Amy Schneider Recalls 'Meaningful' Meeting with Euphoria 's Hunter Schafer: 'Meant So Much'

·4 min read
Amy Schneider, Hunter Schafer
Amy Schneider, Hunter Schafer

Casey Durkin/Jeopardy Productions, Inc.; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Amy Schneider is a big fan of Euphoria star Hunter Schafer.

During an Instagram Live interview with GLAAD on Thursday, the Jeopardy! champion, 42, opened up about what TV show she's currently a "big fan" of. After sharing that she's "definitely" into Euphoria, Schneider took a moment to share her love for Schafer.

"I was lucky enough to meet Hunter Schafer at a publicity event for the first season, which was such a highlight," said Schneider. "Seeing her, in particular, recently has meant a lot — just seeing her introduced and her trans [identity] being secondary. I really liked the work that they've done with her."

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At the time of their encounter, Schneider said she told Schafer, 23, how "meaningful" it was to see her.

"She said, 'I'm just glad there's some family here at this event,' " Schneider recalled Schafer telling her. "I'll never forget that. It meant so much."

After being catapulted into fame for playing Jules Vaughn on Euphoria, Schafer made the TIME100 NEXT list for 2021 — an honor recognizing emerging leaders around the world. That same year, she opened up about coming into her own.

"I don't know if I've talked about this in the press before, but I think there's a phenomenon among the trans and queer community, and it's why we make great artists a lot of the time," she later told Harper's Bazaar. "When your exterior world and your body and your self are not in line with who you are, you turn inward. And my theory is that I built a really rich inner world until I started feeling like myself in my body. I've been trying to do the work of digging up stuff, but it's going to take a while to excavate everything."

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Schneider is also a trailblazer in her own right. During her time competing on Jeopardy!, she made history as the highest-earning woman to compete on the series and became the first transgender person to qualify for Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions.

Recently, Schneider told PEOPLE that it's been "really great" to represent the trans community.

"I had had feelings, kind of a little bit, of almost guilt at just sort of how easy it's generally been for me, the path of being a trans woman. It's easy because of the work and sacrifice that so many people before me made," Schneider said. "There was sort of a little bit of a feeling of guilt about just sort of reaping all the benefits of that without feeling like I was giving much back."

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The star added, "To be making an impact now and to be giving something back without trying, with just doing something I was planning to do anyway, is really great."

Schneider's historic 40-game run came to an end on Wednesday. She concluded her journey with an impressive $1,382,800 in winnings.

Amy Schneider - Jeopardy! Contestant
Amy Schneider - Jeopardy! Contestant

Courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc. Amy Schneider

Schneider was also praised by GLAAD's Director of Transgender Representation, Nick Adams. Following Schneider's loss on Wednesday, Adams issued a statement about her history-making run.

"Amy Schneider has given Jeopardy!'s nine million-plus nightly viewers a historic 40-game run full of masterful gameplay, while her media interviews and Twitter recaps of each game have given fans a glimpse into her life as a smart, charming transgender woman with a girlfriend and a rescue cat named Meep," Adams said. "Her visibility has been a bright spot, allowing millions of people to root for her success and start conversations about being transgender at a time when proposed bills in states like Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Amy's home state Ohio, are targeting transgender Americans for discrimination. Amy's achievement will be celebrated for years to come by Jeopardy! fans and LGBTQ people everywhere."

During Thursday's Instagram Live, Schneider also spoke about what could be next for her after Jeopardy!

"One thing is I'm going to be working on trying to write a book. ... My agent, which still feels like such a weird thing to say, really wants to get moving on that real quick while the publicity is out there. That's what I know for sure," she said. "I can't be on another game show for six months with the exclusivity of Jeopardy!, but I would certainly be interested in that. I'm sort of seeing what else is out there. ... For a while, [I've] kind of had an interest in voice acting."

As for whether she'd ever want to host Jeopardy!, Schneider said: "If somebody was to call and ask me to try out for it or whatever, I wouldn't say no. That would definitely be something I'd be willing to explore."

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