“Euphoria” actress Hunter Schafer addresses school community at GSA-hosted gathering – The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle
Actress, artist and LGBTQ + rights activist Hunter Schafer virtually spoke to students about her career experiences at Community Flex Time on May 14.
Schafer recently played Jules Vaughn on HBO’s Emmy-winning drama “Euphoria,” where she co-wrote and co-produced a special episode centered around Vaughn. Previously, Schafer modeled full-time for brands such as Calvin Klein, Dior, Marc Jacobs and Versace, then featured on the cover pages of Dazed, Porter, V and Allure magazines.
The event consisted of a question-and-answer session with Gender and Sexuality Awareness (GSA) club co-leaders Felicity Phelan ’21, Helen Graham ’21 and Anneliese Ardizzone ’21 asking questions submitted by the community Schafer.
Schafer spoke about his early days in the modeling industry
Schafer said she started her modeling career after graduating from high school and had no plans to become an actress; however, working with “Euphoria” director Sam Levinson allowed him to explore this new realm.
“They all had [transgender] model working in New York audition for [the character of Jules]Schafer said. “I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll try. All the others [transgender] girl i know is auditioning for it, so why not? And then it snowballed. It was terrifying because I really had no idea what I was doing. I think the only reason it really snowballed and ended up being what it is is the way they dumped you, for you. The path [“Euphoria” director Sam Levinson] works, is that he’s looking for actors who have pretty deep parallels to his characters.
Schafer said that while representation in modeling and mainstream media has improved recently, the overall movement toward equality has not been ideal.
“Any kind of progression from inclusion [has] the whitest and thinnest, and the most passing [models] get the first opportunities, then we start to see a little more inclusion [after] people are criticized for that [lack of diversity]Schafer said. “The process is a bit [of a] careful process, to include everyone like [transgender] people who represent the whole community. And then with Hollywood and TV, there’s still a lot that I would still like to see about [transgender] people and representation of [transgender] people.”
Schafer then gave advice on mental health
Schafer said it’s important to learn to move forward and grow from the encounters you face rather than letting them pile up.
“This is something that ‘Euphoria’ taught me and [Levinson] that taught me to act from A to Z, ”Schafer said. “It’s really similar to acting in a lot of ways, because at least for me a more emotionally charged scene identifies a moment or a feeling or a memory or something that your brain [does] by default. By the way we have been socialized, we will do everything we can to push it away without you knowing it.
Students said they appreciated Schafer’s message to the community
Phelan said the purpose of hosting the event was to expose students to characters they wouldn’t normally have the chance to interact with.
“We felt like [because Schafer] is a [transgender] person, and she brings something in terms of representation by talking about [transgender] problems, ”Phelan said. “She is also an actress and a model and she is involved in the world of fashion. It’s very cool and relevant to kids who have interests that match these things.[Schafer is] a distinguished speaker who is involved in the art world and has that kind of appeal and is relevant to young people ”.
Jamie Kim-Worthington ’22 said listening to Schafer speak at school was inspirational for him.
“As a transgender person, Schafer is a huge inspiration to me,” Kim-Worthington said. “It was great to hear him talk about experiences specific to homosexuals and [transgender] youth and listen to their questions / answers. I definitely walked out of this assembly with a deeper understanding of [transgender] media representation and Schafer experiences. It was amazing to see her talk and I look forward to the queer future and [transgender] speakers at Harvard-Westlake. “