Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney says she cut Cassie’s ‘unnecessary’ nude scenes

The star spoke about pushing back on creator Sam Levinson’s script and feeling underestimated in her career as a performer because she 'got naked'.

by Jenna Mahale
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27 January 2022, 2:04pm

The world at large has finally come around to collective Sydney Sweeney standom, and we — in the recently-screamed words of her Euphoria character — have never, ever been happier. The actor and noted vintage car mechanic is enjoying a well-deserved moment in the sun after a decade of hard work but, as she described in an interview with The Independent this week, it hasn’t always been an especially fun time — namely because of the gratuitous nudity she has often been subject to.

Sydney spoke out about the frustrating “stigma against actresses who get naked on screen”. She said: “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.” The actress went on to describe instances on set with obstinate and uncommunicative directors. “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. That made me even more self-conscious. I didn’t feel like I was able to speak up.” Give us names and addresses girlie, we’re ready to fight.

Sydney also recalled various moments where her Euphoria character, Cassie Howard, “was supposed to be shirtless” according to creator Sam Levinson’s script. Fortunately, the writer-director has been very receptive to her feedback, agreeing to axe a number of the show’s (still, it must be said, numerous) topless scenes whenever she felt uncomfortable. “Sam is amazing,” she told Independent writer Ellie Harrison. “I would tell Sam, ‘I don't really think that's necessary here,’ [and] he was like, ‘Okay, 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.” Good on you, Sam. The bar is on the floor, but good on you.

Not everyone is happy, though. Euphoria recently came under fire from the nerds at D.A.R.E., the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program — a fairly useless war-on-drugs era organisation established in the 1980s — for its allegedly glamorous depiction of “high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence, and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world.” Say what you will, but we think the kids at Euphoria high are alright. Well, not alright, but at least pretty firmly fictional.

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Euphoria