Zendaya almost lost the role of Rue on Euphoria to an unknown actress

10 August 2022, 12:45

Zendaya reveals first planned ending to Euphoria Season 2 finale would have been darker

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The other actress "had a similar trajectory [to] Rue" and the role would have been her very first time on-screen.

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After an absolutely show-stopping performance across two seasons, it’s literally impossible to imagine anyone other than Zendaya playing the role of Rue Bennett in Euphoria.

The Spider-Man actress has broken countless award show records thanks to her portrayal as the troubled, drug-addicted teen, and has helped propel the show to staggering success alongside her co-stars.

But did you know that things could have been very, very different? Because Zendaya almost didn't get the part. Apparently, an unknown actress who was scouted on the street was originally considered for the main role.

READ MORE: Euphoria's Angus Cloud reveals how he got cast as Fez while walking down the street

Zendaya almost wasn't cast as Rue in Euphoria
Zendaya almost wasn't cast as Rue in Euphoria. Picture: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME, HBO via Alamy

In an interview with Variety, casting director Jennifer Venditti revealed that while Zendaya was always the first choice to play Rue, an unnamed first-time actress, who had dealt with similar experiences with drug addiction as Rue, was being heavily considered for the part.

She explained: "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.

"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."

The Euphoria team even hired an acting coach for the actress considered for the part of Rue, and Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules, did her auditions alongside her.

Ultimately, Venditti and creator Sam Levinson decided the unnamed actress wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands of a large-scale drama. Then, the role went to Zendaya.

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

Speaking about what Zendaya ended up bringing to the role, Venditti added: "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.”

The reaction to the surprising behind-the-scenes fact has split opinions on social media. While some people have agreed that Zendaya was the right choice to play Rue, others have shared their sympathy with the unnamed actress who ended up losing out on what would have been a life-changing opportunity.

What do you think? Can you imagine Euphoria with someone else portraying Rue?

Read more about Euphoria here:

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