How Hunter Schafer Processed Her Own Queerness Through Her "Euphoria" Character

"Euphoria" star and model Hunter Schafer recently revealed how her experience cowriting and coproducing "Euphoria"'s "F*ck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob" episode, centered on her 17-year-old character Jules, helped the actress process her own queerness and emerge from a depressive period. In the one-hour special episode — which aired in 2021 to tide fans over until the Emmy-winning HBO show's official season-two return in 2022 — Jules sat down with her therapist to analyze her tumultuous childhood. Over the course of the episode, Jules dove into a number of topics, including her not-so-great relationship with her mother, who institutionalized her for depression.

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How Hunter Schafer Processed Her Own Queerness Through Her

In an interview with i-D Magazine, Schafer divulged the ways that creating the episode helped her work through her inner turmoil. "I feel like it really just gave us room to go deeper into her mind and her subconscious and her headspace," Schafer said. "I was in a very f*cking raw place, you know, it was the summer of 2020. Probably coming out of the worst depression I've ever had and needing somewhere to put all of that energy. When I say that episode really became a lifeline, I mean it."

"The other half is just a 17-year-old trans girl, still figuring out who she is, and debating queerness within her head."

Through storyboarding and additional behind-the-scenes work on the episode, Schafer (who is openly trans) used her personal perspective to explore her "Euphoria" character, who is a trans woman. This, in turn, helped Schafer navigate her own queerness. "Half of what Jules is talking about in that episode is rooted in the actual situation she's in with Rue, being really discontent in East Highland, and having just endured a crazy-*ss semester. The other half is just a 17-year-old trans girl still figuring out who she is and debating queerness within her head — what that means for her as a trans person," she said. "All of these new parts of herself that she's still uncovering all intersect and create one big mess that she's trying to untangle, or find some sense within."

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A part of the "untangling" Schafer did involved recognizing that Jules had "framed [her] entire womanhood around men . . . when, like, in reality, [she's] no longer interested in men." "I just had this conversation with my therapist the other day, actually, it was like: 'You're still putting yourself in boxes. You've worked your entire life to not be in boxes, and now you're doing it to yourself,'" Schafer said. "It's this weird addiction I think we have as humans, to fit into something."

In exploring these aspects of herself through Jules, Schafer was able to highlight the emotional complexities that come with navigating queerness. "This is a really good opportunity to put some sh*t on TV that has not been on TV, as far as, like, what's actually going on in young trans people's heads beyond 'Oh, I'm scared what people are gonna think because I'm trans.' Like, real, spiritual, philosophical . . . Who am I? What does this all mean?"

Image Source: Getty / Jeff Kravitz