33 wild Euphoria facts and behind-the-scenes secrets you probably didn't know

9 March 2022, 20:13

Zendaya opens up about writing Elliot's Song with Labrinth for Euphoria season 2

By Katie Louise Smith

Zendaya and Angus Cloud both went to the same school?! Rue and Fez go wayyyyyy back.

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HBO's Euphoria was already pretty popular after its shocking first season, but since launching season 2, the show has turned into an absolute phenomenon.

The Zendaya-led teen series has taken over every social media platform, with memes filling the timelines each week and episode-by-episode breakdowns going viral on TikTok. But how much do you know about everything that goes on behind-the-scenes on the series?

From certain cast members having their characters written for them, to the ones who landed the role on their first audition, and from the behind-the-scenes filming secrets to all the wild stories the cast have shared from set... Here's a whole load of facts about Euphoria that any fan of the HBO series should know.

Euphoria: 33 facts and behind-the-scenes secrets you should know
Euphoria: 33 facts and behind-the-scenes secrets you should know. Picture: HBO

1) Euphoria is actually an adaptation of an Israeli series.

Yep, Euphoria is not an entirely original series. It's adapted from a series of the same name, created by Ron Lesham. The 2012 Israeli series only aired 10 episodes and was set in the '90s. A lot of the characters on the HBO show share some similarities with the original characters too, including Rue, Kat and Ashtray.

2) The series draws on Sam Levinson’s real life experiences.

While it borrows some aspects of the original Israeli series, a lot of HBO's Euphoria is rooted in Sam Levinson's own experiences with substance abuse, addiction and rehab.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Levinson explained: "I just wrote myself as a teenager. I think those feelings and memories they’re still extremely accessible to me. So it’s not a hard reach. I just write myself and what I was feeling and what I was going through when I was younger and I was dealing with addiction."

3) Zendaya was the ONLY choice to play Rue.

Euphoria without Zendaya? Absolutely not. Speaking to EW, Zendaya revealed: "Sam told me that I was on his vision board for Rue, which I thought was crazy. I was like, 'I don't believe you. What in my career have I done to prove that I can do this?'"

4) In a reported early draft of the scrapped pilot script, a huge main character is killed off.

In an apparent early draft script from 2017 that's been widely shared online, one shock storyline features the death of a major character, seemingly at the hands of another major character. It also echos a storyline in the original Israeli series.

This storyline still might end up being adapted and mixed into the series so, to avoid potential spoilers, we won't reveal which characters were involved... If you don't already know, and want to find out, you can read an excerpt of the script here.

5) Fez was supposed to die at the end of season 1 and season 2.

Angus Cloud has managed to avoid being killed off the series twice, as it's been revealed that Fezco almost met his end in both season finales.

While he doesn't know how Fez was going to die in the season 1 finale, Angus told GQ that Jacob Elordi spilled his shock death while filming the pilot episode. For season 2, the script was rewritten the day before the police raid scene was filmed. In the original finale script, Fez was the one who died but it was later changed to Ashtray.

Angus Cloud reveals why Fez sacrifices himself for Ashtray in Euphoria

6) Hunter Schafer almost didn’t accept the role of Jules.

Can you imagine literally anyone else other than Hunter playing Jules? Because we can't. Speaking on The A24 Podcast, Hunter revealed: "I never acted before Euphoria and it was not in my plan at all. I was really shy. I was only modelling in New York just really to be making some money and be in New York and around an industry that I wanted to work in."

Before Euphoria, Hunter wanted to become a fashion designer and had enrolled at Central St. Martins in London to study fashion design. Ultimately, Hunter kept getting callbacks and ended up landing the role of Jules.

7) Alexa Demie was convinced she'd play Maddy after seeing several signs relating to the show.

Before being officially cast as Maddy Thee Perez, Alexa told W Magazine that she experienced a series of weird coincidences all pointing towards the series: “When I was driving to the audition, I saw Jacob walking and thought, ‘That’s Nate.’ I just knew. And then they had told me Zendaya was up for Rue, and I saw a license plate that said ‘ZISRUE’ – and we all call her Z. All this crazy shit. I even went to a deli and was getting a sandwich and the cheese was called Euphoria.”

8) Angus Cloud was working at a Waffle House when he was plucked off the street to audition for Fez.

On the A24 Podcast, Angus said: "So I was just walking down the street with my homies and this woman, Eléonore Hendricks, I believe is her name, she came up to me. She said, 'Can I talk to you?' I was like, 'You got to walk with me.'"

"They filmed my answers, just random questions about my life and shit. And then they had me do a couple auditions and then auditioned in front of some of the producers or whatever, and then flew to LA for the pilot, man."

9) Sophia Rose Wilson was scouted in a shopping centre.

Sophia, who plays BB a.k.a. Vape Girl, told Good Day Columbus that she was approached by casting producers while out shopping. Less than 4 weeks later, she had been flown out to LA, auditioned for the series and was offered the role.

10) Javon Walton is an elite boxer and gymnast who is training for the Olympics.

