Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira reveals issues with character Kat Hernandez that led to shock exit

Barbie Ferreira addresses shock exit from Euphoria.

Model and Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira has shed more light on her controversial exit from the hit HBO series last year.

Ferreira played plus-size teen Kat Hernandez in the first two seasons as best friend to Maddie (Alexa Demie) and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney).

Speaking to Dax Shepherd on his Armchair Expert podcast on Monday (3 April), she explained that the character of Kat had lost direction and that she wasn’t willing to play the “fat best friend”.

“I think there were places she could have gone,” she told Shepherd. “I just don’t think it would have fit into the show. 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.

“I don’t want to play that, and I think they didn’t want that either. I would have played her for as long as I was asked to.”

Barbie Ferreira attends Euphoria event.
Barbie Ferreira attends Euphoria event. (Emma McIntyre/WireImage)

Despite being a fan favourite, Ferreria took to Instagram to announce her exit from the series on 24 August 2022, offering a “very teary goodbye”.

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In Euphoria‘s first season, the character of Kat undergoes a metamorphosis from body conscious teenager deeply affected by the fatphobia she’s experienced, to vampy, goth aesthetic virtual dominatrix.

However, in season two, Kat’s storyline followed her lying about having a terminal illness. Fans expressed disappointment at her arc, with Fashion magazine bemoaning her relegation to the status of “clumsy sidekick”.

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TV still has a way to go in terms of representation of diverse bodies, and seeing a character like Kat unapologetically embrace her sexuality without having to lose weight to do so struck many fans as refreshing – something that Ferreira nodded to in her interview with Dax Shepherd.

She said: “It was a character I’ve never seen on TV before.”

Much of the discourse from fans and critics alike around Kat in season two concludes that the character “deserved better”.

Ferreira’s exit from the Zendaya-led show in August 2022 sparked rumours that she had fallen out with showrunner Sam Levinson over creative differences.

However, Ferreira addressed claims that her sudden departure was due to bad feeling between herself and Levninson in her Armchair Expert interview, refuting the idea she was “a victim” and adding that the stories of tension are “silly”.

“I try to make everyone love me,” she said.

As for how she feels about leaving Kat behind, Ferreira went on to say: “It obviously hurts because I love Kat and she was so important to me and to a lot of people, with all her good and bad.”

“I don’t know if we’ll get something like that in that specific way, which was so edgy.”

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Originally worrying she would be perceived as a “a flop” and “a loser” for leaving, she soon came to peace with the idea.

“I just felt like, maybe it’s like I overstayed my welcome a little bit? So, for me, I actually felt good to be like, ‘Okay, I get to not worry about this and we both don’t get too worried about this,’ because it’s exhausting.”

Last year Barbie Ferreira also cryptically addressed claims of behind-the-scenes drama to Insider, calling them “untrue”.

“Sometimes things take on a life of their own,” she said, “and they’re not rooted in the truth. But it’s OK, because I know it’s just out of passion and out of curiosity and all that good stuff.

“And I signed up for it. So, I’ll take it. I’ll take the good and the bad.”

Ferreira is now set to star in a new drag king comedy-drama The Young King and a new psychological thriller with Ariana DeBose, House of Spoils. The actor and model is certainly keeping booked and busy.

Seasons one and two of Euphoria are available to stream on HBO Max and Sky Atlantic. Season three is tipped to arrive in early 2024.

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