Filming With Zendaya Is a ‘Master Class’

More than a mom. Nika King plays the mother of Zendaya and Storm Reid‘s characters on Euphoria, and she said it’s been a learning experience.

“Performing with Zendaya and Storm Reid is just like a master class,” King exclusively told Us Weekly on Saturday, September 10, at the eBay and GBK Brand Bar Luxury Award Lounge at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.

Zendaya, 26, plays Rue, a teen drug addict, and Reid, 19, plays younger sister Gia, who is traumatized after seeing her sister overdose. Leslie is just trying to keep her daughters safe on the HBO drama, which was up for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards this year.

“They are young and they bring their A-game, and I’m like ‘OK!’ I’m older – a little bit, a little bit older — but every day on set is another day to be amazing, to be great,” King explained.

The Miami native said the young actresses are always in her corner. “That bond is always supportive and like, ‘Let’s knock this out of the park so people know, like, the addiction that young people are going through is a real issue,’” King continued. “We want to make sure that we capture all of that — the good, the bad and the ugly.”

However, she isn’t exactly like their mom. “[Our bond is] more sisterly because I’ll try to be young and they’ll be like, ‘Girl, sit down, you old.’ I want to do some TikToks, I want to do all the challenges,” she told Us. “I want to stay hip and stay cool, and it’s always a great time – every time we link up outside of the set.”

The Funny Married Stuff alum admitted that she was “a little nervous going into the Emmys.” Euphoria was up for best drama at the Monday, September 12, awards show, and King wanted to make sure she looked good if she ended up on the Mircosoft Theater stage with her stylish costars. (Succession ultimately won the category.)

“I’m always kind of hesitant about like, ‘Oh my gosh what am I going to wear? I need to look fabulous!’ You know, Zendaya’s going to slay. Stormy’s gonna, Hunter [Schaefer], like, everybody’s gonna bring their A-game,” she gushed. “I’m always enamored with their beauty and their poise on the red carpet and so I’m always looking for inspiration. And so this year it’s going to be an amazing time to be apart of it.”

Zendaya indeed stole the show, which was broadcast on NBC, with her Old Hollywood glam and black Valentino ballgown. She stunned on the red carpet and the stage, where she accepted her second best actress in a drama Emmy.

“Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show,” Zendaya said during her acceptance speech after thanking her fellow cast members.

“And then lastly, I just wanna say my greatest wish for Euphoria is that it could help heal people,” she continued. “And I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know that I am so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her, so thank you so much.”

King’s costar became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama twice, and she became the youngest two-time winner of any Emmy in history. See the full list of 2022 Emmy nominees and winners.

With reporting by Diana Cooper

Euphoria’s Nika King: Filming With Emmy Winner Zendaya Is a ‘Master Class’

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