Longtime Disney Channel star Zendaya has issued a warning to her fans about her latest drama series.
HBO’s new show “Euphoria,” which premiered Sunday night, chronicles the lives of high school students but they’re not sweet coming-of-age stories.
“Just a reminder before tonight’s premiere, that Euphoria is for mature audiences. It’s a raw and honest portrait of addiction, anxiety and the difficulties of navigating life today,” the 22-year-old actress wrote on Instagram. “There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch and can be triggering. Please only watch if you feel you can handle it. Do what’s best for you. I will still love you and feel your support. Love, Daya."
In “Euphoria,” Zendaya plays Rue Bennett, a 17-year-old opioid addict who has left rehab and is struggling to stay clean. Executive produced by Drake, the controversial show — based on an Israeli series — follows a group of teens as they grapple with partying, sex and mental illness.
“It’s a scary jump,” Zendaya told The New York Times. “But I think it was time for me to do this.” The “K.C. Undercover” alum added that she’s confident her “8-year-old fans” are unaware that “Euphoria” even exists. “If they do,” she told the paper, “I don’t think their parents will let them watch it.”
“Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson drew on his own experiences as an addict when writing the character of Rue Bennett. “Sam told me I was on a mood board he made for Rue, and I didn’t believe him because I felt like there’s no way he’s seen anything that I’ve done,” Zendaya revealed in the interview with The New York Times. “He took a risk on me, but he doesn’t see it that way. He would always say, ‘Yo, Z, I’m not worried about you.’ I appreciate that.”