Sydney Sweeney on her role in the most talked-about teen show of 2019

18 July 2019

Sydney Sweeney on her role in the most talked-about teen show of 2019

Sydney Sweeney’s face will be familiar to Showmax viewers. Despite being just 22, she’s had some plum roles, including as Eden in The Handmaid’s Tale, and in Sharp Objects opposite Amy Adams.

Neither of those series is exactly cheerful, so she had no trouble slipping into her role in Euphoria, the most talked-about show about teens right now. It’s streaming First on Showmax in South Africa.

Sydney, who’s currently at #34 on IMDb’s StarMeter, let us in on her thoughts about the adults-only teen series, which has just been renewed for a second season by HBO.

What appealed to you about the show?

I loved how realistic it was and how there’s many different characters and storylines that people will be able to relate to or learn from.

And I wanted to work with [series creator and writer/director] Sam Levinson because he is a brilliant mind. I really wanted to work with him after speaking with him about my character; he was very collaborative.

What can you tell us about your character?

Cassie grew up in a broken home. She has an alcoholic mother and a medication-addicted father and so she has always had this absence in her life that she looks to fill through relationships with men. She falls in love with every guy she comes across and unfortunately some of them don’t treat her as well as she hopes.

She ends up having an unwanted sexual reputation that she doesn’t know how to deal with. She falls in love with McKay and for the first time, has a real, stable relationship. Even though it has its problems and there are outside influences, she finally gets to navigate a teenage relationship. She’s just trying to find out who she is, when she doesn’t know what she’s good at yet.

What sets Euphoria apart from other dramas depicting teenage life?

I think we’re so used to seeing sugar-coated, glamorous versions of teenage life. It’s bold but that’s because we haven’t really seen anything like it on TV before. That’s the great thing about HBO, they create such groundbreaking shows and characters; it’s amazing being on a platform that’s not afraid to take things where they need to go. It takes the veil away from people’s eyes of what growing up in this day and age is really like.

Do you find the show shocking in comparison to your own teenage experience?

Some parts I completely understood and had lived through and other storylines I was like, ‘Oh my gosh’ but that’s just my life. There are storylines where I’m like, ‘This can’t be happening in today’s world,’ but it is 100% happening and that’s one of the reasons why I absolutely love the show. It makes you really sit there and think. The social media influences, friendships and teenage love and sex are relatable for every teenage girl, because there’s no road map given to us of what we’re meant to do. We’re all just trying to figure it out and be okay.

How are you feeling about the show’s release?

It’s a mix of excitement and nerves. I’m curious to see what people think. I’ve talked to my mom quite a bit about it. A lot of my family members loved [my previous shows] The Handmaid’s Tale and Sharp Objects, so I was like, ‘This is going to be a little different.’ And my mom’s like, ’Okay, maybe I’ll make little flyers and send them out to family members with a warning.’ But I also think it’s very important for them to watch because I come from a small town so for them to see something like this on TV is very much an education. I look forward to going up there when the show is halfway through and speaking to them all and seeing what they think…

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