This week’s episode, according to Demie, “is awful to watch her endure something so brutal and traumatic, and it’s the moment that transforms things for her.”
Alexa Demie, who portrays the captivating Maddy Perez on Euphoria, says that heading into season 2, she put a lot of trust in the show’s creator Sam Levinson and was pleased with the outcomes.
“I’m always open and genuinely in.” Both writing and acting have spiritual components. Sam and I may not be conversing, but the energies of the entire group, including Sam, are subconsciously mixing. In light of this, I appreciate what I see, “says EW, the actress.
I wanted to see her grow out of the [Nate] connection, and it appears like we’re moving in that direction, the speaker continues. Even though the situation is arguably far worse than before, with Nate (Jacob Elordi) not only acting violently toward Maddy again but also sneaking around with her best friend Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), Demie believes “That there is more vulnerability in good. She’s a little more sophisticated and nuanced this season, and I enjoy that she’s not as overtly obnoxious all the time.”
Below, Demie discusses various topics, including Rue (Zendaya), Jules (Hunter Schafer), and Maddy’s terrible predicament with Nate and Cassie.
Weekly Entertainment: Maddy has already been put through a lot in season 1, but this episode is especially trying for her. Was the Russian Roulette moment on the show the most challenging one to film?
Yes, for a variety of reasons. Not only was there a gun to my head, but the sequence was arranged so that it was pretty challenging. It took us two days to shoot since we had to move with the camera’s motions and because the scene was so fragmented. On those days, that’s all we did all day.
What did everyone do to get ready for it and survive it? Before starting the production, did you and your coworkers talk extensively about it? What transpired between scenes? I know that different actors have various processes.
We were pressed for time. We dove right in. As we went along and shot it, we figured it out. Jacob and I were learning new things about each other while Sam was learning about the camera. There were a few spontaneous moments, but there wasn’t much preparation or pre-conversation. As an actor, you must maintain your world during the brutal sequence because when they break, they’re figuring out light, and a lot is going on. I’m not the actor who can break a scene like that and start smiling and joking. I must tune out the rest of the world and be on my own.
Why do you believe Maddy initially tried to pretend not to have the tape?
I adore Maddy because she is both tremendously strong and yet vulnerable, and we get to experience both of those aspects of her. She has been intimately involved with Nate for a very long time, and for a split second, she might believe him to be bluffing or that he wouldn’t genuinely go so far as to shoot her, which is absurd to suggest. The paradox of being both immensely vulnerable and extraordinarily confident and tough.
Even though she is afraid, she is attempting to see how far the person she believes to be her lover will go. Additionally, she knows Jules is on the recording and does not want to see her suffer by returning it to him. She is in survival mode and running through every scenario in her thoughts when we watch this person push themselves too far and break her. Her encounter with something so horrific and brutal is painful to witness, and this is the turning point for her.
Have you been worried about how she got the video of Cal (Eric Dane) and Jules or how the other shoe would drop? Were you interested in seeing how that recovers?
Yes, Sam and I had a lot of conversations about that when we first returned for season 2. It’s a subject that I frequently bring up as well. And there were numerous alternative ways that it could have been written, as well as numerous possible outcomes for the disc. There was a time when I was going to return the video to Jules with a letter that said, “I think you’d want this,” without revealing who was delivering it to her. This felt incredibly good to me. And while I admit that part of me wanted it to happen, the way it plays out keeps the plot moving and adds drama.
Between her scene with Jules earlier in the season and what Nate says to her in this episode, the program has left Maddy some room for believable denial. Maddy already knew Jules was on the tape, to be precise.
She was eager to hang onto it partly because she knew it was Jules. Because Nate had repeatedly f—-ed her over, some of it was collateral for him. Still, I believe that a significant portion of her wanted to give it to Jules or prevent Jules from suffering any harm.
Did the season’s sequences involving Jacob and Sydney feel different? What steps did you take to create that subtext-rich dynamic?
