Euphoria, the American teen drama television series written by Sam Levinson for HBO received much appreciation and love for its overall plot and characters. The series follows the story of Rue Bennett played by Zendaya, a recovering teenage drug addict who struggles to find her place in the world. The series focuses on the topics of identity, trauma, drugs, self-harm, family, friendships, love, and s*x among high school students. All this made the series popular and Zendaya received much love for the emotions that she overall portrayed in the series. But do you know that this amazing actress was almost replaced by an ‘unknown actress’?

Zendaya in Euphoria
Zendaya as Rue Bennett in Euphoria

The quest for a new talent

Jennifer Venditti, the casting director of Euphoria says that Zendaya has always been the first choice for the role of Rue Bennett. Her role also won her the lead drama actress of Emmy 2020 making her the youngest person to win the award. But seeing how the series revolve around high schoolers, casting fresh talents was also not out of the option and a first-time actor apparently came really close to replacing Zendaya for the role of Rue Bennett.

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“There was a young woman who had been street scouted by my team who was a magical person and had a similar trajectory as Rue and had come around to the other side,” Venditti said, about Rue’s struggles with drug addiction.

But Venditti and series creator Sam Levinson wasn’t convinced if she’ll be able to handle the rigorous process, as standing in front of a camera and expressing oneself needs mental preparation which could sometimes take a toll on a person.

“But with a TV show, it can be many years [of work]. We all loved her, but when we went through the rigour of the process, we didn’t know if she could handle what it would take in terms of stamina.”

“It’s a vulnerable act to stand in front of a camera and share yourself, and attempt to become someone else in front of people. I feel honoured that people engage with us in that way.”


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Zendaya will always be the first choice for Rue Bennett

Zendaya was almost replaced but her strong personality and how naturally she portrays her every character with such detail and emotions make her name shine among some amazing actresses. Even though she had none of the experiences Rue have in the series still she was able to dig deep into her character.

Actress Zendaya

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“It’s so interesting. A polar opposite. Because here’s Zendaya, who has none of the life experiences of Rue, who was able to dig into her toolbox and access it in such a beautiful way.”

Zendaya is perfection itself but the fact that a first-time actor was considered by Venditti to play Rue Bennett, the main character of Euphoria, makes the bulb of curiosity light in us and makes us eager to know the name of that ‘unknown actress’ or if we’ll be able to see her in the near future.

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Source: NME

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