Hunter Schafer has said she feels members of the transgender and queer community often make great artists as many have spent time turning inward due to their exterior world not aligning with their bodies.
The 22-year-old model and actress stars as Jules Vaughn in HBO’s gritty drama series Euphoria, alongside Zendaya, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of Rue Bennett.
Zendaya also reflected on how she looked out for Schafer like a big sister on the set when they were filming difficult and emotional scenes.
Schafer told the American edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine: “It’s a little bit sad but also true to say that I feel like the story of my life begins in my late teens, when I was finally living in the world the way I was supposed to.
“I think there’s a phenomenon among the trans and queer community, and it’s why we make great artists a lot of the time.
“When your exterior world and your body and your self are not in line with who you are, you turn inward.
“And my theory is that I built a really rich inner world until I started feeling like myself in my body.
“I’ve been trying to do the work of digging up stuff, but it’s going to take a while to excavate everything.”
Zendaya has been acting for more than a decade and is known for her roles in Euphoria and as MJ to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
The actress said she supported Schafer in her acting debut on Euphoria, adding: “Knowing that she was so young and so much of this was new to her, my thing was being as much of a big sister as I could.”
She said they would check in with each other while filming difficult scenes to ensure the intense dramatisation was not becoming too overwhelming.
Zendaya added: “What we do for a living is important but the friendship we share is more important.”
Schafer co-wrote and produced a special for the show, and Zendaya reflected on witnessing her evolve during the project.
She said: “I remember watching behind the camera and knowing that something had clicked.
“She just took whatever pain she had, and she translated it into such a beautiful performance.”
The full interview is available in Harper’s Bazaar US magazine.