Zendaya has always championed diversity in Hollywood and proves that she doesn't just talk the talk, but she also walks the walk. In the past, she has called out racism, colorism and even addressed her own privilege as a biracial woman in the industry. For example, in 2018, the former Disney star attended BeautyCon and talked about how she wants to use her privilege to help other Black women.
"As a Black woman — as a light-skinned Black woman — it's important that I say, 'Listen, I can use my privilege, my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community."
"I am Hollywood's acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that." - #Zendaya in conversation with @BadAssBoz at #BeautyconNYC pic.twitter.com/wZaIrJm1Tw— Danielle (@theislandiva) April 22, 2018
"I always find it weird that … I am Hollywood's acceptable version of a Black girl and that has to change. We're vastly too beautiful and too interesting for me to be the only representation of that. It's about creating those opportunities sometimes. You have to create the path."
Now, she is speaking out again. The Euphoria star and her producing partner Ashley Levinson were recently awarded The Crystal Award from the Women In Film organization, for their Netflix film Malcolm & Marie where Zendaya starred alongside John David Washington, and she spoke to Variety about co-financing the film with Malcolm & Marie director Sam Levinson, as well as giving shares to the crew members.
The movie was filmed during the pandemic.
"There was a world where we hoped that one day, we would be able to sell it and maybe make some money, but we felt that if we did that, that the people who were there every day with us, who took the risk of coming out there and making this art with us, should partake in that. It felt fair. It felt like the right thing to do."
While she called the decision to share the wealth with the film crew a "no-brainer" because the film was a "labor of love," the 25-year-old also touched on the lack of inclusion in Hollywood.
"I think any of us who have ever been in meetings or been in the rooms, you can see it every day, you feel like you are the only person there who looks like you. In my opinion, it's not a lack of talent, it's a lack of opportunity."
"There's always this idea that there can only be one and I oppose that idea. When you open the door, your job is to jam it open for other people to come in."
Being that person to open the door for others is no easy feat, which is something Zendaya can attest to. When it was announced that the actress will be cast as "MJ" in the Spider-Man franchise in 2016, she received a lot of backlash primarily because of her race. Since she has never been afraid to speak up, it was no surprise that the Spider-Man: No Way Home star would eventually respond to the outrage:
"But of course there's going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren't ready. I'm like, 'I don't know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it's beautiful, and that's what should be reflected and that's what is reflected so you're just going to have to get over it.'"
Featured image by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)
Ladies and ladies, listen: if you do not watch HBO's Euphoria, then consider this your sign to catch tf up because Season 2 is coming. And if you do watch, then get into this article because there's a lot to unpack about what's going on with the green lit, highly-anticipated new season.
Last season ended with lots of unclear answers to what's going on in each of the teens' lives, but like much of everything with the rest of the world, due to the pandemic, finding out what was next was put on a year-long hiatus. Thankfully, before the first season even ended, we knew another was coming regardless of how delayed.
But wait no more, Rue and Jules are on the way! So, let's get into what all we know about Season 2 of Euphoria so far.
When is season 2 of 'Euphoria' coming out?
Coronavirus had a major effect on production. No, really.
Zendaya, creator Sam Levinson, and the other cast and crew had actually began production of season two for Euphoria in early March of 2020, with a premiere date scheduled for the latter part of the year. They went as far as having wardrobe fittings, set tours, and a table read for their first episode, but the coronavirus pandemic forced production to shut down right before they actually began shooting, like most everything else in the world.
Because of this, there is no set premiere date as of yet, but Zendaya has hinted on social media that it is on the way. However, rushing back to work was never her thing. She told InStyle:
"There is a beautiful second season that has been written, but in order to do it the way we want to do it, we need to wait until it's safer."
Thankfully, the pandemic has been (somewhat) under control and production has resumed.
Zendaya is going to 'dark places' this season.Giphy
In her recent interview with British Vogue, Zendaya and show creator Sam Levinson, open up about what's to come for Euphoria. Although she openly admits that she is "the most sober person you could ask to play this part," she knows that she has to draw her inspiration from others.
"I can only understand it to an extent, and then I have to lean on Sam. He was an addict for many years as a teenager. And he's been clean since he was 19 years old. That's the thing that makes me hopeful. When we have all this really dark shit – especially this season breaks my heart for Rue – there's a glimmer of hope because I know that she is a version of him."
Levinson inserts his take during the interview via email:
"It's such a brutal season. And what I love the most about Z is she's able to go to those dark places and then as soon as I call cut, she's hanging out behind the monitor, eating Cheesecake Factory and cracking jokes. She's also family. We just shoot the shit all day. We talk about the show, the characters, life, movies, politics. She's one of the most grounded human beings I know."
The 'Euphoria' cast is still the cast (so far).
