Zendaya Promises ‘Redemption’ For Rue By End Of ‘Euphoria’s 2nd Season: She ‘Deserves It’

In a new interview about 'Euphoria,' Zendaya opens up about how 'brutal' it was to film Rue's breakdown in episode five. Plus, she teases hope for her character's future as the rest fo the season plays out.

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The Feb. 6 episode of Euphoria featured Zendaya’s character, Rue, reaching rock bottom after her mom found out — via Jules (Hunter Schaefer) — that she was using drugs again. As Rue went off on the people she loves the most, she was also desperately searching to find more drugs as she dealt with withdrawal symptoms. While speaking to The Cut about Rue’s journey this season, Zendaya admitted that filming episode five was “f***ing brutal.” However, she teased that Rue will turn things around as the season continues.

euphoria cast
The ladies of ‘Euphoria’ for ‘The Cut.’ (Micaiah Carter)

“The ending of the season was going to be very different and then halfway through, [writer] Sam [Levinson] and I were like, ‘We just can’t leave Rue here. We gotta put some f***ing hope in this show,'” Zendaya explained. “By episode six, Rue is starting to stitch her life back together. Episode eight is where we’ll get that sense of redemption — that you aren’t the worst thing you’ve ever done in your life. I think Rue deserves it, and I think anyone who suffers with the same thing she does deserves it.”

Zendaya has been open about the special connection she feels with Rue, and admitted that it’s something that she’s never had with other characters she’s played. “She lives in me in a weird way,” she revealed. “I don’t have to go searching for her. Even with the Spider-Man movies, I’ll talk to the director and be like, ‘Is that MJ-ey enough?’ I try to find it again. With Rue, she’s just there.”

Zendaya as Rue on ‘Euphoria.’ (HBO)

At the end of the day, Zendaya wants Rue to be a character who viewers still root for and love, despite her struggles, which are hard to watch. Before episode five aired, she explained why she still thinks Rue “deserves” to be loved, even though she’s flawed. “It’s my hope for people watching that they still see her as a person worthy of their love,” she said. “And worthy of their time and that she has a redemptive quality still, and that we still see the good in her even if she can’t see it in herself.”

She added, “I think that if people can go with her through that, and get to the end, and still have hope for her future, and watch her make the changes and steps to heal and humanize her through her sobriety and addiction, then maybe they can extend that to people in real life. If you can love her, then you can love someone that is struggling with the same thing, and maybe have greater understanding of the pain they’re facing, that is often out of their control. So for me, that’s the most important thing.”