Filming With Zendaya Is a ‘Master Class’

More than a mom. Nika KingThe mother of ZendayaAnd Storm Reid‘s characters on Euphoria, and she said it’s been a learning experience.

“Performing with Zendaya and Storm Reid is just like a master class,” King exclusively told Us WeeklySaturday, September 10, 2010 at the eBay and GBK Bar Luxury Award Lounge at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.

Zendaya, 26, plays Rue a teen drug addict. Reid, 19, plays Gia, her younger sister, who is traumatized by seeing her sister overdose. Leslie is trying to protect her daughters on the HBO drama. It was up for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards.

“They are young and they bring their A-game, and I’m like ‘OK!’ I’m older – a little bit, a little bit older — but every day on set is another day to be amazing, to be great,” King explained.

The Miami native said that her young actresses are always there for the Miami native. “That bond is always supportive and like, ‘Let’s knock this out of the park so people know, like, the addiction that young people are going through is a real issue,’” King continued. “We want to make sure that we capture all of that — the good, the bad and the ugly.”

However, she isn’t exactly like their mom. “[Our bond is] more sisterly because I’ll try to be young and they’ll be like, ‘Girl, sit down, you old.’ I want to do some TikToks, I want to do all the challenges,” she told Us. “I want to stay hip and stay cool, and it’s always a great time – every time we link up outside of the set.”

The Funny Married Stuff alum admitted that she was “a little nervous going into the Emmys.” Euphoria was up for best drama at the Monday, September 12, awards show, and King wanted to make sure she looked good if she ended up on the Mircosoft Theater stage with her stylish costars. (SuccessionThe category was ultimately won.

“I’m always kind of hesitant about like, ‘Oh my gosh what am I going to wear? I need to look fabulous!’ You know, Zendaya’s going to slay. Stormy’s gonna, Hunter [Schaefer], like, everybody’s gonna bring their A-game,” she gushed. “I’m always enamored with their beauty and their poise on the red carpet and so I’m always looking for inspiration. And so this year it’s going to be an amazing time to be apart of it.”

Zendaya stole the show with her Old Hollywood glam look and black Valentino ballgown. She was stunning on the red carpet as well as the stage, where her Emmy for best actress in drama was presented.

“Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show,” Zendaya said during her acceptance speech after thanking her fellow cast members.

“And then lastly, I just wanna say my greatest wish for Euphoria is that it could help heal people,” she continued. “And I just want to say thank you to everyone who has shared their story with me. I want you to know that anyone who has loved a Rue or feels like they are a Rue, I want you to know that I am so grateful for your stories and I carry them with me and I carry them with her, so thank you so much.”

King’s costar became the first Black woman to win an Emmy for lead actress in a drama twice, and she became the youngest two-time winner of any Emmy in history. View the complete list with Emmy nominees & winners from 2022.

Diana Cooper reporting