Sydney Sweeney Revealed the Downside to Her 'Euphoria' Nude Scenes
It can feel nerve wracking to get naked in front of anyone, let alone an entire film crew and viewers of a hit TV show. Still, Sydney Sweeney felt comfortable while filming nude scenes for Euphoria — and doesn't think anyone should judge her talent based on the fact that she's showed her body.
While filming the scenes as her character Cassie on the HBO drama, Sweeney never felt pressured to do so, she reveals in a new interview with The Independent. In fact, she's pushed back to show creator Sam Levinson on some nude scenes that she felt were unnecessary. "There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, 'I don't really think that's necessary here,'" Sweeney told the publication. "He was like, 'Okay, we don't need it.'"
Sweeney considered filming nude scenes for Euphoria a comfortable experience compared to past projects she's worked on. "I've had experiences [on other projects] where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel so disgusting," she says in the interview. "I didn't feel comfortable with my castmate or the crew, and I just didn't feel like my character would be doing it." (Related: 'Euphoria'-Style Makeup Looks You Can Absolutely Pull Off)
While Sweeney had a positive experience with filming, she's found that stripping down onscreen has made some critics not take her seriously as an actress. She noticed that she got more acclaim for her role in The White Lotus, in which she was always fully clothed, than her acting in Euphoria. "I'm very proud of my work in Euphoria," she tells The Independent. "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."
Sweeney believes sexism and misogyny are at play. There's a strong "stigma against actresses who get naked onscreen" that doesn't affect men who strip down on film, she says in the new interview. "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."
That perspective echoes her comments from a September 2021 interview with Teen Vogue. "I know many successful male actors who, if you put all their films together where they're either nude or have a sex scene it could be hours worth," she said at the time. "But then they win Oscars. The moment a girl says it, it takes away from their acting. Everyone's like, 'She just shows her boobs because she can't act.'" (Related: Barbie Ferreira Explained Her "Complicated Relationship with Body Positivity")
Sweeney previously said that while she was intimidated at first to appear nude onscreen, the themes and stories in Euphoria made the nudity itself feel more honest than gratuitous.
"The thing about the nudity in this show is that it's not glamorized. It's not, 'Oh, here's a pair of tits.' It's just real," she said in a HuffPost interview in June 2019. "I had to look at the whole picture of the entirety of the show, and I just fell in love with the rawness and the situations and the emotions that all these characters go through." (Related: Why Going to a Nude Resort Is the Most Freeing Experience (In More Ways Than One))
Despite frustrations that come from filming nude scenes as a woman, Sweeney doesn't regret her decision to do so. "There was a bit of, 'Ooh, I don't know if I'm going to do this' because of the nudity, but then I sat back and I was like, 'If I was a 17-year-old girl and I was having sex with my boyfriend, I would get naked..." She previously told MTV News in reference to Euphoria. "I've been a self-conscious person and after filming those scenes, in some way, I was like, 'I feel empowered. I feel like nobody can judge me. I put myself out there and I feel the most confident as me.'"