For two seasons, Barbie Ferreira was a tentpole of Euphoria for her role as Kat Hernandez. It was a disappointing surprise when she exited the series for Season 3, announcing her departure in August 2022 via Instagram, writing a short goodbye without much context.
It was largely a mystery why she left, though fans speculated she was feuding with series creator Sam Levinson as she did little promotion for Season 2. It has also been said that the set of Euphoria is a difficult place; it was described as “toxic” most publicly by the crew and background actors who spoke to the Daily Beast in a report that describes a work environment where workdays would sometimes stretch to 18 hours a day. (HBO defended the show, saying there were never formal complaints raised.)
Monday, on the podcast Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, Ferreira spilled more details on why she left one of the biggest shows in America. As it turns out, it wasn’t entirely her choice.
“I think it was a mutual decision,” Ferreira told Shepard. “I think my character who I love so dearly, I don’t think there was a place for her to go. She had run her course, story-wise.”
She continued, alluding to the stereotype Kat filled in the show — and how it was limiting for her character arc.
“I don’t know if it was going to do her justice and I think both parties knew that I really wanted to be able to not be the fat best friend, you know? I don’t want to play that and I think think they didn’t want that either,” she said. “So I would have played her for as long as I was asked to depending on what the material was.”
Ferreira went on to say she doesn’t think Levinson understood Kat — and that watching the fans get upset about Kat’s storyline in Season 2 was “hurtful.”
While Season 1 heavily featured Kat, giving her the compelling storyline of her finding confidence becoming a cam-girl, in Season 2, Kat was mostly on the sidelines watching Cassie and Maddy fight.
“I just felt like maybe I overstayed my welcome a little bit. For me I actually felt good to be like, OK, I get to not worry about this and we both don’t get too worried about this because it’s exhausting,” she says. “Sam writes for things that he relates to. I don’t think he relates to Kat. I related to Kat.”
Euphoria Season 3 returns in 2024.