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Season two delves deeper into Rue’s relapse, as she struggles with her breakup with Jules and attempts to supply her addiction with a suitcase filled with drugs.
In a new “Actors on Actors” interview with Variety, Zendaya sat down with her Spider-Man: No Way Home costar Andrew Garfield and opened up portraying Rue’s harrowing journey, specifically, in episode five.
In this climactic episode, Rue escapes from her mother’s car and runs away after she and her sister Gia stage an intervention and try to bring Rue back to rehab. Knowing that her mother flushed the $10,000 worth of Laurie’s drugs down the toilet, Rue runs across town, breaking into homes, and stealing jewelry in an attempt to pay back some of what she owes.
When Andrew asked Zendaya about the method behind filming the raw, emotional events of this episode, the actress revealed that she was “very afraid.”
“It’s hard to say that there’s any specific process for that. I feel like when it comes to Rue, at least for me, my experience with her is I’ve had the privilege of playing her for a while. So I’ve had the luxury of living in her skin for a bit. And the closeness that I share with Sam [Levinson, Euphoria showrunner] is huge, because Rue is very much based on him as a teenager,” she said.
“Rue has become an amalgamation of my experiences, his experiences and our collective pain — and seeing through the eyes of an addict. I think the approach was to try it as human as possible without ever shying away from the devastation and the ugliness of what that can create. I had actually been very afraid to shoot that episode. It had been written for a while before the pandemic, and I was dreading having to do it,” she continued.
Zendaya stressed that it’s “tough” depicting these moments, and that when the episode aired, some people reached out to ask if she was OK. She also added that they filmed each scene repeatedly until they felt they had the take.
“I’m very protective over Rue. And also, because of all the people that she represents, I know that sometimes maybe the world won’t be as kind to her as I am. And that’s hard for me, you know?,” she said.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, please visit https://www.samhsa.gov/ or call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
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