Sydney Sweeney Opens up About Getting Naked on 'Euphoria'
The actor hasn’t always felt comfortable filming nude scenes.
Actor Sydney Sweeney is getting deserved praise for her phenomenal performance as Cassie Howard in the hit HBO Max show Euphoria, but that hasn’t always been the case. Sweeney recently opened up about the industry’s double standard when it comes to nude scenes.
In an interview with The Independent, Sweeney says, “With The White Lotus, I felt like people were finally recognizing the hard work I’ve been doing. This is something that has bothered me for a while. 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.” She continues, “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?’”
Sweeney asserted that there is still an antiquated “stigma against actresses who get naked on screen,” noting that when a male actor does a nude scene, he is taken more seriously, going on to receive nominations and awards.
Disturbingly, viewers of the show have perpetuated this sexism, tagging Sweeney’s younger brother in screenshots of Cassie’s nude scenes when the TV show first aired in 2019. Reflecting on the moment, Sweeney says, “That was the most hurtful thing that anybody could do. What I do is completely separate from my family. My character is completely separate [from] me. It’s just so disrespectful and distressing.”
Thankfully, director Sam Levinson has never tried to force gratuitous nude scenes. Sweeney remarks, “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.’ 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.”
Unfortunately, Hollywood and society’s mistreatment and objectification of women have seeped into Sweeney’s career. “I’ve had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting,” Sweeney shares. “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. That made me even more self-conscious. I didn’t feel like I was able to speak up.”