1. Zendaya becomes the youngest, highest-paid black actress on a TV show with Euphoria season 3.
Both invited at the SAG Awards and at the NAACP Image Awards earlier this year, Zendaya took the world by storm wearing a couple of gorgeous, sexy dresses by Valentino and vintage Versace. The 26-year-old American actress is also set to shine on the silver screen in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two, coming out on November 1st, 2023. She will then appear in Francis Ford Coppola’s new feature, Megalopolis, and in one of Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming films, Challengers, in 2024. Yet, the empire she has built for herself may still be at its earliest stages.
The actress, who won two Emmy Awards for her role as a teenage drug addict in Euphoria, is making history thanks to the HBO show. She negotiated a new deal with the American television network, which now makes her one of the executive producers of the show and the youngest, highest-paid black television actress. On February 27th, 2023, the American digital media company Puck reported that her salary would reach $1 million per episode for the third season of Euphoria. As the media points out, this monumental amount of money had already been received before by the cast members of the final season of Friends, as well as by the lead actors of Game of Thrones. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon also reached the million-dollar milestone in Big Little Lies (2017). Tom Holland’s girlfriend is now playing in the big league.
2. Will season 3 become even darker than the previous ones for Rue Bennett and her friends?
With such a salary, what can we expect from Zendaya’s performance? One could think that her character, Rue Bennett, would eventually become wiser in the future episodes, since the finale of season 2 hinted that she was on the road to redemption. In the last episode, she had recently quitted drugs, and she kissed Jules (Hunter Schafer) on the forehead, after the latter made a declaration of love to her. Love, hope, joy, and even sobriety could have been in the cards for Rue in season 3. Obviously, the dark vision of the creator of the show, Sam Levinson, counteracted that first impulse and the third season will still portray plenty of sex scenes, betrayals, tears, arguments, trashy plot twists, police raids, and gunshots. Earlier this week, the director of The Idol told Elle Magazine that the third opus of HBO’s flagship show will be very dark, following in the tradition of the film noir. Zendaya, who will play “an individual with principles in a corrupt world”, explained to Elle that: “From a character perspective, I want to find things that will push me. As I get older, you know, I can’t play a teenager for the rest of my life.” We can also picture some controversial storylines for the upcoming season, such as Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) relationship with Maddy’s (Alexa Demie) toxic ex-boyfriend Nate (Jacob Elordi), which led to an iconic argument in season 2, episode 5.
3. Barbie Ferreira leaves the cast of Euphoria season 3.
The passing of Angus Cloud will leave a major gap in the upcoming episodes. Aside from that tragic event, most of the main characters should remain in the cast of season 3 – Zendaya (Rue), Hunter Schafer (Jules), Sydney Sweeney (Cassie), Alexa Demie (Maddy), Maude Apatow (Lexi), Jacob Elordi (Nate), Storm Reid (Gia) and Nika King (Leslie), as well as Dominic Fike (Elliot). However, Barbie Ferreira (Kat Hernandez) will not appear in the third season. She unveiled the news on her Instagram account in August 2022. Rumors of disagreements between the actress and the show’s director regarding a supposedly toxic work environment have been circulating this year. The actress has also been reportedly unhappy about the turn taken by her character, who was less nice in the second season than in the first one.
The shooting of the third installment of the show, which would cost $110 million according to the Rolling Stone, should have started this year, since each episode takes a month to shoot. Yet, the strike of actors and writers that is currently rocking Hollywood may postpone the release of the show to 2025. In the meantime, the more adventurous can (re)watch Sam Levinson’s latest show, The Idol, starring Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd. There is a sulphureous Euphoria-like flavor to it.
No official release date for the third season of Euphoria by Sam Levinson.