe HBO?), as well as what sounds like difficult and draining working conditions for both cast and crew. Some actors, like Barbie Ferreira, are said to be upset about the direction or sidelining of their characters in season 2, with Ferreira alleged to have walked off the set multiple times.

Where to watch Euphoria: Apple TV+, Prime Video, Hulu

Even when cast members praise Levinson’s willingness to change a scene at their behest or take their feedback, it feels a bit cutting. Syndey Sweeney, who plays Cassie, seems to appreciate that Levinson is so willing to change up scenes on the fly, but she’s also had to ask him to cut back on the amount of nude scenes he wanted for her and her character. While Sweeney is 24, Cassie is meant to be a high school senior.

For instance, Sweeney said she felt there was room to expand upon a blowout fight between Nate and Cassie, and Levinson ended up writing a five-page scene right then and there. Another time Sweeney told The Independent that she gently pushed back on Levinson over some scenes that required nudity. “There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’ He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it,’” she explained.

The article also offers an intriguing look into what happens these days when a show captures a young and extremely online fandom. Fans pore over every inch of Euphoria as though it were a mystery like Yellowjackets or Lost, generating wild theories, and the spotlight is mercilessly on its young stars.

Of course, much in the Beast exclusive amounts to so many whispers and gossip and quotes from other interviews, with several central figures declining to comment. Everything here is, shall we say, extremely high school. I hope for the sake of all involved that the network takes steps to help the cast and crew feel comfortable and graduates them to more pleasant conditions.

(via The Daily Beast, image: HBO)

Here are some other things that we saw today:

  • An excellent essay on Kenneth Branagh’s “damaged” Poirot and character trauma narratives. (via Gawker)
  • Kim Porter, the ex-police officer who killed Daunte Wright, was given only two years in prison, less than the prosecution’s request (via CNN).
  • There’s a new Dune comic coming from BOOM! Studios. (via Screenrant)
  • While you’re picking up your Dune comic, why not grab some Bridgerton versions of Clue and Monopoly? (via Comicbook)
  • Not to be outdone by the ghost of Frank Herbert, George R.R. Martin is also launching a comic series, this one with Marvel. (via The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda explains why the smash hit song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto wasn’t submitted for Academy Award consideration. (via Slashfilm)
  • Why the adaption of the video game Uncharted was mired in development hell. (via IGN)
  • More promisingly, star Pedro Pascal is confident the HBO adaptation The Last of Us will “live up to” its video game. (via IGN)
  • Great news, ad trackers courtesy of new owner The New York Times are watching you play Wordle. (via Gizmodo)
  • Men, “both straight and LGBTQ,” are experimenting more with makeup. More of this! (via USA Today)
  • Did Disney+ confirm that Captain Carter would be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? (via CBR)

And finally:

LMAO LOL let me out of this timeline. But it’s finally Friday! What did you see this fine pre-weekend day?

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.