Algee Smith Discusses Shocking New Series “Euphoria” And Upcoming Music Project
Algee Smith has been incredible to watch in projects like “The New Edition Story,” ‘Detroit’ and ‘The Hate U Give’ so we were ecstatic to have an opportunity to speak with him about his latest role as Christopher McKay in the much buzzed about new HBO series “Euphoria.” Check out our Q&A with the gifted actor and musician below:
BOSSIP: There’s been so much buzz about this show, but nobody seems to know exactly what it is. Tell us about your character Chris McKay.
ALGEE SMITH: Christopher McKay… He’s a very interesting character to be honest, he’s the best friend of Nate, who is one of the stars of the show. He’s a freshman in college on the football team, but things aren;’t going the way he wants them to go. He’s in kind of a bind with his dad because they have a kind of weird relationship where they’ve built a relationship on work ethic since he was younger and not so much father/son. Also he’s dealing with a girlfriend he has, Cassie, where he’s trying to figure out how to be vulnerable but hold onto his masculinity at the same time. It’s a lot that he’s dealing with.
BOSSIP: When you saw this project what made you want to do it?
Algee Smith: That bread [laughs], I just… to be honest I went on one initial audition at the casting office for a completely different character and I didn’t hear back for months but then I got a call from Sam [Levinson] and he wanted to sit down and have lunch with me. So I sat down with with him and he started explaining this other character McKay and as soon as he mentioned him I started to connect with the role and we started bouncing ideas back and forth, like ‘we can take McKay here… ‘ It was kind of set in stone. Then when I got the script I was like ‘damn this is crazy, I gotta be part of this.’
BOSSIP: We’ve seen a lot of press about the amount of nudity and drug use in the show and it’s alarming because it’s high school…
Algee Smith: It’s set in High School, I’m the only one in college, everyone else is in their senior year. It just dives into — NOW– it’s pretty much just taking those ideas and taking them to the extreme, and showing what can happen when you do take them to the extreme or showing you the flip side like this is why you shouldn’t do those things. If you don’t have something like this that’s in your face you can’t truly make a decision.
BOSSIP: How difficult was it doing all these sex scenes?
AS: One of the main things I talk about is — 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.
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