Why Zendaya felt compelled to play Rue in Euphoria
When Euphoria hit international screens a month ago, an onslaught of criticism was directed at the controversial show, which tells the story of the traumas, drug habits and sexual encounters of an ordinary group of teenagers.
And no one was a bigger target than lead star Zendaya, who plays the role of Rue, a young drug addict who suffers from debilitating anxiety and depression.
For most of her career in Hollywood up to this point, Zendaya fell under the “America’s sweetheart” umbrella, thanks to her roles in kids’ shows like KC Undercover. And, clearly, viewers were just not ready to see her portraying a character as troubled and controversial as Rue.
Before the premiere, Zendaya posted a warning to Instagram, giving her followers a heads-up that the show’s content could be raw and disturbing, while maintaining that Euphoria carried a story that needed to be told.
In the wake of online reactions to the show, Zendaya and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson engaged in a one-on-one conversation about the issues affecting young people in the world today. Here is the video of their conversation.