Zendaya allegedly re-negotiated her Euphoria contract to where she’s expected to make $1 million per episode for the next season.
Puck Magazine writer Matthew Belloni answered 11 “burning questions” from readers, and the first one asked if Kevin Costner was the highest-paid TV actor. Belloni said “no” and listed actors and actresses making $1 million an episode.
He added that he had heard that HBO and Zendaya reached an agreement where she can fully say she’s one of the highest-paid TV actors.
“I’m told Zendaya just closed a big re-negotiation on HBO’s Euphoria that likely puts her close to that club,” Belloni answered.
The 26-year-old actress won two Emmys for her role as opioid addict Rue Bennett. The first was in 2020 when she made history as the youngest actor to win Best Lead Actress in a drama. Her second award came in 2022, making history as the first Black woman to win the same award twice.
With her winning two Emmys and making history for her role on the show, it’s fair for the former Disney star to request higher pay, especially since portraying Rue impacted her mental health.
In an interview with Elle Australia, Zendaya talked about her emotional, mental and physical toll while playing Rue. One of the hardest was when Rue relapsed after being sober for three months. She had connected with her character and felt terrible about what Rue was going through.
“I was scared to tackle it because I didn’t want to see Rue like that or have to go through that,” she said. “Your body is a person, it doesn’t know that what you’re doing is not real. My brain can say, ‘Ok, I’m pretending, but when I’m doing it, my body and my heart don’t know that it’s not real. It can be exhausting in that way, and it can make you feel bad because she says and does things that I don’t want her to do and say, but here I am.”
It was her friends and costars that helped her through the challenging moments of playing a drug addict.
“I’m grateful for the support we have on this show because it’s the only way you can get through some of this stuff,” she said.