The former Grey's Anatomy star says that HBO's graphic new drama is "a cautionary tale"

By Ashley Boucher
June 18, 2019 08:26 PM
Eric Dane in Euphoria
Credit: HBO

Eric Dane is opening up about filming the “intense” full-frontal nude scene in new show Euphoria.

“Those scenes are very difficult to shoot,” the former Grey’s Anatomy star, 46, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Sunday.

The scene in question depicts the statutory rape of a teenager named Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), who is trans, at the hands of Dane’s character, Cal Jacobs, after they meet on a dating app.

“It helps to have one voice in your ear,” Dane told EW of having an intimacy expert on set for the scene. “One voice that you can express your feelings to, and somebody that is an advocate for the actors. It just simplifies a lot of things and makes for a safe and comfortable environment while shooting something that is fairly uncomfortable to shoot. And certainly, the stuff that we did in the pilot is no exception. It’s a pretty intense scene.”

The scene, which shows an erect penis as Cal puts on a condom, was filmed using a prosthetic, Dane said.

“Using a prosthetic is sort of protocol,” he said. “It’s protocol and it’s also very considerate to your scene partner. There was one isolated shot that I suggested, ‘Look if it makes more sense to not use a prosthetic, I’m willing to go there.’ At the end of the day, because of the context, we decided that the prosthetic was the way to go, and we came to that decision as a group.”

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Dane said that the show’s explicitness provides “a cautionary tale,” adding that Euphoria is “certainly not a love letter to drugs or drug addiction.”

“As a cautionary tale, these are some pretty realistic circumstances and how these kids are navigating them is probably how a lot of kids today are going to navigate them,” he said.

“You can’t sugarcoat stuff like this,” he added. “I believe that people now are more open to things like drug addiction and sexuality and mental health issues. Thank God there’s been sort of an open dialogue about it for the last few years.”

Zendaya in Euphoria
| Credit: HBO

Speaking on the drama’s explicit content when it comes to sex and drug use, Euphoria‘s creator, Sam Levinson, told EW in a separate interview that he expects “certain people will be freaked out by it and other people will relate to it.”

“I think that’s what makes it particularly difficult is that kind of very real and big disconnect between parents and children,” Levinson added. “So if anything, I hope that it at least opens up a dialogue between the two because it’s hard being a teenager. It’s difficult, especially too if you’re struggling with addiction and battling those things. Hopefully, it’ll open up those means of communication.”

HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys also defended the graphic content of the show, telling The Hollywood Reporter that “It’s not sensational to be sensational.”

“It may seem boundary-pushing, and the idea of putting them on TV may be, but somebody lived them,” he said.

“I just wrote myself as a teenager,” Levinson told EW. “I think those feelings and memories they’re still extremely accessible to me. So it’s not a hard reach. I just write myself and what I was feeling and what I was going through when I was younger and I was dealing with addiction.”

Euphoria airs Sundays on HBO at 10 p.m.