Certainly, HBO's Euphoria gained a lot of attention when it premiered last year. The celebrated and controversial HBO teen drama series is the latest project from Sam Levinson (Assassination Nation), based loosely on Israeli mini-series of the same name, and in its depiction of teenagers indulging in sex, drugs, friendships, and love, while also discovering their own identities in today's ever-changing tech-friendly era, has earned its fair of acclaim and notice for its raw, unflinching depiction of youth culture.
Euphoria has been a major stepping stone for Zendaya, who won an Emmy for her outstanding lead performance, and it has boosted the profile of several key stars, including (but not limited to) Sydney Sweeney, Hunter Schafer, Barbie Ferreira, Alexa Demie, and Jacob Elordi.
While the wait for Season 2 has been extended due to the coronavirus pandemic, this delay might give more audiences a chance to catch up on what's considered both a sensational and sensationalized first season. If you find yourself wondering where you recognize this young ensemble, however, we're here to help. This is where you've seen the Euphoria cast before.
Zendaya (Rue Bennett)
Playing the part of Rue Bennett, a recovering addict who's trying to find her place in an uncertain world, Zendaya gave an Emmy-winning performance in the first season of Euphoria. As an actress, model, and back-up dancer, Zendaya has been forging a career in Hollywood from an early age, notably with her starring roles in Disney Channel's Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover. She gained even more prominence and fame, however, with her standout role as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as her strong supporting role in The Greatest Showman.
In addition to these screen credits, Zendaya also lent her voice to Super Buddies, Duck Duck Goose, and Smallfoot (as Meechee, as you might very well be aware). Next, the actress will star in Dune, Malcolm & Marie, and the newest Spider-Man movie. She was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Sydney Sweeney (Cassie Howard)
In the role of Cassie Howard, Lexi's older sister with a sexual past that continues to haunt her, Sydney Sweeney found her star-making role in Euphoria. Prior to her noteworthy performance in this HBO series, Sweeney starred in Netflix's short-lived Everything Sucks! She also had a recurring role in The Handmaid's Tale, and she was seen in HBO's high-profile mini-series, Sharp Objects. The same year that Sweeney made a splash in Euphoria, she played a brief part in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. Her other film roles include Under the Silver Lake, The Martial Arts Kid, and Along Came the Devil. She can be seen in episodes of The Middle, Kickin' It, Criminal Minds, Heroes, and Pretty Little Liars.
Earlier this year, Sweeney starred in Hulu's Big Time Adolescence, Clementine, and, most recently, Amazon Prime's Nocturne — the latter two as the lead.
Maude Apatow (Lexi Howard)
As Lexi Howard, Rue's childhood best friend, as well as Cassie's younger sister, Maude Apatow received her biggest role to date — TV or otherwise — in Euphoria. The eldest daughter of filmmaker Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann, Apatow made her first acting appearances in her father's films, Knocked Up, Funny People, and This is 40. Additionally, the actress appeared in a few episodes of HBO's Girls, which her dad produced. Her other screen credits include Pitch Perfect 2, Other People, The House of Tomorrow, Assassination Nation, and several episodes of Netflix's Hollywood.
Most recently, Maude Apatow appeared in Judd Apatow's latest film, The King of Staten Island, earlier this year. She also co-wrote and co-directed 2017's short film, Don't Mind Alice.
Alexa Demie (Maddy Perez)
Playing the part of Maddy Perez, the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Nate, Alexa Demie gives a standout performance in Euphoria. Prior to her time in this controversial HBO drama series, Demi was notably seen in the delightful Brisby Bear and Jonah Hill's Mid90s. She guest-starred in episodes of Ray Donovan, Love, and The OA. Additionally, the up-and-coming actress starred in a pair of short films, Miles and To the Moon, back in 2015 and 2017, respectively. During her time on Euphoria, Demie could be seen in A24's Waves. Most recently, Demie starred in Gia Coppola's Mainstream, alongside Andrew Garfield, which recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September.
Next, Alexa Demie stars in the short film, Nineteen on Fire. In 2018, she also co-directed JMSN's music video for "Talk is Cheap."
Algee Smith (Christopher McKay)
As Christopher McKay, Cassie's football player boyfriend who's having trouble adjusting to the differences and difficulties of college, Algee Smith plays a notable role in Euphoria. Smith's professional acting career began in earnest in 2012; he appeared in shows like How to Rock, Army Wives, Let It Shine, Complications, Here We Go Again, and movies like Earth to Echo and Saints & Sinners. But Smith found his first brushes with fame in 2017 when he portrayed musician Ralph Tresvant in BET's mini-series, The New Edition Story. Additionally, that same year, Smith earned acclaim and notice for his performance in Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit.
In 2018, Algee Smith appeared in The Hate U Give and reprised the role of Ralph Tresvant in The Bobby Brown Story. Next, he'll be seen in Judas and the Black Messiah and Mother/Android. He's also rumored to star in the drama film, Young Wild Free.
Hunter Schafer (Jules Vaughn)
In the role of Jules Vaughn, a transgender girl who soon befriends Rue when she comes into town, Hunter Schafer gave an outstanding performance in the first season of Euphoria. This popular show serves as her acting debut, though she was also a fashion model for Dior, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Helmet Lang, and several other brands. Schafer is also an outspoken LGBTQ+ rights activist and spokesperson.
