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Zendaya says ‘people will’ find her new show ‘Euphoria’ shocking and ‘polarizing’

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Zendaya says 'people will' find her new show 'Euphoria' shocking and 'polarizing'

Zendaya is breaking away from her Disney image in a major way.

The former “K.C. Undercover” star’s new HBO series, “Euphoria” premieres on June 16 and has already made headlines for its extremely intense and graphic sex and drug use scenes. There’s been uproar about how younger audience members will interpret and internalize the also young actors’ (portraying teenagers) behavior in the series.

In one episode, there are multiple penises featured, a rape, and Zendaya’s character, Rue, overdosing on drugs, per The Hollywood Reporter.

NEW HBO SERIES ‘EUPHORIA’ SELLS ‘GRAPHIC ADULT CONTENT’ TO ‘TEENS AND PRETEENS,’ PARENTS GROUP SAYS

“What HBO is doing with this show is taking the most extreme conduct that a teenager can experience and normalizing it,” said Parents Television Council President Tim Winter to Fox News. “The content that children consume impacts their views and their behaviors. They are influenced — their conduct, values, and beliefs about society [are shaped] by what they consume in entertainment.”

Zendaya feels differently. In an interview with The New York Times, the 22-year-old expressed how she knew it was time in her career to “do this” darker type of content and take on a character that’s damaged and complicated.

Hunter Schafer, left, as Jules and Zendaya, right, as Rue.

Hunter Schafer, left, as Jules and Zendaya, right, as Rue.
(HBO )

“I don’t think any of my 8-year-old fans know” that her next TV role is in this series, she said. “If they do, I don’t think their parents will let them watch it.”

As for the provocative adult content, Zendaya doesn’t find it “that shocking” but understands that other “people will.”

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“I kind of accepted the fact that it would be polarizing. I found a little calm in that. Whether people like it or not, it’s real. I’m telling somebody’s story,” she explained. “Just because it’s not happening to you doesn’t mean it’s not happening all the time, every day. It’s hard for me to speak on addiction because it’s not something I have dealt with directly. But I still had friends who were dealing with things, and I had to help them through it.”

Zendaya as her character Rue in the HBO series.

Zendaya as her character Rue in the HBO series.
(HBO )

The series was created by Sam Levinson, who pulled from his own life experiences to write the series. Levinson battled drug addiction and many of the scenes were taken directly from things he lived through.

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Zendaya admitted that she was nervous about taking on the heavier role. “I wanted to do well,” she said.

“It’s like going from nothing to everything — there were no steps in between. That’s why people think it’s such a stretch for me to play this character. There’s a lot of people who probably think I can’t do it because they don’t truly understand my personality. And I get it: I’m a Disney kid. There’s a lot to prove,” she added.

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‘Below Deck’ star Captain Sandy on her relationship with gospel singer Leah Shafer: ‘I feel so blessed’

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'Below Deck' star Captain Sandy reveals she's dating gospel singer Leah Shafer

Captain Sandy Yawn couldn’t be happier with her new relationship with gospel singer Leah Shafer.

Speaking to Fox News, the “Below Deck Mediterranean” boss opened up about the pair’s instant connection and how she fell head over heels for Shafer.

“It’s new and I feel so blessed,” Yawn, 54, told us. “She’s an amazing soul and she has a beautiful voice.”

The couple met over Facebook in October after Shafer sent the reality star a message, and one line in particular — “many blessings” — really grabbed Yawn’s attention. From there, the sparks flew.

‘BELOW DECK’ STAR CAPTAIN SANDY REVEALS SHE’S DATING GOSPEL SINGER LEAH SHAFER

“It was like a magical moment,” gushed Yawn, noting that she was initially drawn to Shafer’s “spirit.”

“She’s aesthetically beautiful but as many people know you can have very handsome [men] and beautiful women but they may be not so beautiful on the inside, and it was that part of her,” she added. “Her soul. Her spirit. Her gentleness. Her kindness. She’s the first person I ever met in my life who does not swear. Not one swear word.

“So let’s just say I’m trying to clean up my mouth,” Yawn teased.

Last June, the yacht captain admitted to The Daily Dish that because of her career “it’s hard to have a relationship.” Fast-forward to today, now that she’s found someone, Yawn is even more grateful.

“I feel like through life you meet people, you have relationships, but then you just say: ‘Ok. I don’t want to like meet, go out, you know have a relationship for three years and break up.’ I want someone with me for the rest of my life.

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“I mean I’m 54,” Yawn continued. “I’ve lived a long life that’s really great. I’m still very young in my spirit. And you know Leah has come into my life. It was a magical connection. It wasn’t something that was pursued and I feel so lucky and that’s my goal for the rest of my life — is her.”

As for if there are wedding bells in the near future? “[We’re] just enjoying [it] right now — in a committed relationship,” Yawn explained. “So that part may come later.

“For now, it’s just really getting to know each other and spending time [together],” Yawn, who has since relocated from Los Angeles to Denver to be closer to Shafer, shared.

