In a recent interview on Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard, Barbie Ferreira, known for her role as Kat in the popular HBO series Euphoria, spoke candidly about her departure from the show after its second season. The actress addressed rumours of on-set clashes with showrunner and writer Sam Levinson and revealed that the intense scrutiny and negative press surrounding her exit took a toll on her mental health.
Despite this, Ferreira emphasised that the decision to leave the show was a mutual one, made with the best interests of her beloved character Kat in mind. Fans of the actress and the show alike are undoubtedly eager to hear more about Ferreira’s future projects and what’s next on the horizon for this rising star.
“I don’t think there was a place for her to go,” the actress says at one point during the podcast. “I mean, I think that there were places you could go. I just don’t think it would have fit into the show. I don’t know if it was gonna 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 added that if the opportunity was there and depending on what material she would’ve been working with, she would have continued to play Kat “for as long as I was asked.” However, a combination of factors, including the size of the ensemble cast, showrunner Sam Levinson’s writing preferences, and Ferreira’s own creative vision, ultimately led to her departure from the show. Despite her love for the character, Ferreira felt that the complications involved were too great to continue on with the series.
“I felt [it] was a kind of a struggle for both parties. Sam, me—it was a struggle to find a continuation of her,” the actress explained. “That was actually really hurtful watching and seeing the fans get upset.”
“I don’t know. I just felt like maybe I overstayed my welcome a little bit. So for me it actually felt good to be like, ‘OK, I get to not worry about this and we both don’t get to worry about this,‘” she continued, “because Sam writes for things he relates to. I don’t think he relates to Kat. I relate to Kat. So I had to follow my own path.”
Coming to that mutual understanding, Ferreira noted it was “really freeing for both of us,” despite how much it personally hurt due to her own and the fans’ love of the character “with all her good and bad—mostly bad, which I love.” It also made not just her feel happier but “everyone,” as they could now be free of “press making it into this drama that it’s not” and she could “get to do my own thing.”
Ferreira also addressed rumours surrounding her departure from Euphoria and the negative attention it garnered. She emphasised that despite reports of on-set clashes, she was close with her former castmates and believes that criticism of the explicit content of the series, as well as sexism, contributed to the rumour mill.
The actress admitted that she has refrained from addressing the situation in-depth because she never wanted to be involved in drama, but the rumours had already taken on a life of their own, causing chaos and painting her as difficult to work with. She expressed her desire for fans to know that such behaviour is not reflective of her true character.
While she generalised about the “lore” around her experience on the show, the former Euphoria star did take time to address one allegation that involved her supposedly walking off the show’s set. “I actually did not walk off set,” she said. “I sprained my ankle once and I had to go get an X-ray. Maybe that’s what they mean.”
Ferreira also spoke about the production conditions on the show. She described the first season as a fun “acting boot camp,” explaining that there was no rehearsal period during the shooting of the pilot and that the cast was encouraged not to take any acting classes or work on scenes beforehand. Ferreira believes that this approach contributed to the raw, authentic feel of the show and allowed her to inhabit her character, Kat, more fully.
HBO previously defended the production following its season two finale amid a report of 18-hour days, along with the production failing to provide meals or allow bathroom trips on the set of the show. According to reports, those allegations prompted “several complaints” made to SAG-AFTRA and a union representative visiting the L.A.-based set.
“The well-being of the cast and crew on our productions is always a top priority,” the cabler said in a statement at the time. “The production was in full compliance with all safety guidelines and guild protocols. It’s not uncommon for drama series to have complex shoots, and COVID protocols add an additional layer. We maintain an open line of communication with all the guilds, including SAG-AFTRA. There were never any formal inquiries raised.”
While no one is really over the news of Ferreira not being part of the Rue-crew anymore yet, fans of the hit series will find some redemption in the fact that it has been renewed for a third season.
Emmy-winning star Zendaya, who plays the lead character Rue, recently shared her excitement for the show’s future. She expressed her interest in exploring the characters beyond high school and seeing what Rue’s sobriety journey looks like, calling it a “chaotic” and exciting prospect. As viewers eagerly await the return of the show, it remains to be seen what new challenges and experiences will be in store for the beloved characters.