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Algee Smith Reflects On McKay’s Euphoria Episode In New Interview

When BOSSIP spoke to Euphoria star Algee Smith last month, he hinted at a specific scene in the show that made him particularly uncomfortable to shoot.

I won’t give it away but I have this scene in one episode and it really challenged me as a man to do that scene. It was an uncomfortable scene for me, but I had to learn how to separate myself and just be the actor because someone might be dealing with that type. I had to get over my masculinity issues, as a black man we often have to realize it’s okay to be in this position for a minute. It’s not something that makes you less of a man but some things we just don’t feel comfortable with, like some men don’t feel okay crying.

The episode of the series that focused on his character, Christopher McKay, aired last week, which also featured the scene that Smith was referencing above. The shocking turn of events had everyone talking, confused on what really went down when McKay was attacked by a group of fraternity members during an intimate moment with his girlfriend, Cassie.

Algee Smith spoke to Complex following the episode causing an uproar to talk about his experience filming, what really happened in that scene, and what we can expect for McKay in the future.

On what actually went down in that McKay scene:

When I first read that in the script, I [wasn’t] comfortable at first because I thought it was just too much but he’s not harassed in the way that everybody thinks; it’s a hazing thing, [but] people think he’s getting raped or whatever. It’s like, nah, that’s just like messing with him, pinning him down, but the way it really looks on TV, it looks really dark. So I could see how people would think that because the editing made it look so dark. People just don’t know how to respond, [which is] really good though—when people don’t know, they ask questions. That keeps the conversation going.

On Euphoria’s reception overall:

The demographic is so wide, everyone is being targeted. So you got mothers and fathers who are talking, you got teenagers, you got college students, you got older people, you got the LBGTQ [community] that we’re talking to. We’re talking to everyone. We don’t [pull] any punches and I think that’s the great thing about it, we can relate to everyone.

On his favorite episode of the series so far:

I’m going to say my favorite was [“The Next Episode”], that’s where I feel like, just because knowing the work that went into it, and knowing how proud I made our director, I would say my episode is probably my favorite so far, but they’ve all been crazy. Everyone was getting crazy and there’s cliffhangers with everyone.

On where Algee sees himself 5 years from now:

I can see myself very well balancing my acting and my music. I can see myself touring. You’re going to consistently hear me on the radio, on the speaker, and on your screen. That’s my goals, be consistent just keep doing what I’m doing at a high level, getting better every year.

With Euphoria already being renewed for season 2 just a few episodes in, there’s no question that this series is going to tell a lot of interesting stories in the future–and Algee is just as excited as we are.



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