'Euphoria' actress Alanna Ubach dissects dysfunctional Suze, breaks down Cassie's quest for 'external gratification' through sex
In an exclusive with MEAWW, the actress elaborates on the diametrically opposite natures of her character's two daughters
HBO's teen drama 'Euphoria' packs in a lot of issues plaguing young adults in America today. From drug abuse to the unpleasant consequences of promiscuity, the show doesn't leave out a single burning topic that millennials are struggling with. But what it also does is weave into the narrative the stories of the mothers of these millenials, and the impact their lifestyles and life choices have on their children.
Take Lexi (Maude Apatow) and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) Howard for example. The two characters are what would be labeled regular kids at a high school, but beginning at the surface level, they couldn't be more different.
While Lexi is the typical squeaky clean straight-A student who likes to live life by the rules, Cassie has a propensity for the risque side of life. She likes indulging in the dangerous aspects of teenage life, where she is a part of raunchy high school parties, with beer and casual sex being the themes, so to speak.
Cassie's promiscuity is gleefully documented by her peers who decide to put it on for display for her latest romantic prospect, McKay, and thus paint the 'easy' picture of a girl who is clearly looking for love and affection without caring about the who's and how's of the process.
But if you thought this was messed up, enter Cassie's trainwreck of a mother, Suze Howard, who - according to Alanna Ubach, the actress playing her - "is a real peach." Suze is the classic wine drunk mom who thinks her life's crises have given her enough reason to be absolutely unfiltered in front of her daughter.
Three episodes in, the seemingly single mother has never been on screen without a wine glass, or clad in anything other than dressing gowns. And it's obvious that she has absolutely no control over pretty much anything. Her daughters are more of a parent to her than she is to them, and that's saying something. All of this, because her husband abandoned her apparently, as Ubach reveals in an exclusive chat with MEA WorldWide.
"When I read the script for Euphoria, I thought this is interesting, because... Isn't it strange that she (Suze) has such a straight-laced daughter and also a very promiscuous daughter at the same time?" Ubach shared with us, adding: "So what exactly is going on? Why are they the way they are? We are going to go into the back story (of the Howards) come episode 7, and find why they are the way they are. It's basically because they (Cassie and Lexi) are growing up in an emotional war zone and the relationship that she (Suze) has with her husband, really has everything to do with why Cassie is so promiscuous."
While Lexi is clearly absent from all these high school indulgences, Cassie - in her quest to earn the affections of a good man - doesn't shy away from sending him nudes of herself whenever he requests.
She chides him for choking her during sex without warning but quickly adds that the next time he wants to do that, he should ask her first. That's all. Cassie's evident hypersexuality implies a latent pursuit for affection; to her, sex is the only way to get a man to love her so she doesn't mind indulging in it. And it's clear she likes sex too, so why not?
But Ubach would also like to remind viewers that Suze isn't blind to Cassie's overtly sexual nature. Not that being sex positive is something to be chastised in today's age, but there certainly are dangerous consequences of casual sex between high school kids.
So Suze does the only form of parenting she can do and in the most recent episode (three), she just asks them not to get pregnant. "I think deep down inside, Suze does realize and is very acutely aware of the fact that her oldest daughter (Cassie) is looking for external gratification in any way she can find it," says Ubach.
"Whatever it takes, she will try to find love from someone else, because she obviously didn't get that from her father. She was abandoned, so I think that it has a lot to do with the PTSD aspect of trying to sort of pacify your emotions with," Ubach further explains.
'Euphoria' airs on Sundays, at 10 pm, only on HBO.