In Season 1, I spent a lot more time with Jacob. Since we see Maddy breaking it off at the end of season 1 and season two felt like we picked up right where you’re in a breakup. However, you see them out at a party, and you’re still talking, and it’s a little on and off; it just felt like a natural development in the relationship and what the Maddy-Nate situation would be. The manner that it suddenly began with Maddy and Nate felt natural.
We also had a significant carnival moment with Sydney in season 1, but I mean, in season 2, we had to have our Maddy-Cassie best buddy moments. That also comes across as really natural. When we weren’t filming, we spent a little more time than in season 1 in our trailers and other things. Thus, it aided in the growth of that connection.
Speaking of advancement, how has filming with Minka Kelly gone? Her persona appears to be significantly aiding Maddy’s development.
It was a pleasure to work with her. She is incredibly thoughtful, grounded, kind, present, and a terrific listener, all of which were qualities that Maddy also required in character. She sincerely listens to Maddy and mentors her when they have their hearts in their hearts. And because Maddy hasn’t had many peaceful experiences, that seemed very serene. It was unlike anything she had ever known. It provided her with some hope and illumination.
When Maddy hears about that character’s marriage, she says, “I don’t think my brain is wired that way,” but you can see in her eyes that she believes she may need to adapt.
Teenagers tend to link passion with intensity in relationships and love. Because there isn’t much passion in the relationship, we might conclude that it isn’t true love. However, power can also feel highly natural and secure. But she does genuinely think she’s screwed up. She comes from a dysfunctional home, and while I believe she tries to accept Minka Kelly’s character, she gradually comes to trust her throughout the season. Nevertheless, it is difficult for her to think she can lead a life like that.
Maddy’s faith in Rue, even at her lowest point, seemed to be significantly appreciated last week. Is that instance a representation of Maddy’s commitment to others? Do you know anything about their past? Do they date back far?
We all come from the same tiny town and have known each other for a long time, including the characters. And in that particular situation, I don’t believe Maddy views Rue as a villain or a liar since she doesn’t share Jules’ or any of the other characters’ relationships with her. Though she is aware of Rue’s past, it feels incredibly authentic to her at that precise time. In that instant, Rue appears so sincere.
Rue is someone Maddy has always liked and felt sympathy for, so she has no reason to be suspicious of her. It is straightforward for her to trust Rue at that precise moment because she knows that everyone is flawed somehow, and she never wants to judge anyone. She can also detect lies from Cassie. Maddy may overlook many aspects of her life that she doesn’t want to deal with, but she is intelligent and wise.
Of course, Maddy finding out that Cassie has been sleeping with Nate is another aspect of that particular moment. How frequently have you discussed Maddy’s potential response? What were you all taking into account or attempting to determine? Because while it fulfills our expectations, some of Maddy’s reaction is still unexpected.
Yes, there were numerous discussions and ideas about what Maddy would do in that situation, and there were obvious ways Maddy could respond based on what we have seen her accomplish this season. The turning point for her is when Nate holds a gun to her head. “Okay, I can no longer perform this. I don’t deserve this, and it’s so toxic.” She is therefore contemplating this and saying to herself, “Good luck to you if you decide to sacrifice this friendship for that.” But she is a person. She is experiencing the emotions of anger, hurt, and retaliation. I don’t want to say too much because there will be more, but I suppose everyone will find out.
Do you have particular requirements for line readings to finish? You, in particular, have a knack for making listeners hang on to your every word. And in light of that, do you have a favorite Maddy meme or a particular instance that surprised you by striking a chord with so many people? How does it feel to see these responses?
I’m genuinely astonished by everything. When I was filming season 1, I never imagined that the things Maddy would say would become what they are today. I continue to be shocked by what I see. Sam is very open to my love of improvisation, so some are improvised, and some are direct line reading, which is the enjoyable part. We can experiment with what functions in certain circumstances. However, I was unaware that whatever Maddy said would have an impact. I did not anticipate it at all.
This week, the phrase that stuck with me the most was “like a brutal killing. One that surprises the country.”