HBO is known for producing groundbreaking television series, and their latest drama Euphoria is really pushing boundaries. The show is a “raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety, and the difficulties of navigating life today,” says star Zendaya, and her co-star – Grey’s Anatomy alum Eric Dane – went full frontal in the show’s premiere.
Zendaya issued a warning to her fans before the premiere, tweeting that the scenes were graphic and hard to watch. She wasn’t kidding, as Dane’s character Cal Jacobs committed statutory rape with a 17-year-old trans girl in the pilot episode.
06.06 | Eric Dane at the ATX festival:
"It is a little bit frightening, that this is what the kids are out there doing because this is such an accurate depiction of what is going on with teenagers. But at the same time, it's great because it's sincere." https://t.co/6a9Icf7K8N pic.twitter.com/np9mYlD58w
— Euphoria Source (@EuphoriaSource) June 14, 2019
According to Entertainment Weekly, the scene featured “full-frontal nudity and fully erect male genitalia which required an intimacy expert on set,” and Dane says the scene was difficult to shoot.
“It helps to have one voice in your ear. One voice that you can express your feelings to, and somebody that is an advocate for the actors,” says Dane. “It just simplifies a lot of things and makes for a safe and comfortable environment while shooting something that is fairly uncomfortable to shoot. And certainly, the stuff that we did in the pilot is no exception. It’s a pretty intense scene.”
Dane says that the appendage was a prosthetic, and he was willing to shoot the scene because it was critical to the story and crucial to giving the scene a very real and truthful feel. He explained that there really isn’t a way to shoot that scene without showing nudity. Dane says the stakes are high and you can’t hold anything back.
There was one isolated shot where Dane was willing to go full frontal without the prosthetic, but ultimately, they decided to stick with it because of the context.
As for all of the McSteamy fans who may be shocked by Dane’s new role, he said that was exactly his intention. The actor says he was tired of playing characters that “appear to be the right fit,” and he feels that creator Sam Levinson is such a strong writer that he knew he was in good hands playing a character like Cal Jacobs.
"The stakes are so high, you can’t hold anything back, really" https://t.co/FBExDDWKos
— Vulture (@vulture) June 17, 2019
Dane says that at this point in his career he needs to do something different, and after reading the pilot he immediately realized the script was unique and unapologetic.
“Who wants to see me play the same guy over and over again?” asked Eric Dane.
New episodes of Euphoria air Sunday nights on HBO.