Just a couple of months ago, for example, Tom stopped an interview entirely to watch his Spider-Man costar and leading lady walk the red carpet in the distance.
And Tom has only continued to express his support for Zendaya in a new interview this week, where he was asked about the latest episode of her critically acclaimed HBO series, Euphoria.
Zendaya portrays the show’s protagonist, Rue Bennett, whose experiences with drug addiction are only heightened under the watch of her family and friends. (Spoilers for Euphoria ahead!)
This week’s episode, which was the fifth of the season, was particularly emotional, as it showed Rue desperately trying to escape her loved ones’ intervention after they discovered that she’d relapsed.
With the episode receiving wide acclaim online, it was no wonder that Zendaya’s boyfriend, Tom, was immediately questioned about her remarkable performance when he sat down for a new interview.
When asked if he’d seen the latest episode, Tom — who’s currently in Spain promoting his new movie Uncharted — said that he'd taken all possible measures to be able to watch the show.
“Do you know what, because I’m here in Spain, I tried to watch it last night, and my NowTV doesn’t work here,” Tom said.
“So I downloaded a VPN,” he went on. “It still didn’t work, so I haven’t seen episode 5, but I’ve heard it’s incredible.”
Well, “incredible” would be an understatement, given that fans and critics were frankly blown away by Zendaya’s performance. In fact, many have predicted that the episode alone could land the actor her second Emmy Award for her role on the show.
Back in 2020, Zendaya became the youngest woman to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and several critics are convinced that she’ll bag another for her stunning portrayal of Rue’s relapse and addiction.
But of course, the groundbreaking performance didn’t come without some difficulties.
Zendaya recently opened up about the challenging process of shooting the intense scenes, revealing that she was left with physical scars and bruises after filming.
“It was a very tough day. I mean, I beat myself up. I still have some scars on my legs and I got quite a few bruises,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
Elaborating further on the performance days later, Zendaya admitted that she was “scared to tackle” the episode.
“I was always a bit scared,” she told Elle Australia. “I was scared to tackle it because I didn't want to see Rue like that, or have to go through that. 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,” she added.
Zendaya’s comments came days after she defended the show against criticism from Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).
In a statement provided to TMZ, DARE accused Euphoria of trying to “misguidedly glorify” teenage drug use and “other destructive behaviors.”
“Rather than further each parent's desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO's television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today's world,” read the statement.
Disagreeing with DARE’s sentiment, Zendaya maintained that the show “is in no way a moral tale to teach people how to live their life or what they should be doing.”
“If anything, the feeling behind Euphoria, or whatever we have always been trying to do with it, is to hopefully help people feel a little bit less alone in their experience and their pain. And maybe feel like they're not the only one going through or dealing with what they're dealing with,” she said.
In line with her recent comments, Zendaya has also taken to Instagram over the years to warn fans of the potentially triggering content portrayed throughout Euphoria.
Ahead of last week’s episode, in fact, she posted part of an interview she did with Esquire to her Instagram, revealing her hopes that fans would humanize the “flawed” character.
“It’s my hope for people watching that they still see [Rue] as a person worthy of their love,” she wrote. “And worthy of their time, and that she has a redemptive quality still, and that we still see the good in her even if she can't see it in herself.”
She went on, “I think that if people can go with her through that, and get to the end, and still have hope for her future, and watch her make the changes and steps to heal and humanize her through her sobriety journey and her addiction, then maybe they can extend that to people in real life.”
Similarly, she issued a statement just before the season’s premiere in early January reminding fans that the show is for “mature audiences.”
“I know I’ve said this before, but I do want to reiterate to everyone that Euphoria is for mature audiences,” she wrote on Instagram. “This season, maybe even more so than the last, is deeply emotional and deals with subject matter that can be triggering and difficult to watch. Please only watch it if you feel comfortable.”
But while Zendaya was certainly challenged in filming Euphoria’s second season, she wouldn’t have been without support on set — not only from her fellow cast members but from Tom too, who revealed in December that he visited her “at least 30 times” while they were shooting.
When questioned about potentially making a cameo in the show, Tom said: “I’ve been asking for this for a long time. And it hasn’t happened yet, and I’m very disappointed. I must have visited the set 30 times this season.”