Zendaya Almost Lost Her Role of Rue on ‘Euphoria’


| LAST UPDATE 08/11/2022

By Lia Thomson
zendaya euphora rue scene
Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff via Getty Images

Zendaya has blessed us with two seasons of incredible and heartbreaking performances on HBO's hit series Euphoria. It's honestly pretty hard for us to imagine the show to be the way it is without the 25-year-old actress. But believe it or not, the role of Rue was almost not played by Z: an unknown actress was almost cast for the part! Here's the tea.

Recently, the casting director for the drama-filled teenage show, Jennifer Venditti, revealed in an interview with Variety the truth about who almost took on the role of Rue. "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," she confessed. But due to her inexperience in the industry, Euphoria's production team decided to go with an actress who could handle the pressure. 

Jennifer Venditti Euphoria cast
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Venditti added, "But with a TV show, it can be many years [of work]. We all loved her, but when we went through the rigor of the process, we didn't know if she could handle what it would take in terms of stamina." Apparently, the casting director and Sam Levinson, the creator of the series, tried to help the girl get used to the emotional pressure by hiring her an acting coach, but eventually, they saw that wasn't working. So they decided to continue to search for the perfect person to play the difficult character of Rue. Enter Zendaya...

And that's when Zendaya came in. Her audition was so outstanding that Levinson and Venditti were in shock. "It's so interesting," Venditti added. "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." And honestly, it's pretty clear from her history-making performance how talented she is. Her emotions and words are real and raw despite playing a character she has basically nothing in common with. To learn more interesting behind the scene facts from Euphoria, check out the rest of Venditti's Variety interview!

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