The actor behind everyone's favourite teenage drug-dealer, Ashtray, has huge real life sporting aspirations. While he's got several huge projects lined up, acting is basically Javon's side hustle. The 15-year-old is a boxer and gymnast who is hoping to represent his country at the 2024 Olympic game in Paris.

Alexa Demie opens up about Maddy and Cassie’s fight in the Euphoria season 2 finale

11) Young Ashtray is played by Javon's real life brother.

Daelo Jin Walton appeared as the 6-year-old version of Ashtray in the first episode of season 2. Much like his older brother Javon, Daelo is also a talented boxer.

12) Chloe Cherry appeared in a porn parody of Euphoria before appearing on the show.

Chloe, who plays Faye in season 2, originally started out as an adult film star before starring in the HBO series. She played Jules in a porn parody of a scene from season 1. While reports circulated that she was cast because of the parody, she later revealed that she filmed it five months after landing the role.

"It’s funny the way people are reacting to it, like 'She was discovered off a porn parody.' And I’m like, 'No, no, no, that was literally just something I made for my OnlyFans forever ago, and now everyone’s finding it.'"

13) Maude Apatow was basically written into the show as Lexi.

Before Euphoria, Sam Levinson worked with Maude on his film Assassination Nation and he loved working with her so much, he decided to write Lexi Howard's character with her in mind. Jessica Kelly, who helped cast the actors in season 1, confirmed that detail to IndieWire: “It was always Maude. Sam fell in love with her, she’s so natural, she’s vulnerable and quiet. While writing Euphoria she was always in his mind.”

14) Despite playing sisters in the series, Sydney Sweeney is only three months older than Maude Apatow.

On the show, Cassie is at least one year older than her younger sister Lexi. Cassie is currently an 18-year-old high school senior, while Lexi is a 17-year-old junior. Lexi is the same age as Rue, while Cassie is the same age as Maddy. Sydney and Maude, on the other hand, were both born in 1997 and their birthdays are almost exactly three months apart.

15) Barbie Ferreira auditioned seven times for the role of Kat.

While some actors on the show got cast off their first audition, Barbie had a much more intense audition process. Barbie was being considered for two months before finally landing the role – and she found out about it while she was in a therapy session.

Maude Apatow reveals Lexi’s play was inspired by her own life

16) Zendaya and Angus Cloud both went to the same school.

Rue and Fez go wayyyyyy back! Zendaya and Angus both attended the Oakland School for the Arts in California. Angus told The Wall Street Journal: "We had some of the same friends I guess, but I didn't really know her."

17) Hunter Schafer and Dominic Fike are dating in real life.

Speculation about the pair first starting brewing in January, shortly after the first episode of season 2 was released. Hunter and Dominic were spotted leaving a restaurant together holding hands, sending fans into a frenzy over their potential relationship.

Hunter and Dominic later confirmed their real life romance on Instagram by sharing an adorable photo of the two of them sharing a kiss at dinner.

18) Jacob Elordi begged not to wear skinny jeans.

There's one big fashion rule on the Euphoria set... No! Skinny! Jeans! Speaking to Interview about styling Nate, Euphoria's costume designer Heidi Bivens revealed that Jacob Elordi also once left a note in his dressing room saying, “No more skinny jeans, please!” after a pair of slim jeans were accidentally put in his trailer.

19) Hunter Schafer is the reason for Jules' haircut in season 2.

Hunter told EW that she'd been wanting to cut her hair for so long, mostly because she was restricted by continuity on the show and because her modelling agencies usually have first say over her look. Hunter's hair was also "fried from being bleached so much", so she basically begged Sam Levinson to let her chop her hair off ahead of season 2. And he let her!

20) Maddy's black dress is available to buy online.

Heidi Bivens revealed to Interview Magazine that Maddy's now iconic black New Year's Eve outfit was an original look that she commissioned from designer Aidan Euan. Fans fell in love with the dress and gloves combo, creating their own versions and taking inspiration from the overall vibe.

Thanks to the popularity of the look, you can now buy the full outfit online at Aidan Euan's brand Akna for $230.

Jacob Elordi shares behind-the-scenes look at Nate’s injuries

21) Each character’s makeup design has a very specific meaning behind it.

Euphoria's first season became synonymous with diamanté studs, bright eyeshadows, neon liner and glitter tears. But season 2's make up vibe shifted on purpose to represent the struggles the characters each currently face.

Makeup artist Doniella Davy told Refinery29 that Maddy's signature winged eyeliner "is always THE sharpest wing. Sharp like a knife to cut through whatever stands in her way." Cassie's softer and more muted look is to reflect her delicate and innocent demeanour.

22) The actors are allowed to choose their own fake penises for the show.

While talking to guest host Julie Bowen on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jacob Elordi revealed that the actors are able to select their own prosthetic from a selection laid out in the makeup trailer, and that the makeup team then make them look more realistic.

Eric Dane also told Men's Health that he actually chose Cal's fake penis for his pee scene in episode 4: "I had absolute control over the penis. Because it was supposed to be mine. I approved it. I said, 'This looks like a nice penis. Let's use this one.'"