Angus Cloud (Fezco)
As Feczo, a drug dealer in town with a close connection to Ruse, Angus Cloud is a key personality in Euphoria. His performance in Euphoria isn't merely the young actor's breakout role; it's also his first professional screen credit. Outside of this HBO series, viewers might only be familiar with Cloud through the new film, North Hollywood, which premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year. Indeed, as GQ noted, Cloud was essentially picked up off the street, and it'll be interesting to see where he goes as an actor following this show's continued success.
Barbie Ferreira (Kat Hernandez)
In the role of Kat Hernadez, a teenage girl who's exploring her sexuality, Barbie Ferreira played a noteworthy role in Euphoria Season 1. Prior to her role in this series, Ferreira was known primarily as a Brazilan-American model, appearing in promotional materials for Adidas, Forever 21, Target, H&M, Aerie, Asos, and more. It was Aerie's promotional materials, in particular, as well as a video interview from this campaign, that helped Ferreira find her fame. That said, Euphoria is quite easily her most well-known work to date, particularly as she only had episodes of HBO's Divorce and few short films on her resume prior to this main cast role. Earlier this year, Ferreira played one of the leads in HBO Max's road trip buddy comedy, Unpregnant.
Additionally, outside of acting, Barbie Ferreira starred in Vice's How to Behave. And she directed the music video for Dounia's "So Cool."
Eric Dane (Cal Jacobs)
Playing the part of Cal Jacobs, the father of Nate who keeps his own secrets from his family, Eric Dane provides the rare prominent older adult role in this teen-based drama. Outside of this latest high-profile part for the TV actor, Dane is best known for playing Dr. Mark Sloan, i.e. McSteamy, in nearly 140 episodes of Grey's Anatomy. He's also well-known for his recurring role in Charmed. Following his time on Grey's Anatomy, Dane found a leading part in TNT's post-apocalyptic action-drama series, The Last Ship, which ran for five seasons. He had notable appearances in films like Marley & Me, Valentine's Day, X-Men: The Last Stand, Feast, Open Water 2: Adrift, and Burlesque.
In addition to these performances, Eric Dane appeared in episodes of Saved by the Bell, The Wonder Years, Married... with Children, Roseanne, Silk Stalkings, and Private Practice, where he played McSteamy.
Storm Reid (Gia Bennett)
In the role of Gia Bennett, Rue's younger sister, Storm Reid plays a prominent supporting character in HBO's Euphoria. Prior to this key supporting part in this acclaimed HBO drama series, Reid was seen in the lead role in Disney's 2018 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. She starred in Don't Let Go, Netflix's mini-series When They See Us, and The Invisible Man earlier this year, and her performances in each of these productions received ample praise. Reid's other notable film credits include 12 Years a Slave, Sleight, A Happening of Monumental Proportions, and Lea to the Rescue. She also provides the voice of Nia in Hulu's new animated series, The Bravest Knight.
Additionally, Storm Reid appeared in episodes of Chicago P.D., NCIS: Los Angeles, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, and Adam DeVine's House Party. Next, she'll star in The Suicide Squad.
Jacob Elordi (Nate Jacobs)
As Nate Jacobs, a jock whose anger issues often mask his sexual insecurities, Jacob Elordi is a notable personality in Euphoria. Outside of this role, Elordi is most certainly known for playing Noah Flynn in Netflix's popular teen romance movies, The Kissing Booth and this year's The Kissing Booth 2. Additionally, the actor has an uncredited part in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and he can be seen in Swinging Safari and The Mortuary Collection. Elordi starred in 2015's short film Carpe Liam, 2016's short film, Max & Iosefa (which he also co-wrote), and 2019's short film, Bad Dreams. On television, outside of Euphoria, he stars in The Bends.
Most recently, Jacob Elordi starred in 2 Hearts, which recently hit theaters. He was in The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, which will be released in the U.S. in December. Next, Elordi stars in The Kissing Booth 3 and Deep Water.
Nika King (Leslie Bennett)
In the role of Leslie Bennett, the mother of Rue and Gia, Nika King is another prominent older adult persona in this teenager-based high school drama. A professional stand-up comedian in addition to being an actress, King appeared in episodes of CSI: Miami, Hanna Montana, All of Us, iCarly, Castle, NCIS, Glory Daze, Modern Family, Partners, 2 Broke Girls, NCIS: Los Angeles, Greenleaf, Best Friends Whatever, Stevie TV, and, most notably, the web series, Funny Married Stuff, which she also wrote for.
Her film credits include 50 First Dates, American Weapon, Noise Matters, B-Girl, Universal Remote, and Living the Dream. Suffice to say, her main cast role in Euphoria is easily her most high-profile performance.
Austin Abrams (Ethan Lewis)
As Ethan Lewis, Kat's love interest, Austin Abrahams plays a recurring role in HBO's Euphoria. The former child actor has appeared in a variety of films and shows throughout his early career, though he's best known for playing Ron Anderson in the fifth and sixth seasons of AMC's The Walking Dead. In addition to this role, Abrams played the male lead in Amazon Prime's Chemical Hearts earlier this year. He starred in Paper Towns, Brad's Status, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, All Summers End, Tragedy Girls, Puzzle, Dude, We Don't Belong Here, and The Kings of Summer.
Additionally, Austin Abrams has a recurring role in NBC's This is Us. He was also seen in episodes of The Inbetweeners, Silicon Valley, Shameless, SMILF, and The Americans. Next, he'll play one half of the titular duo in Netflix's Dash & Lily, which arrives on November 10th.
Do you love HBO's Euphoria? Who is your favorite cast member? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.