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Hunter Schafer Talks ‘Euphoria,’ Offers Life Advice In SPA Lecture

Actress and model Hunter Schafer spoke to a sold-out crowd of students Monday night as part of Penn State’s Student Programming Association (SPA) guest lecture series.

Schafer opened the lecture by revealing that her iconic eyeliner looks are (spoiler alert) done by professional makeup artists. From there, she transitioned to talking about she became interested in fashion because of her love for comic books.

“Before I wanted to be anything else career-wise, I was dead set on being a comic book illustrator. I was really into comics as a kid,’ Schafer said. “As I drew superheroes all the time, I realized the part of drawing them that I liked most was drawing their uniforms or outfits.”

She expanded on how there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes to put just one fashion look together. Schafer discussed the process of everything that went into her Met Gala look.

“Fashion images look insane for a reason. There’s a whole team of people working together to make like one vision of one person come to life,” she said. “That feels similar, I guess, to a superhero in a way.”

Although acting wasn’t originally a part of her life plans, Schafer found out about the “Euphoria” auditions from casting directors who reached out to her modeling agency about the opportunity.

“My model agency said that these casting directors had reached out and asked me to audition for [the role of Jules],” Schafer said. “I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to audition, but I was like ‘Okay, fuck it. I’ll give it a shot.'”

After enduring six callbacks, Schafer said that HBO flew her out to Los Angeles for a final audition. After that, she found out she got the role of Jules, and “Euphoria” began production a month later.

What drew Schafer to the role of Jules were the elements of the character that the creator and director of “Euphoria,” Sam Levinson, and how important it felt to her to represent someone like her on television. She noted that Levinson is super collaborative with all of the actors on the show to fit their characters best to them.

“He worked elements of my life and my philosophy of being trans and queer and all of that into [the character of] Jules, and it definitely bled into how the first four [episodes] were written,” Schafer said. “She feels like very much a part of me.”

Schafer said that days on the set of HBO’s “Euphoria” can last anywhere from two to 16 hours depending on what scenes need to be shot, stating that it’s a meticulous process that features “a shit ton of takes.”

Last year, she and Levinson worked together during quarantine to co-write the show’s second special episode, “Fuck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob,” which was inspired by a poem she wrote when she was 18 years old.

Although Schafer couldn’t give too much away about the second season of “Euphoria”, which debuts on January 9, she alluded that this next season will be much darker than the first and “more aesthetically evolved.”

When asked if she had any life advice for Penn State students, Schafer joked that paying rent on time is important “because that shit will fuck up your credit.” But, Schafer closed out the lecture with advice on how important it is to “nerd out” on the things you love because ultimately, those will be the things to make you feel good.

“Let yourself hyper-fixate or be obsessed with something and to be excited like you were when you were a kid because that shit sometimes makes life worth living for,” she said.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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