Of the couple’s romance, the Bravo personality added: “I love the balance that we have. It’s not one person takes care of the other. It’s such a great balance and we fit. It fits.”

Before Yawn, Shafer was married to Ross Shafer — with whom she shares a 13-year-old daughter Lauren — for 13 years, according to Page Six.

“I just hope that everyone’s good to her,” Yawn told Fox News, adding that it’s a “big change” for Shafer.

In May, The Cheat Sheet reported that since the couple has gone public with their relationship, “some religious institutions have turned their back” on Shafer. In response to the backlash, Shafer explained to the outlet at the time: “I think you can’t help who you fall in love with.”

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Yawn has also been there for her new love, giving Shafer unwavering support and advice.

“In the very beginning I was on television, Bravo was really great at the social media part saying: ‘Listen do not respond to the negative. Just stay focused on what your true goal is the show and just focus on the positive.’ And for her, this has never happened,” Yawn noted.

“It’s brutal,” she continued. “They are tearing her apart — the gospel world — some of them, but she’s also getting a lot of love. So I said Bravo taught us to: ‘Block. Buh-bye.’ And you just shake those people off and you focus on the people who are positive, but somehow the human mind always goes to the negative and it’s so hard. At some point, you just block those people.”

Yawn’s relationship isn’t the only new part of her life though. The yacht captain is also currently starring on season 4 of “Below Deck Mediterranean.”

’90 DAY FIANCE’ STARS RUSS AND PAOLA ON BRUSHING OFF THE HATERS: YOU HAVE TO ‘BE TRUE TO YOURSELF’

“It’s an incredible feeling and I’m grateful and gracious to Bravo,” Yawn said of the show being picked up again. “Also, it allows many Americans and other countries to see that this is an amazing time that we have doing a job and there’s actually jobs in this industry and also look at the beautiful places we go.”

She continued: “And I think it also encourages people to go travel and [shows that] chartering is for everyone. There are different sized vessels. Not every boat has to be this massive yacht but there are smaller yachts you can charter. So it’s a great thing. Bravo has done a great thing for the maritime industry.”

Looking back over the last five years since she made her debut on season 2 in 2014, Yawn admits that this is the first time she’s “really stayed focused on being a yacht captain” instead of “thinking about the cameras.”

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“[It] is so hard to do,” she added. “And it really helps when you’re not challenged and I think my relationship with [chief stew] Hannah [Ferrier] was a lot better [this season], so I wasn’t so focused on that per se, but I actually was able to do my job.”

“Below Deck Mediterranean” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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Today on Fox News, June 17, 2019

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Today on Fox News, May 7, 2019

STAY TUNED

On Fox News: 

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Kim Goldman reacts to O.J .Simpson joining Twitter;  James Murray on his new book “The Brink.”

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Maria Bartiromo will broadcast live from the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: “The president’s poll problem” – A new Fox News Poll shows President Trump lagging behind former Vice President Joe Biden by 10 points. GOP Strategist Brad Blakeman and Fox News contributor Richard Fowler weigh in. Monday marks 25 years since the infamous O.J. Simpson bronco chase, when he was on the run after being accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. Ron’s sister Kim joins the podcast to reflect. Plus, commentary by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Michael Goodwin, New York Post columnist, on the mainstream media’s response to Sarah Sanders’ departure from the White House. Bret Baier, host of “Special Report” and Kennedy on the top headlines of the day. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on the latest in the crisis at the border. David Sanger in the latest on cyber warfare.

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Penn Jillette talks about ‘hardcore’ method to keep weight off: report

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Rep. Ilhan Omar fires back at VP Pence for saying she ‘doesn’t know what she’s talking about’ amid Venezuela remarks

Penn Jillette, half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, said in a recent interview that if you take health advice from a Vegas magician, “you are an idiot,” but said his method of fasting 23 hours a day has proven effective.

Jillette told The Los Angeles Times that his health was poor when he reached 330 pounds. He was on six different medications a 90 percent heart blockage. He said he took to the internet and sought ways to avoid surgery.

“Don’t believe those articles that say, “Just cut your portions down by 20 percent,” he told the paper. “Skip dessert” or “Cut out sodas.” Yeah, that seems logical. But it doesn’t work for me — I want to lose a pound a day. I want to see the scale go like this [points straight down]. So I went for a radical change in diet — whole-food plant-based, hard-core vegan, vegetables, no processed food, no sugar. And I limited my eating to just an hour a day, so I’m always fasting 23 hours.”

TIM McGRAW FLAUNTS TIGHT ABS, CREDITS LIFESTYLE CHANGE

He said the lifestyle is obtainable by anyone, but they just have to be committed. “Decide it’s going to be hard and do it like the other things that are hard in your life.”

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He said he cut out all processed food and eliminated pasta and bread. He said it took him three years not to want a chocolate shake. He said he still exercises but less than before.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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