Zendaya & Hunter Schafer's Real-Life Special Bond That Mirrors Their On-Screen 'Euphoria' Love and Friendship

Monica Otayza
Jan 12, 2022
04:15 P.M.
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Zendaya and Hunter Schafer are more than just co-stars on the hit show "Euphoria." Their on-screen chemistry translates to real life, and they've constantly shared about it since the show began. 

Viewers of "Euphoria" have seen the codependent relationship between Zendaya and Schafer's characters, Rue and Jules. The show revolves around a group of teenagers who are navigating through living with social media, substances, and sex. 

The show has had a significant impact on its viewers, thanks to the cast and crew's art and honesty. From its signature makeup styles and its raw depictions of gender, relationships, and sexuality, people have resonated with the show and have grown attached to it. 

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Zendaya and Hunter Schafer attend the Los Angeles Premiere of "Euphoria." (Left), Zendaya and Hunter Schafer as their characters Rue and Jules on "Euphoria." (Right) | Photo: Getty Images, Youtube.com/HBO

THE STORY OF RUE AND JULES

Zendaya's character Rue is a young woman who struggles with substance addiction. Meanwhile, Schafer plays Jules, the new girl in town who befriends Rue quickly. 

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Opening up about their friendship, Zendaya revealed that she sees herself as Schafer's big sister. She stepped into the role quickly, as when they met for the first time, she knew Schafer was new to many of the things they did on set.

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BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP

Previously from New York, Schafer moved to Los Angeles to film "Euphoria." Although she misses New York's energy, she is glad to be in LA because of her job. 

Zendaya knew how difficult it might have been for Schafer to adjust, so she embraced her role as a big sister. Ultimately, she is glad to know that between her and Schafer, their friendship is more important than anything else. She said: 

"What we do for a living is important, but the friendship we share is more important."

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NOTHING BUT LOVE

Likewise, Schafer has nothing but good things to say about Zendaya, whom she calls "Z." During an interview, she called the "Spiderman: Homecoming" actress a "force," adding that doing scenes with her feels very real, making acting a lot easier.

Although the pair portrays troubled characters on the show, Schafer admits that Zendaya is the "sweetest person ever." Despite Zendaya's fame, Schafer notes how "down-to-earth" she is. 

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SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CHARACTERS

Schafer describes their relationship on the show, nicknamed "Rules," as home. However, she also calls it sweet and messy, given their communication issues. Ultimately, the actress adds that she sees a lot of similarities between herself and her character. 

The actress shared that sometimes, there are blurred lines between herself and the character she's portraying, which she is slowly forming a process for to set healthy boundaries. Schafer admits she didn't set boundaries in season one. 

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IDENTIFYING SIMILAR TRAITS

Echoing her co-star's sentiments, Zendaya recalls watching Schafer from behind the camera while realizing something had clicked. "She just took whatever pain she had, and she translated it into such a beautiful performance," Zendaya praised. 

While Schafer's life isn't wholly paralleled with her character Jules, she admits that she identifies with the driving force behind her decisions throughout the show. Schafer also mimics the way her character reframes her perspectives as she becomes more aware of the reasons behind her motives. 

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STAYING TRUE TO THEMSELVES

For Schafer, her work to become Jules involves learning to be an actress. Instead of living as her characters, she is trying to see how these characters change or impact the way she lives as herself. She shared

"I’ve already spent a lot of my life trying to be someone I’m not, and even if it is my job title, I’m not interested in doing that again for long periods of time.” 

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LOOKING FOR AN OUTLET

Dealing with her heavy character Jules is something Schafer has learned to live with. Although she did not have a therapist when the show started, she does now. There, she can visualize separating Jules from being Hunter Schafer. 

The actress has never shied away from her thoughts or struggles with her emotions. In 2020, she opened up about considering entering a mental health institution before writing an episode for "Euphoria" instead. 

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FINDING THEIR CRAFT THERAPEUTIC

Although she admits that making art does not replace therapy, she shares it can be therapeutic. During that episode, she simultaneously wore the actor, producer, and writer hats. 

While Zendaya has been an actress for years, Schafer began her career as a model. She was in the fashion industry, walking the runway for the likes of Rick Owens, Dior, and Miu Miu. 

Admittedly, Schafer withdrew from fashion for a bit to focus on her acting career. Despite this, she shares she still has a "deep love for fashion" and wants to work with designers and fashion houses that inspire her. 

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RESONATING WITH FANS

Since embracing the character of Jules, many have come to love Schafer. In fact, one time, an interaction between Zendaya and a transgender fan of "Euphoria" quickly went viral, and it was all because of Schafer. 

While Zendaya was out, a fan went up to her to tell her how much Schafer inspired her. Touched, Zendaya decided to call Schafer on FaceTime so she and her fan could speak. 

In the short clip, the fan cries as she speaks briefly with Schafer. Meanwhile, Zendaya also captured a photo of the girl with her phone, talking with her idol. 

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As her fan, Schafer is a trans woman. She's documented her transition journey, writing down her thoughts about it, as well as her time undergoing hormone therapy. 

According to her, life before her transition is a blur. However, as she started working and found her purpose, she's found it easier to refer to the different parts of her life. 

Now, a big part of who Schafer is is all thanks to "Euphoria." More than just being co-workers, Schafer, Zendaya, along with the rest of the cast and crew, has become a community to one another, built with love and care that carries on as time passes by. 

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