“Euphoria” fans received some shocking news last summer when Barbie Ferreira announced that she would no longer be playing Kat Hernandez on the hit HBO series.
“After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye,” Ferreira wrote on Instagram last year. “I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her and I hope you guys could feel it. Love you Katherine Hernandez.”
It’s not every day that a young actor willingly gives up a role on one of the biggest shows on television, so Ferreira’s exit prompted immediate speculation about behind-the-scenes drama.
“Euphoria” has long been associated with difficult shoots, with many blaming the chaos on showrunner Sam Levinson. (Levinson’s second HBO series, “The Idol,” has faced similar allegations about chaotic set environments).
Ferreira always denied that her exit had something to do with Levinson, though she declined to offer additional details about her departure last year. But in a new appearance on the podcast “Armchair Expert with Dax Sheperd,” Ferreira shed some light on her decision to walk away from “Euphoria.” The actress explained that her departure was a creative choice that she made because she didn’t see an organic way for her famously body-positive character to evolve without becoming a cliche.
“I don’t think there was a place for her to go,” Ferreira said. “I think there were places she could have gone. I just don’t think it would have fit into the show. I don’t know if it was going to do her justice, and I think both parties knew that I really wanted to be able to not be the fat best friend. I don’t want to play that, and I think they didn’t want that either.”
Ferreira also denied reports stemming from a Daily Beast expose that she walked off set over disagreements with Levinson. “I actually did not walk off set,” Ferreira said. “I did sprain my ankle once and had to go get an X-ray. Maybe that’s what they mean?”
HBO has renewed “Euphoria” for a third season, though no release date has been announced. The show’s lengthy production process and the busy schedules of its increasingly famous cast mean that a new season won’t be ready until 2024 at the earliest.