Euphoria and Handmaid's Tale actor Sydney Sweeney recently sat down for an interview where she discussed the more vulnerable areas of her career.
Coming off the release of Euphoria's second season, viewers saw Sweeney in more than a few intimate scenes. Her character, Cassie, has been nude several times, and was reportedly written to have more. Instead, Sweeney put her foot down. She says,
"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 states that being on Euphoria is one of her proudest achievements, and that she never felt uncomfortable on set, despite what the role called for.
"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.'"
As reasonable as it sounds, it isn't an industry standard. Sweeney also opened up about past productions where she's had to act in the nude that left her feeling uncomfortable, or even violated. She states,
"I've had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting [...] I didn't feel comfortable with my cast mate or the crew, and I just didn't feel like my character would be doing it."
Being a woman in Hollywood is hard enough, as actresses are subjected to constant scrutiny over their appearances. Going nude makes this all the more difficult. Sweeney claims that there's a double standard over nudity in the industry, and that her work is often written off simply because she performed naked.
"When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise. But the moment a girl does it, it's completely different. I'm very proud of my work in Euphoria. I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked. I do The White Lotus and all of a sudden critics are paying attention. People are loving me. They're going, 'Oh my God, what's she doing next?' I was like, 'Did you not see that in Euphoria? Did you not see that in The Handmaid's Tale?'"
Euphoria is available to watch on HBO Max.