Eric Dane on ‘Euphoria’ Character’s Double Life

In the first season of Sam Levinson’s teen drama Happiness, Eric Dane’s Cal Jacobs is introduced in an aggressive hook-up scene with Jules (Hunter Schafer), an encounter his character has secretly filmed. “We created a safe environment for us to explore such violent and aggressive behavior and feel comfortable with it,” Dane recounts. This part sees Cal on a quest to retrieve stolen footage of his secret sexual encounters – which leads him into an alcoholic mania.

His prospect of explored sexuality evokes flashbacks: An episode opens with flashbacks to Cal’s high school years and the budding romance he had with his best friend. His relationship, Derek, is cut off by news that Cal’s girlfriend (and later wife) is pregnant. “It was really helpful to see the chemistry that young Cal and Derek had,” says Dane. “It was really a heartbreaking moment for them. And it was equally heartbreaking when Cal returned to the bar and was not accepted by the community. He is a man without a country. He is no longer accepted by the outspoken community and is not accepted by the gay community. “

Dane mentions the bender Cal started with taking a trip down memory lane, revisiting the old bar where he and Derek shared a kiss before an extraordinary life befalls him. . After being kicked out of his home for aggression, Cal returns home, where he urinates in his foyer with his penis still sticking out of his pants, delivering a shocking monologue to his family when He steps out of the closet – and uncovers the secrets his family used to be. refuge.

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“Cal is living this double life, holding on to the outside is having everything on the outside, controlled and pristine, while everything on the inside is a battle of epic proportions,” Dane said. . “I have had struggles in the past that have invited me to live that secret life. I wholeheartedly accepted. … Although the specific circumstances may not be the same, the feelings certainly are. “

Before HappinessDane is best known for playing the hijab sex symbol “McSteamy” on Grey’s Anatomy. Cal Jacobs certainly introduces Dane to a more complex character to live with, albeit one that is celebrated as an icon by a new set of viewers. “I am acutely aware that I am a righteous actor playing a gay character,” reflected Dane. “The gay community has been very supportive. I think I gave them a voice in portraying this character and I hope that everything I do is sincere because I wouldn’t want to misrepresent something so important.”

This story first appeared in an independent June issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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