23) Kat's reaction to the micropenis in season 1 was actually Barbie Ferreira's real reaction.

During Kat's exploration of becoming a cam girl, she comes across a man with a micropenis. Talking to EW about the scene, Barbie explained: "I was very vocal about like 'I would like to see it. I want to see it because I want to have a genuine reaction,' and that kind of interaction can only really be done if I can see it and have the surprise with everyone else. I loved that day."

24) The New Year's Eve party in season 2's opening episode took one week to film.

As well as the main cast, there were hundreds and hundreds of extras all scattered around the set which made filming even more complex. It was also shot at night so the cast would be on set from 6pm all the way through until the sun would start to rise. Jacob Elordi told Thrillist that it was "like being in a party that you don't want to be in. At all."

25) The script for the police raid at Fez's house was changed the day before shooting.

As mentioned earlier, Levinson changed the script at the last minute, which resulted in Ashtray dying instead of Fez. Javon Walton told Variety that Ash accidentally shooting Fez also wasn't part of the script at first either: "I don’t think that was always there. It was kind of written - the whole thing - like a day before."

Sydney Sweeney reveals Alexa Demie broke her toe filming Euphoria

26) Jacob Elordi got a concussion during the fight scene with Eric Dane.

Jacob and Eric decided to go all out on the season 1 scene and "make it as real as possible," but Jacob ended up getting a few injuries: "Eric and I, we’re incredibly close, so I basically said to him, 'Let’s rock and roll and make it sort of as real as possible,' because I think it’s super important and he was on-board as well. So Eric f—ing smashed me. I was bleeding. I got a concussion. I ended up throwing up after work. It was gnarly. It was really, really gnarly."

27) Zendaya and Nika King improvised the big fight scene between Rue and Leslie in season 1.

Zendaya explained to Refinery29: "There was this specific situation where there was a fight scene between [Rue and Rue’s mom Leslie] that wasn’t scripted. It just said one line [of stage direction]: ‘Rue and her mom have a fight.’ So I’m thinking, okay, I’ll slam the door, or whatever, but this isn’t what Sam had in mind. He wanted us to improv the scene. He said, ‘I want you guys to go at one another’s necks. Just go, as hard as you want to go. If she goes hard, you go harder.’"

Together, Zendaya and Nika then ended up producing one of the best and most devastating scenes of season 1.

28) Zendaya still has scars and bruises from filming Rue's intense intervention episode in season 2.

Euphoria season 2, episode 5 was truly Zendaya's Emmy-worthy moment, but the star still has marks on her body from injuries she sustained while filming Rue's intense scenes. On Instagram, Zendaya showed off the bruises on her arms and the scar on her leg from kicking a door down.

29) Alexa Demie broke Sydney Sweeney’s toe during Maddy and Cassie's fight in the season 2 finale.

Maddy vs. Cassie might have been the showdown that fans were waiting for but filming that scene didn't go to well for Sydney Sweeney. She revealed to James Corden that Alexa accidentally stepped on her toe during filming and it fractured in three places. Sydney also confessed she didn't actually tell Alexa at the time either!

30) Barbie Ferreira sprained her ankle on set.

Barbie shared a TikTok of her hobbling off set with the help of three other people, back when Euphoria season 2 was being filmed. She apparently sprained her ankle while walking to the bathroom. Ouuuchhhh!

Zendaya opens up about filming Rue’s intervention in Euphoria season 2

31) Elliot was originally meant to play the trumpet.

LMAO, can you imagine Elliot doing a four-minute trumpet solo instead of playing his guitar in that season 2 finale scene with Rue?

Speaking to Insider, Dominic Fike revealed that Elliot played the trumpet in the original script but he changed it to a guitar: "Elliot was supposed to play the trumpet but I was like, 'Yo, I can't play the trumpet. Can I just bring my guitar?' And now he plays guitar! So I added that. That was cool." He added: "Do you know how annoying the trumpet is? That would have hurt everybody."

32) The characters are heavily influenced by the cast's lives.

Ahead of season 1, Sam Levinson explained to EW how he uses the cast's real lives to influence their characters: "I am always curious to sit down with the actor who’s playing the part after the casting process and get to know them, get to understand their life a little bit more. And then sort of tailor each character a little bit more towards who they are as an individual because I think the closer it is to who they are, the more they have at stake and the more authenticity and ultimately, it shows in their work at the end of the day."

Jules and Kat's characters, in particular, take a lot of inspiration and input from both Hunter Schafer and Barbie Ferreira, respectively. Hunter Schafer also wrote Jules' special episode alongside Sam Levinson so that she could provide a more authentic voice to Jules' trans experience.

33) Euphoria season 2 was shot entirely on Kodak film that is no longer being made.

The power that Euphoria has... The second season was shot on film stock called Ektachrome, which Kodak stopped making back in the '00s. HBO and Levinson were able to persuade the company to manufacture thousands of rolls so that they could film the season with it.

Read more about Euphoria here:

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