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We are four episodes deep in HBO's polarizing new series euphoriaand anyone can talk to us about Who What Wear. "Have you looked at the episode of last night?!" "Can we please discuss this one scene?" "I'm officially shaken." Yes, it's dark and controversial and often uncomfortable to look at, but to be honest, it contains some of those The best performances of a young cast I've seen in a long time. Such a feat is that of Hunter Schafer. As a new outsider and transgender teenager Jules Schafer has some of them euphoriaShocking, exciting and beautiful scenes. But here's the overwhelming part: this is actually Schafer's first acting job.
While Schafer reads like an experienced actress on the screen, it was not too long ago (last year even) that the drama was not even on her radar. North Carolina born and LGBTQ + activist (she performed Teen VogueSchafer's 21 Under 21 list flourished in New York City and changed the face of Fashion One Runway and Major Editorial in turn as an open casting call and the local transgender community led Schafer to their next big calling: Hollywood It Girl.
It's easy to understand why euphoria Casting director Jennifer Venditti inspired the 20-year-old for the role of Jules. When we meet Schafer on the set of our Who What Wear shoot in New York last month, she radiates a happy, ethereal energy that you can not ignore. I had to be careful not to stare at the delicate details that have made them worthy of their trade for industry elites like Dior, Miu Miu, and Marc Jacobs, to name but a few. But it was not until I sat down with Schafer on a soft leather couch in the corner of Root Studios in Brooklyn and chatted about everything from breaking down emotional barriers to normalizing trans people on the screen that I was treated with Schafer's true potential for grandeur , Look, Welt: Hunter Schafer is here and she is not going anywhere.
They evolved from an emerging fashion girl into a rising Hollywood girl last year. Can you connect the dots between the two?
I came to modeling because I wanted to be in the fashion industry. That was my goal since middle school. I wanted to take a year off and earn some money before going to the next school session. When I found out that I could make and model the right connections through Instagram and the photographers I knew, this became a reality. The modeling for a year has taught me a lot. I was very committed to the fashion industry and met a lot of people that I admired. Acting happened because euphoria was traveling all over the country and they were looking for people who were inexperienced. I was lucky enough to be interested in the idea of acting and not really knowing how to navigate, that I was given the right resources by Jennifer Venditti, the casting director, and really great screenplays and scripts [creator] Sam Levinson. The whole euphoria Team work was incredible.
How did you hear about the open casting call?
I saw it floating on Instagram because a bunch of transsexual girls in New York tried to get each other to audition, and everyone wanted it. I heard a buzz about it, and a few days later I got a call from my fashion agents that the casting people had asked for me. So I went in and it snowed somehow.
Most dive their toes into the acting pond with their first role, but they headfirst euphoria, a role that puts you in some pretty exposed and vulnerable situations. Did you have any fears or concerns about this project?
Absolute! I had three scenes to audition and one was the kitchen scene and one was the motel room scene with Cal, two of my most intense scenes. And that was really insightful. I was definitely worried about my ability to put myself in an emotional place like this because I've never explored how to use my mind in such an artistic field. And I was not sure if I could do it. I definitely expected this audition and was nervous. After not seeing the character sheet, I was a little worried that this character might be really chaotic, but I got more of the scripts and started to see where Jules is in the story, and that was really exciting for me to be able to know that she is changing.
Did you work with someone to prepare you for the auditions?
Jen Venditti recommended me to an acting teacher, and he was really helpful in breaking the ice or breaking the shell, which was naturally around my emotional spaces, and being able to pull out of these and to dive into it. It was really a mindfuck, but also really exciting and some of the most visceral artistic experiences I've ever done, which obviously made me want to really do this.
I love how spirited Jules's wardrobe is. It is in direct opposition to the dark things she experiences. Have you dealt with the wardrobe?
Yes, Heidi Bivens, the costume designer, was very willing to work together. And even before I think we started filming the pilot, she wrote to me, "Send me ideas and let's talk about it and have a really solid idea of what Jules should look like when we start filming. "So we would send each other references; She made me do mood boards that I love. It was really exciting to be able to shape her look herself.
What did you particularly want to bring to your appearance?
I mean, I had a pretty clear picture of what she looked like when she read the scripts. One of the first things that was said about her is that she is this Sailor Moon-looking girl, and then I think too, just because our drives are similar to humans and as I can see myself in her, I was like , okay, I can bring her what I wanted to look like at the age of 17. So it was the idealism to have access to clothing that Heidi does that I may not be able to do in the actual environment, which was fun.
