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How Maude Apatow’s ‘Euphoria’ character became the dark horse of season 2

Lexi, once limited to a quiet and shy bystander, is shaking up this season with newfound confidence.
Lexi's play was the topic of conversation for "Euphoria" fans leading up to Sunday's episode.
Lexi's play was the topic of conversation for "Euphoria" fans leading up to Sunday's episode.HBO Max

Maude Apatow’s Lexi was a background character at best during the first season of “Euphoria,” but season two shows Lexi taking center stage, literally. 

Episode seven of the show’s sophomore season focused on Lexi’s much-anticipated play. Aptly named “Our Life,” the high school show — which Apatow calls “the highest budget student show ever performed” — features characters based on Rue, Cassie, Nate and Maddy from the rare perspective of Lexi. 

Helmed by narrator Rue, the “Euphoria” format is known for getting inside characters’ heads through an outside storyteller. But season two has given the spotlight to Lexi as the catalyst for major plot points, something that Apatow said she and director Sam Levinson had been brainstorming since season one.

Lexi directs a semi-autobiographical high school show in episode seven.
Lexi directs a semi-autobiographical high school show in episode seven.HBO Max

Much of Lexi’s character arc was inspired by Apatow herself, she said, from incorporating anxiety to her time in high school theater.

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

Lexi is one half of the fan-favorite couple Fexi, the name fans affectionately use to refer to Fezco (Angus Cloud) and Lexi’s budding relationship. Episode six saw a long-awaited sweet Fexi moment with the two holding hands while watching the 1986 classic “Stand By Me.” In episode seven, we got to see a bit more of their relationship as Fez consoled Lexi during pre-show jitters. But Fexi fans are at a standstill until the season finale Sunday — we still don’t know what, or who, stopped Fez from coming to Lexi’s show.

According to Apatow, she hopes the storyline continues for “selfish reasons.”

“He’s just a great partner. He’s so present and talented,” Apatow said. “And yeah, I just love working with him, so I totally would love to keep working with him.”

Apatow also touched on her role in creating a Fexi narrative while she and Levinson developed the season two character arc. While she said she doesn’t remember exactly how it came to be, it “totally made sense” when they introduced the concept.

“Angus and I, in real life, have a funny friendship. It all just happened. It all felt right as soon as we started talking about it,” Apatow said.

Lexi's character has been center stage this season.
Lexi's character has been center stage this season.HBO Max

Lexi’s arc brings depth to a character who, in season one, was largely seen as the shy younger sister of Cassie and a quiet, supportive friend to Rue. Season two is the beginning of Lexi’s autonomy, and the play is the spark that ignites her confidence to take her storyline into her own hands.

“I think her whole life, with her family and Cassie, she’s always given so much of herself to helping them that she’s just completely forgotten to take care of her own feelings and issues,” Apatow said. “But (in) the finale, there’s a really good scene with Lexi and Rue that I think is really important, and ties everything up in a really nice way. It’s all leading to this, and the play helps open that conversation that Lexi has always wanted to have, but hasn’t been able to.”

Ethan, played by Austin Abrams, performs a musical number pretending to be Nate Jacobs.
Ethan, played by Austin Abrams, performs a musical number pretending to be Nate Jacobs.HBO Max

And not only is Lexi’s perspective front and center in her play, but we see the way that she views other characters, including a hilarious scene set to “Holding Out For A Hero” poking fun at toxic masculinity in Nate and the other football players at the high school. 

There’s also Lexi’s relationship with Maddy, who she once viewed as intimidating and now sees as an older sister figure. We see Lexi’s perspective as a younger sister, hoping to look just like Cassie when she hits puberty and watching Cassie begin to receive male attention. Lexi also dives into her and Rue’s friendship in the play, where we get a glimpse into how Rue’s addiction and their shared bond of paternal abandonment affect the girls.

“This season you definitely see more about how Cassie and Lexi’s dad was an addict too,” Apatow told Entertainment Weekly. “And I think she’s able to put up with [Rue] because she’s had experiences dealing with addicts in the past.”