Anyone who’s seen HBO’s hit series Euphoria knows that those behind it don’t hold anything back. From scenes centered around drug usage and physical abuse to sex scenes that can make audiences cringe, the show is famous for its shock value. And while we at home may be thinking “did these actors really sign up for this?” Sydney Sweeney recently revealed the power she felt in doing the show’s sex scenes. While sitting down for an interview with Variety alongside Christina Ricci, Sweeney — who plays Cassie on the show — spoke about her time filming those risque nude scenes. While many of us would balk at the idea of being naked in front of a group of people – let alone coworkers – and then have those parts of you shown on television, Sweeney said it was something that allowed her to gain more confidence.
Of her character, Cassie’s relationship with sex, Sweeney commented that the high school student “doesn’t know how to communicate without showing her body,” adding that at home her parents never relayed this message to her. Because of this, Cassie uses her body to connect with others, something we saw a lot of over the last season as she delved into a relationship with Nate (Jacob Elordi). And although Sydney Sweeney has gotten comfortable showing off her body on the series, she knows when to speak up and advocate for herself. Last year, she told production that they had too many nude scenes and that many weren’t needed to move the plot along. Honestly, there is a creepy aspect to the amount of nudity in a show about teenagers written by adults, something Sweeney pointed out when she asked the creators to lay off the amount of naked time in front of the camera.
And, they listened. In an industry famous for pushing the limits of their workers, Sydney Sweeney was able to have her voice heard and production responded by cutting several of the scenes in question. For those that made the cut, Sweeney said the actors were very comfortable and added that she felt “safe.” Throwing on another level of safety padding, the creative team brought in intimacy coordinators to aid in making sure the actors were feeling okay about the sometimes trauma filled scenes they’re shooting.
According to Sydney Sweeney, along with being on-set-advocates for the young performers, the coordinators also brought in “tools,” including yoga mats, to reduce the amount of skin contact between the focus characters in a scene. They also “choreograph” the entire take and Sweeney adds that if someone changes their mind about a particular part, they’re able to stop filming. It’s with this flexibility that Sweeney has been able to find her voice and confidence in her body.
While these scenes could prove to be too much for a young actress, Sydney Sweeney has flipped the script and made it about reconnecting with her body. While she harnesses the power of Cassie, Sweeney finds that she too can feel at home in her body and treat it with the love and respect that it deserves.