If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll have seen the headlines about HBO’s controversial new teen drama, Euphoria. With its raw, unapologetic portrayal of modern teenage life, the show follows a group of teens as they navigate their final years of high school, dealing with drugs, sex, love, and drama. Created by Sam Levinson and based on an Israeli series of the same name, the show features an ensemble cast of some of Hollywood’s brightest and most talented young stars. Let’s dive into Euphoria’s main characters and the actors who bring them to life.
Zendaya: A Disney Graduate Takes on a Gritty Role
Zendaya plays Rue Bennett, a recovering 17-year-old addict fresh out of rehab and struggling to find her place (and sobriety) in the world. The 22-year-old Disney graduate has impressed us with her performances in films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman. In addition to her acting career, Zendaya has released several successful albums and singles, including her self-titled debut album in 2013 and “Rewrite the Stars” in 2018.
Maude Apatow: Hollywood Royalty Steps into the Spotlight
Maude Apatow plays Lexi Howard, Rue’s childhood friend and Cassie’s younger sister. The daughter of renowned director Judd Apatow and actress Lesley Mann, 21-year-old Maude Apatow has appeared in films like Knocked Up (2007), Funny People (2009), and This is 40 (2012). Outside of her acting career, Apatow is known for her Twitter feed, which has amassed a huge following and was named “Best Twitter Feeds of 2013” by Time.
Angus Cloud: From Pro Wrestling to Drug Dealing
Angus Cloud plays Fezco, the town’s local drug dealer. Prior to Euphoria, Cloud was best known for the TV series IWA Pro Wrestling TV. Despite his shady dealings, Fezco proves a positive influence on the former addict Rue as he attempts to show her that drugs are the cause of, and not the solution, to her problems.
Eric Dane: A Seasoned Actor Takes on a Dark Role
Eric Dane stars as Cal Jacobs, Nate’s father and the keeper of some pretty dark secrets. Dane’s casting in the teen drama comes after a successful career in TV and film, including starring roles as Jason Dean in the supernatural drama Charmed, Dr. Mark Sloan in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, and appearances in films such as Marley & Me (2008), Valentine’s Day (2010), and Burlesque (2010). In addition to his acting roles, Dane has also tried his hand as a producer, with credits including The Last Ship, in which he also starred.
Alexa Demie: A Rising Star with Many Talents
Alexa Demie plays Nate’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Maddy Perez. Demie has recently risen to prominence thanks to her roles in the Jonah Hill-directed feature Mid90s (2018) and Waves (2019). Other TV credits include Sara in Miles, Meredith in Brigsby Bear, and Shairee in the Showtime drama Ray Donovan. Outside of acting, Demie is a part-time model, fashion designer, and singer, whose virtual EP, DEMIEGOD, was released in 2014. Of all her accomplishments, Demie cites “staying faithful to myself’ as her proudest.
Jacob Elordi: An Australian Heartthrob with a Dark Side
Jacob Elordi plays Nate Jacobs, a confused teen whose tempestuous nature conceals a score of sexual insecurities. The Australian actor rose to fame as Noah Flynn in the movie The Kissing Booth (2018). Despite being active in the industry for only four years, Elordi has already achieved a long list of film and TV credits, with roles including a St. Martine’s Marine in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) and Rooster in Swinging Safari (2018). In addition to Euphoria, 2019 will see Elordi take the part of Jake in The Mortuary Collection, Chris in 2 Hearts, and Noah Flynn in The Kissing Booth 2.
Barbie Ferreira: A Body Positivity Icon Takes on Acting
Barbie Ferreira plays insecure teenager Kat. A model and actress, Ferreira came to international attention when untouched photos from her fashion shoot with Aerie were released in 2016. Ferreira has since become a shining light in the body positivity movement and has even been named one of Time’s “30 Most Influential Teens”. When it comes to acting, Ferreira has won acclaim for “Divorce’, which saw her star alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church as Ella.
Nika King: A Comedy Veteran Tackles a Serious Role
Nika King plays Rue and Gia’s mother, Leslie Bennett. A comedy veteran of shows like the web-series Funny Married Stuff, 2 Broke Girls, and Hannah Montana, King has drawn on her childhood experiences as the inspiration for playing the mom of drug addict Rue. “I used moments and people from my childhood to give me a foundation for Leslie,” King told Forbes. “I grew up in impoverished areas of the city. I remember seeing addiction full-on as a kid and having it in my family. It fueled my character’s theme and the overall objective of dealing with her daughter, seeing her going down a wrong path.”
Storm Reid: A Young Actress with a Bright Future
Storm Reid plays Gia Bennett, Rue’s younger sister. The 15-year-old actress began acting at the age of 3 and earned her big break as Emily in the Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave in 2013. Since then, she’s taken on numerous roles in TV shows such as The Thundermans, Adam DeVine’s House Party, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Chicago P.D. She’s also starred alongside Oprah Winfrey in the 2018 fantasy feature A Wrinkle in Time.
Hunter Schafer: A Model, Artist, and Activist Makes Her Acting Debut
Hunter Schafer plays Jules Vaugn, a trans girl who befriends Rue. Schafer is an actress, model, artist, and outspoken LGBT activist. Prior to landing her first acting gig in Euphoria, Schafer was best known as a favorite of fashion houses like Dior, Rick Owens, Helmut Land, and Versace.
Algee Smith: A Rising Star Faces College Life
Algee Smith takes on the role of Chris McKay, a footballer who faces difficulties in adjusting to the demands of college life. Smith is best known for his portrayals of Ralph Tresvant in BET’s The New Edition Story and as Larry Reed in Detroit.
Sydney Sweeny: A Promising Actress Takes on a Complex Role
Sydney Sweeney plays Lexi’s promiscuous older sister, Cassie Howard. Sweeney is best known for her recurring roles as Eden in The Handmaid’s Tale and as Alice in the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. 2019 is set to be a big year for the up-and-coming actress; in addition to Euphoria, she’s also set to star in the Jason Orley-directed film Big Time Adolescence and in the upcoming horror film Tell Me Your Name.
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