Making an impression. Euphoria fans didn’t know what to expect when Dominic Fike was cast in the role of Elliot, a character who is set to befriend both Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) in season 2.
Ahead of the sophomore premiere on HBO, Zendaya and Schafer opened up about why they were apprehensive to have a newcomer come between their fictional characters.
“There were a lot of conversations over the years about where the show was going to go and what it was going to evolve into, and I remember when [creator] Sam [Levinson] first kind of talked about the idea of this Elliot character, I wasn’t feeling it — as someone who ships ‘Rules’ to the bitter end,” the Marvel star told Variety in January. “And I was like, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, what are we doing here? But, in retrospect, and also as someone who understands where the show needs to go and what needs to happen for these characters, it’s crucial that Elliot exist and that he be the person that is honestly the catalyst for a lot of things that just have to happen.”
Schafer, for her part, noted that her opinion changed when she realized what Fike’s character could add to the story.
“I think I was in a similar boat to Z when I first heard about this ‘Elliot boy,’” the model shared with Variety. “But, you know, as we saw more of what it brought into the story and the script, it became a more interesting and exciting prospect, and once Dom came on board, he made it a lot of fun.”
Fike joked about the pressure of being introduced in the hit series as an obstacle that comes between the main relationship, saying, “I can’t wait to see where people go with that and for all the hate messages I’ll get on my Instagram … and going into hiding. I can’t wait.”
During the season 2 premiere, Rue met Elliot after finding him getting high in the laundry room.
“If you tell me what drugs you’re doing, I’ll tell you what drugs I’m doing,” Zendaya’s character joked, before Rue ended up almost going into cardiac arrest. Elliot helped Rue slow down her heartbeat with the assistance of Adderall, which makes the main character refer to the newcomer as her “favorite person.” After Rue laughed off the near-death experience, Elliot joked that he isn’t sure whether “it’s a good thing” that she is feeling better before they high-five.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).