Churros Scene Mastery in 'Challengers'

Exploring nuanced dynamics in 'Challengers' latest love triangle.

by Nouman Rasool
Churros Scene Mastery in 'Challengers'
© Kristy Sparow/Getty Images

At the Los Angeles premiere of the latest drama 'Challengers' about a love triangle against the tennis and academia backdrops, British actor Patrick O'Connor explained how he was introduced to churros during the filming of one of the movie's most evocative scenes.

In the scene, his character, Patrick, is going to visit Stanford, where his girlfriend Tashi is studying, and his best friend Art. They are played by Zendaya and Mike Faist, respectively. The scene takes place in a cafeteria, Patrick and Art both munching on the sweet fried delicacies as they catch up.

O'Connor said that the churro scene was a breeze to pull off, requiring only two takes. "They were delicious. My first churro was that day," he remembered his first time eating the beloved snack. Adding churros to the movie was an easy choice for screenwriter Justin Kuritzkes.

"Because they're a delicious snack," Kuritzkes said, adding that churros are very popular in California.

Exploring Complex Relationships

Kuritzkes also noted the dynamic contributions of O'Connor and Faist, particularly in the charged scene set in a cafeteria.

"They were always finding new physicality, new stuff, unspoken things," he said, underlining how the actors can deliver dimensions to the roles that even the words cannot contain. It just involves questions on complex love and identity, as well as ambition.

Set against the background of a New York cafe, it traces the entwined lives of Tashi, a promising tennis player, her former college boyfriend, Patrick, and Art, who finally is both the husband and coach of Tashi. Trouble starts when Patrick re-enters the lives of the couple, testing the strength of their relationships.

Earlier in the play, as teenagers, Patrick and Art's relationship is marked with a kiss, shortly after both have romantic experiences with Tashi. When asked about the se---- orientation of the characters, Kuritzkes gave a philosophical answer: "What's true about a love triangle is that every love triangle is, by its nature, queer," almost intimating that it goes beyond certain set labels in the subtleties of their relations.

O'Connor agreed with this sentiment and emphasized the fluidity of emotions between the characters. "They're all fluid. They all kind of love each other, and they're figuring that out. They're trying to understand where that plays out and how it plays out," he said, reiterating that the film is about identity and how to emotionally connect in a modern context.