Zendaya on going from Disney to HBO’s ‘Euphoria’: “It’s a scary jump, but I think it was time for me to do this.”

With just a few days to go until the premiere of her new HBO series Euphoria, Zendaya has opened up about her edgy new and her transition away from her Disney days.

In Euphoria, Zendaya stars as Rue, a high school junior coping with life through alcohol and drugs.

“It’s a scary jump,” Zendaya told The New York Times on taking on the show after starring on Disney. “But I think it was time for me to do this.”

“I knew if I wasn’t a part of this show, I’d be miserable,” she said.

As for whether she deliberately planned to go for a grittier show after wrapping up her Disney show, Zendaya said:

“There was no strategic plan. After shooting The Greatest Showman and Spider-Man, I went back to my Disney show, which is kind of like going to college and then having to go back and do the same grade over and over again.”

“Not that I didn’t appreciate having a job,” she said. “But it’s like you turn a switch on and do it, and then you get turned off and go home. I wanted more. Upon talking to Sam [Levinson] and finding out that Rue is really an incarnation of him and his battles with addiction and depression and a multitude of other things that everyone deals with­, it made sense why I connected with her.”

While she doesn’t do drugs herself, Zendaya did reveal that she still relates to her character.

“I feel like she’s a version of myself with different choices and circumstances,” she said. “Rue is a good person, she just doesn’t know it. She’s in pain. There’s something innocent and redeeming about her that reminds you that she’s a human first and an addict second.”

Zendaya also admitted that she was nervous going into the roll:

“I was really nervous because I wanted to do well. It’s like going from nothing to everything — there were no steps in between. That’s why people think it’s such a stretch for me to play this character. There’s a lot of people who probably think I can’t do it because they don’t truly understand my personality. And I get it: I’m a Disney kid. There’s a lot to prove,” she said.

Check out Zendaya’s full interview here!

Euphoria premieres this Sunday, June 16 on HBO.

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Zendaya on going from Disney to HBO’s ‘Euphoria’: “It’s a scary jump, but I think it was time for me to do this.”

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