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Lexi’s ‘Euphoria’ Play Is Based on Maude Apatow’s Experience in ‘High School Being a Theater Tyrant’

"All this stuff about Lexi getting aggro backstage, that was all just based on me in high school."



Eddy Chen / HBO

Art imitates life, especially when it comes to “Euphoria.”

The HBO series is based on showrunner Sam Levinson’s drug-fueled adolescence, as embodied by lead character Rue (Zendaya). Yet for Rue’s pal Lexi, star Maude Apatow drew upon her own high school experiences. Cue up the curtain on the February 20 episode, where Lexi gets her moment in the spotlight.

“I thought it totally made sense for Lexi to be a theater kid. I was in real life, and the play is loosely inspired by my senior year of high school,” Apatow told Entertainment Weekly. “We had a student-produced, directed, and written show, and I was the producer.”

Apatow, who called the production “the highest budget student show ever performed,” admitted that she used to get “aggro backstage.”

“”All this stuff about Lexi getting aggro backstage, that was all just based on me in high school.,” Apatow said. “Once we talked about the idea, Sam went in and wrote it all.”

Apatow previously collaborated with Levinson on film “Assassination Nation,” which Apatow called the “craziest, most f*cked up, funny, insane movie ever.” Her bond with Levinson led to the creation of Lexi on “Euphoria.”

“[Levinson] told me when I signed onto the show that Season 1 was gonna be pretty light, and then Season 2 is where my arc would happen. So I definitely went into it knowing that, and yeah, Season 1 I didn’t have as much to do, but I knew that I was waiting for my moment. It was coming later,” Apatow said. “Sam and I have talked a lot about how we both are anxious in life, and being able to channel all of that anxiety and those feelings into making something and using it. I feel like my writing and my acting, that’s what I do, and I think Sam also does that, and that’s what Lexi does. Everything in her life is sort of chaotic, her sister and Rue, and she just channels all of that into making this perfect play and putting everything she has into it.”

As Apatow also explained to Collider, the character is “loosely inspired by me in high school being a theater tyrant.”

And even her former stage fright followed her to set when performing the fictional high school play: “We were doing a full play in front of a full, real audience. It was scary. We got the jitters.”

Apatow concluded, “Lexi’s really smart and hard-working, and I think she’s also very controlling. So much in her life is crazy and falling apart. Rue’s losing it, and Cassie is losing it. She’s like, ‘OK, this is my one thing. I have control over it and I’m gonna get it right, if it’s the last thing I do.'”

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