What's your favorite Jules look?
It has not had a moment yet. It is almost over and it starts.
You mentioned in another interview that Jules is a combination of you and the creator Sam Levinson. What was important to you in order to get the story of Jules or a transsexual person right or involved?
I think I wanted to bring a relativity to represent a transperson with a sense of normalcy. And though Jules stands out in her school like a thumb and has some kind of personality and presence, it was important that she relate to everyone. I think cis people should be able to see themselves in a trans person on screen – that should be something. Of course I put more emphasis on transsexuals seeing themselves on screen, but I wanted them to have some degree of relationship and then appreciate Sam's experiences, which he specifically brought to Jules, while adding my own transsexuality. He has experiences with gender differences and how these affect his school experience. And it was interesting to see how it became a kind of "us" soup.
What do you think parents will take away from the show?
We are asked what we want, so that people take a lot of it, and it's hard to answer because I do not think we're trying to teach a lesson here. I do not think you should look up to any of these figures or follow their example, because they are all chaotic and all a bit broken. Our motto is "Feel Something," and I think we've created a work of art that's eight episodes long. Above all, we want the audience to feel it and be impressed by it.
What comes next after you've made your first appearance as an actor? Do you want to continue this?
I am now fascinated by acting. In hindsight, I first started chipping off the tip of the iceberg, wondering how far I could go or what I was exploring, that I had not touched for some time, to emotional headscapes. And I really want to keep going and keep pushing and see what can happen. I hope, I really hope we get a second season, because I love this story so much, and I love these characters, and I want to see them continue to grow. But I would also like to explore a character that is less parallel to who I am, and maybe something where I would have to change more. Playing a cisgender person would be interesting or someone older or a mythical creature. I am depressed; I just want to continue.
What about fashion and model?
I mean, I still love fashion and I would definitely like to continue to interact with this world. As far as I do all four fashion weeks and go to every casting I can, maybe not again. But I find it exciting to interact with her in a way that is not dependent on need or money and more because I love her. That goes back to the roots, from which I even came up with it.
Let's talk about working with stylist Petra Flannery. How did the relationship come about?
My publicist called me one day and was very excited about this new opportunity because she had apparently accessed me. She sent me her information, and I looked at her work, and she was really beautiful and exciting, so I wanted to try her out. We've only worked on a few looks, but I'm curious to see where we go and what we can do in the future.
Was there a concrete fashion plan for this first drama project?
Not necessarily. I know for myself, I have a very distinctive style and I know what I like and I know what I do not like. But it was a process of learning how to handle the different events in Hollywood, how to dress for the red carpet, and how to take good pictures of things. It's definitely about more strategy. It is a challenge; it is fun.
How would you describe your leisure style?
I do not really go out in LA, but when I have it, I usually keep it nicely dressed. I have an oversized t-shirt and my dr. Martens and the tiny shorts worn and that felt good for the night.
So you're pretty casual?
Definitely more relaxed than in my time in New York, just because I went out more and the features are a bit more extravagant, especially in the LGTBQ community. I think the LA energy has affected me and now I do not care.
They had the opportunity to work with some notable designers, attend shows and work in editorials. Who in the fashion industry is doing really cool and exciting things in your opinion?
I think some of the newer designers, like Luar, Vaquera and No Sesso. I really love Lou Dallas. [Designers] It's really exciting to see who has a more DIY approach or a less conventional beauty approach and a diverse casting with different bodies.
You yourself have designed some pretty incredible thought-provoking designs. Are you still doing such pieces?
When I moved to LA to film Euphioria I've put all my creative energy into this and since we wrapped up just a few weeks ago, I'm still there. I am looking forward to channeling this creative vibration elsewhere. So yes, I would like to make clothes again. When I commit to something, I use everything.
Okay, before you leave, what's the plan for the summer?
I take it easy. Barbie [Ferreira] and I could try to go on vacation, but we still have to plan it. But mostly only from this wild ass down, who filmed euphoria and learning how to get back into reality is my goal.
Photographer: Olivia Malone
Stylist: Anna Katsanis
Hair: Ben Jones
Make-up: Nina Park
Conclusion: Do not miss our feature with Stranger things Star Sadie Sink.