7 Rules Sam Levinson Makes Cast & Crew Follow On 'The Idol' & 'Euphoria' Sets

No restroom or lunch breaks!?

Sam Levinson, Euphoria, cast Fred Duval, DFree, Sky Cinema, Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock & Glory Star Designs / CanvaPro / Shutterstock 

Sam Levinson might be the mind behind of the most popular shows out right now, "Euphoria," and one of the most-anticipated, "The Idol," but the director/writer himself is not so beloved by fans of his shows.

Cast and crew on the set of "The Idol" and "Euphoria" have not held back when it comes to sharing details that paint Levinson in a bad light.

RELATED: 5 Reasons ‘Euphoria’ Fans Don’t Like Sam Levinson — And Why His New Show ‘The Idol’ Is Already Being Slammed


Here are 7 rules Sam Levinson allegedly makes his cast and crew follow:

1. Cast and crew members must work throughout the night.

When you’re involved in the making of a hit TV show, you don’t usually work the typical 9-5 hours. However, that shouldn’t mean that employees should be working nearly 24 hours at a time. 

This appeared to be the case on the set of “Euphoria.”

According to several cast members, scenes were shot throughout the night until 4 AM for a week.

Cast members Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate Jacobs, and Maude Apatow who plays Lexi Howard on the show, revealed the difficulties of shooting the New Year’s party scene featured in the first episode of the second season. 




The two told Thrillist that filming was “rough” since it only took place at night with a 4 PM call time and wrapping in the early hours of the next morning — the cycle continued for a week straight. 

Background actors claimed that they were expected to work overtime often, up to 18 hours a day if necessary. 

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2. No restroom breaks allowed during filming. 

Shooting scenes like the New Year’s Eve party required actors to be on set for as long as the scenes took, with no exceptions even to use the restroom. 

Background actors claimed that Levinson’s no restroom break rule was dehumanizing. 

“I understand that I’m doing background work. I’m not the most important person there, I know where I am on the totem pole,” one background actor acknowledged in a statement to The Daily Beast.

“But it got to a point where I was like, I’m still a person, I’m still human. Please let me go to the restroom, don’t tell me I can’t go for 30 minutes… It just very much felt like we didn’t exist as people.” 


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3. No meal breaks on time. 

The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) mandates cast and crew members on set to be allowed a meal every six hours. For each union actor that is not fed per half hour, the union enforces a $50 penalty fine.

Levinson allegedly ignored these rules and made his own, as many cast members were fed well beyond the six-hour mark.

He also reportedly would not allow hungry actors to take quick food breaks when they did not receive their meals.

“[Don’t] tell me I can’t get a snack when you’re not going to feed me and it’s 4 a.m,” one actor reported.


Sources claim that there were so many complaints filed to the SAG-AFTRA from “Euphoria” cast members that a union representative was sent to the set. The union did not clarify how many complaints were filed when asked by The Daily Beast.

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4. Scenes are shot ‘on the spot.’

Many cast members complained to The Daily Beast about the utter disorganization on the set, including Levinson’s lack of a filming schedule. 

“It was the most disorganized set that I’ve ever been a part of because I don’t think anybody knew what was going on,” one extra claimed. “There were times after 14 hours we were told, ‘This is the last scene, we’re done after lunch,’ we took lunch, waited around two and a half hours, and then we went back to set.” 


They added that the workplace began to feel “toxic” since many of the cast members were growing frustrated and had no interest in being there any longer. 

Sources confirmed with “IndieWire” that Levinson and cinematographer Marcell Rév “made a lot of intrusive decisions on set” and refrained from using storyboards this season.

“Him and Marcell would be talking, and it would be literally like, 'How do you like that corner over there? Do you think she should just walk by it?' 'Yeah, why not, let’s film it,'” one production source said. 


“Then it takes 30 minutes for them to reset the camera, the tracks, and they’re using real film in these cameras.”

The source added that background actors were so fed up with the disorganization on set, they would hide in the bushes to avoid being selected for scenes they had no idea how long would take.

“It might take 30 minutes, but it might be three hours. Because again, there’s no sense of what we are doing.”

5. No holding rooms for background actors.

According to The Daily Beast, filming was especially challenging for the extras who did not even have to memorize lines from the script.

Instead, they were expected to stand outside in freezing temperatures wearing skimpy outfits since there was no area for them to decompress while waiting to shoot scenes.


Allegedly, all they had were some pull-out chairs propped in front of bushes with a couple of space heaters surrounding them.

RELATED: ‘Euphoria’ Star Alexa Demie Has An Odd Connection To Charles Manson

6. No female writers on the show. 

Levinson created “Euphoria” and directed all but three episodes himself. He is also the sole writer of the episodes of the show, which has many fans accusing him of a lack of female representation in the writing process.

While it is true that Levinson does write the episodes himself, it is also true that in 2021 he co-wrote an episode with actress Hunter Schafer, composing an episode that centered around her character, Jules, and her transgender identity.


In an interview with GQ, Levinson even revealed that he was working on writing a new movie with Schafer, though he did not provide further details.

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7. Nudity is an essential part of filming.

For those of you who have seen “Euphoria,” you may have noticed that some of the characters are rarely featured wearing clothes, something that Levinson has had his fair share of criticism regarding.

Many fans and even cast members take note of the excessive amount of nudity in the show, something that Levinson allegedly plans on also incorporating into “The Idol.”

Some script insertions from Levinson include “disturbing sexual and physically violent” scenes.


One scene, which was never filmed, allegedly featured Lily-Rose Depp’s character on the show “begging to be r-ped” by co-star The Weeknd's character.

“It was like any r-pe fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show — and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better,” one production member noted of Levinson’s script.

The nudity scenes have even made some of the actors featured in “Euphoria” uncomfortable, with several of them requesting that Levinson adjust or remove them entirely.


Thankfully, many of them, including Syndey Sweeney who plays Cassie Howard, have confirmed that upon voicing their concerns regarding certain nudity scenes, Levinson adjusted them without hesitation.

"There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, 'I don't really think that's necessary here.' He was like, 'OK, we don't need it,'" Sweeney said in an interview with The Independent.

"I've never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn't want to do it, he didn't make me." 


Zendaya even thanked Levinson for making the set a “safe space” in her Emmy Awards acceptance speech. 

“Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show. I love you all so much,” the actress said.


Still, some questioned why a massive amount of nudity was even incorporated into the script in the first place.

If these set horror stories have any truth in them, it is clear that Levinson has to make some adjustments to his filming and writing methods if he wants to ensure a successful third season of “Euphoria” with cast and crew members who are willing to work without having to hide in any bushes.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.