Sam Levinson Says He Rewrites 'Euphoria' Drafts from Memory Hundreds of Times

'Euphoria'Credit: HBO Max
Can you rewrite from your memory? 

The creator of Euphoria, Sam Levinson, is like the sound bite king. Every time he talks about his process or the show, it seems like something he says goes viral. Well, in his latest interview at a roundtable in LA’s Academy Museum, Levinson talked about writing the show, and a unique thing he does. 

At first, during the interview, Levin just talked about how special it is to have a show that's caught in the zeitgeist. 

“At the end of the day, when you make something, you pray that people are going to see it and that they are going to talk about it or it’s going to move them, or they’re going to fall in love with a character so much that they become blind to everything else. The fact that that’s happened in many ways, and people seem to be talking about it and talking about some of the themes and aspects of the show is beyond my wildest dreams and something I’m very grateful for.”

To showcase the series, they showed Season Two Episode 5, “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.” It's the one where Rue bounces all over town, confronting friends and family while dealing with her addiction. 

After that, he expanded on his process, talking about the writing and rewriting of every episode.

“My writing process is pretty bizarre. I write hundreds of drafts and I don’t go back and rewrite. I start from my memory of the last draft. The first version of season two changed but I love this episode. I feel like I saw it as a fulcrum of the season, that everything that came before it—the hedonism, the nihilism, the immaturity of the first few episodes—just falls by the wayside. It’s a moment as an addict where life pierces through, and you can see with absolute clarity the destruction that addiction can cause in family, among friends, among people you love. That’s the turning point, I think, for Rue.”

While all those details are good, I cannot imagine the actual physicality of writing something entirely from memory. It sounds scary to lose the smaller scenes that make the show into a whole, not to mention the dialogue you've already worked out.

And hundreds of drafts?! Who has the time?! I think that's probably an over-exaggeration, so let's not freak out about it. 

But if you find a process that works for you, more power to you. Funnily enough, this is not the first person I have heard of doing this—I had a professor in grad school who said she did this as well. So maybe we should try it and see what happens! 

What do you think of this? Let us know in the comments.      

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Levin was right

April 23, 2022 at 11:25AM

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