HBO’s Euphoria has become one of the most anticipated summer dramas. The coming-of-age tale tells the graphic story of “a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media.”
At the show’s premiere on Tuesday, Euphoria creator Sam Levinson took a moment to share his personal story with drug addiction.
“I spent the majority of my teenage years in hospitals, rehabs and halfway houses,” Levinson told the audience at the Arclight Cinerama Dome. “Sometime around the age of 16, I resigned myself to the idea that eventually drugs would kill me and there was no reason to fight it. I would let it take me over, and I had made peace with that.”
Levinson checked into rehab when he was 19. It was there where Levinson came across a profound quote in a book: “In the end we are nothing more than an amalgamation of our actions and that’s ultimately what defines us.”
“It really spooked me in a sense that if I were to die today, who would I be? I’m a thief. I’m an addict. I’ve been sh–ty to almost every person in my life that I love,” he continued. “There was this voice that was clear as day that said, ‘stop f–king doing drugs.’ I’ve been clean for 14 years.”
Zendaya stars in Euphoria as Rue Bennett. The former Disney actress took a sharp turn into a work that dealt with a more darker and mature theme. Levinson praised Zendaya for keeping his story alive and real on-screen.
“To Z, your talent has no ceiling. I’m inspired by you everyday. I love working with you thank you for taking this leap. You are one of the kindest, most generous human beings I’ve ever come across in my entire life and you make showing up to work a joy every morning,” he said.
Euphoria premieres Sunday, June 16 on HBO.