Although there's no formal announcement of cast departures, since no one died in the first season, it's fair to say that the core cast members will be returning. This includes Jules (Hunter Schafer), Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Chris McKay (Algee Smith), Gia Bennett (Storm Reid), and Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane).
Sydney Sweeney discussed her return, without saying anything at all:
"It's more intense. I can say it's more intense. First season was a lot, second season is out of the ballpark. It's going to be amazing, very intense, crazy season."
Storm Reid added to the cast member chats, by opening up about her character on the new season:
"Yes [you'll see more of her charater, Gia]. She's becoming her own person and she's getting her own storyline, which is very exciting, so I'm excited to start that."
Sis, what's going on with Jules and Rue?!hbo trailer GIF by EUPHORIAGiphy
Storylines and cast relationships remain tight-lipped, so exploring each character is something we'll have to wait for, but that doesn't mean we can't question where we left off. When we last saw Jules and Rue, they were ready to run away together and live happily ever after. Jules was fearless in her decision, but Rue decided to stay back and be with her family.
Obviously, we don't know where they stand with each other, but there have been hints. Hunter Schafer (Jules) told Entertainment Weekly that she has ideas for Jules.
"I think she learns from experiencing things. And so to experience what she needs to, without being messy, that's from the sort of loving parent/sister relationship I feel like I have with her. That's what I want for her, although who knows how it will play out. I'm sure it will be more messy than I would hope for her."
How will the bonus episodes play into the new season?Hbo Crying GIF by euphoriaGiphy
Back in October, two bonus episodes premiered on HBO. The first of two special episodes, "Troubles Don't Last Always", with the focus being Zendaya/Rue. We pick up with Rue sitting at the diner, with another out-of-this-world actor, Coleman Domingo, or Ali, as they celebrate Christmas at a diner after Jules takes off and leaves her at the train station.
And the sheer magnificence comes from the fact that this episode places mostly just the two of them sharing monolithic dialogue--and only dialogue--front and center. It's the first time that Rue's addiction and mental health are solely discussed and highlighted. This episode strips away the multiple storylines, and the glitterati, and the privilege, and showcases Zendaya's talent exclusively, as if she were naked in front of us all and having to act her way into making us not even notice. If you weren't exactly sure why Zendaya won the 2020 Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, then watch this episode and see for yourself. Brilliant.
The second bonus episode followed Jules on her quest to finding her freedom and running away.
How will Drake be involved with 'Euphoria'?Giphy
As Euphoria fans know, Drake is an executive producer for the show, and famously championed for Zendaya to get the role. He's been to a few premiere parties and he's posted about the show in the past, other than that, he's also been quiet about the fate of what's next. We can confirm however, that Drake is, and has always been, just as excited to show off his involvement in the show. It's unlikely that Drake will return to the small screen for a guest starring role on Euphoria, but the father does seem actively involved with its success.
In 2019, TMZ spoke with Algee Smith (who plays Chris McKay) about Drake's involvement with the show.
"Drake came on set a few times. He threw us a wrap party; he gave away, I don't want to say how much bread he gave away but he gave us some money at the wrap party."
Adding, "It was hefty. You could buy a couple cars, I'll say that."
For now, we don't have a premiere date for new episodes, but the fact that it is officially on it's way again, is alright with me. Here's to an even greater Season 2!
You can catch up on past episodes of Euphoria on HBO Max.
Featured image by Giphy
Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman
First of her name
Slayer of Red Carpets
Empress of Emmys
Queen of Euphoria
This woman is an icon living. From the moment we met her in 2010 as a groundbreaking Disney star, we knew it was just the beginning. Her beauty has always been rooted in authenticity and joy which is one of the many reasons we stan. Whether it's shutting down fashion weeks around the globe, dominating the big screen, dancing to the beat of her own drum, calling out anti-blackness, or paying homage to bold, Black women, Zendaya consistently shows up.
Back in 2016, the Malcolm & Marie star told New You, "It's important to find out who you are and love who you are. No matter what you're dealing with, it's so much harder and more draining and so much more exhausting to be constantly pretending to be something that you're not." As if we needed more reason to root for Zendaya, her evolution empowers us every day.
"The evolution of loving yourself and becoming comfortable within yourself takes time and it's a process. It does not happen overnight. You have to work at it. And nobody has it. Even the people that you think have it, don't necessarily have it." - Zendaya, Popsugar in September 2018
Fun fact: the multi-hyphenate baddie's name derives from the Shona name Tendai, meaning "to give thanks." And we want to take this time to give thanks for the opportunity to experience Zendaya's beauty and light. Take a look at 20+ times the Oakland native's beauty reigned like no other.
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We can't wait to see what's next for Zendaya!
Featured image by Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Fendi