Hunter Schafer Reflects on Jules and “Euphoria”
While there’s many reasons to love HBO’s Euphoria (the makeup! the outfits! the music!), it’s easy to understand why so many fans are absolutely obsessed with Jules Vaughn, played by Hunter Schafer. As the new girl in school, Jules is a driving force of much of the HBO series’ plot — including a very shippable onscreen romance with Zendaya’s Rue Bennett — and her personal style is seriously inspirational. (Neon pink geometrical eyeliner anyone?)
It turns out that Jules, a trans teenager, and her story were somewhat based on Hunter’s own life, as she revealed in a recent interview with musician Arca for V Magazine. When asked what it was like sharing the experience of her own transition, Hunter explained: “It didn’t feel natural at first. Part of surviving [that] experience was just, like, getting through sh*t. Letting it rest, and not addressing it. I think that’s what I had been [doing] up to that point: just going and going, fighting to be on the other side of my transition. There was so much that I was working towards, and I was so excited to [be out of] North Carolina that I don’t think I’d ever looked back on [that experience].”
But Hunter also noted that, in playing Jules, she was forced to look back at her own journey, sometimes recalling moments that she previously had forgotten about. “That happened throughout the entire season,” she told Arca. “As we worked through different scenes, I’d have to remember a new detail, to dig up an artifact from within myself, and hold onto that moment for the scene.”
Her work certainly paid off; Hunter’s involvement in the series proved to be powerful for all fans, and especially those fans who are trans teens themselves. As one 15-year-old previously told Teen Vogue, “She’s introduced as Jules, not as the trans girl, but just a new girl who happens to be transgender…. Having a trans character being portrayed this positively in such a popular television series makes me feel so incredible.”
Fortunately for all, Euphoria is getting a second season this year — along with four new characters. And while little has been revealed regarding what’s in store for Jules, Rue, and the rest of the students at East Highland, Hunter has some hopes for her character. “I know she has dreams, [many of] which she stated in the first episode,” she told Arca. “Which is just what I did in a way: escaping to New York, and working or interning in fashion…And that was [part of the character] before I was even cast, so it was really freaky to see that written into the script. So, I feel like that’s definitely her path.” Well, we sure can’t wait to see what path Jules ends up following, whenever Euphoria comes back into our lives, glitter and all.