‘Euphoria,’ starring Sydney Sweeney, has an intimacy coordinator on set to make sure the actress is supported and comfortable throughout filming any scenes
Celebrities have varying degrees of comfort in front of the camera, especially when it comes to filming a scene where partial or full nudity is required.
“White Lotus” actress Sydney Sweeney has vowed to continue doing nude scenes as they have given her confidence to love her body just as it is, while “The Dropout” star Amanda Seyfried admitted earlier this month that she used to feel pressured into getting undressed at the beginning of her career.
For Sweeney, who has filmed many intimate scenes as Cassie Howard on Sam Levinson’s “Euphoria,” an intimacy coordinator would be on set to make sure the actress was supported and comfortable throughout filming any scenes.
Dr. Jessica Steinrock, a certified Intimacy Coordinator registered with SAG-AFTRA, exclusively told Fox News Digital that the need for intimacy coordinators in the industry is only going to continue to grow as viewers embrace the range of storytelling offered on streaming networks versus cable television.
“This is a relatively new role. It really hit its stride kind of in 2018 when HBO made their commitment to having an intimacy coordinator on all their film sets,” she said. “An intimacy coordinator is there to provide safety and framework for scenes of intimacy. Those are scenes of simulated sex, simulated genital contact, or scenes of nudity.”
In the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, safety of actors on set was recognized and intimacy coordinators have become a part of a production, according to Steinrock, who noted that intimacy coordinators “have always been necessary” for cast and crews.
In July, Sweeney spoke on the many nude scenes she’s filmed for the HBO show, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “People forget that I’m playing a character, they think, ‘Oh, she gets naked onscreen, she’s a sex symbol.'”
“And I can’t get past that. I have no problems with those scenes, and I won’t stop doing them, but I wish there was an easier way to have an open conversation about what we’re assuming about actors in the industry.”
Sweeney has previously pushed Levinson to cut unnecessary nude scenes, to which he willingly obliged.
“There are moments were [my character] Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here,’” the 24-year-old explained. “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.”
“Euphoria” has intimacy coordinators on set, however, Sweeney said in a January interview with The Independent that she’s had terrible experiences with other acting roles and wanted to “scrub myself raw” and felt “disgusting” after filming a difficult scene.
“I didn’t feel comfortable with my castmate 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,” Sweeney said.
Seyfried also recently shared a similar statement, saying she felt obligated to do nude scenes at a young age just to keep working in the entertainment industry.
“Being 19, walking around without my underwear on — like, are you kidding me? How did I let that happen?” Seyfried told Porter in August. “Oh, I know why: I was 19, and I didn’t want to upset anybody, and I wanted to keep my job. That’s why.”
The Emmy Award-nominated actress said she came out of the #MeToo era “pretty unscathed” despite having to deal with harsh male attention, especially from her role in “Mean Girls” when she was 18 years old and her character, Karen, could forecast changes in the weather through her chest.
“I always felt really grossed out by that,” she told Marie Clare in May of the attention she received from men. “I was like 18 years old. It was just gross.”
Read more here.
Source: Fox News
As a rule, Sydney Sweeney is drawn to characters that are nothing like her. “I find that challenge interesting,” she says. But playing Cassie Howard, the LA teen who wears her emotions on her sleeve in Sam Levinson’s Euphoria was a welcome exception for the 24-year-old. “Cassie is one of the most relatable characters to me, because I search for love and acceptance, and I’m scared of being alone.” Deadline talked to Sweeney about embodying the intensity of her character, showing real depth to Cassie and what makes her character Olivia on Mike White’s black comedy The White Lotus so terrifying.
DEADLINE: Going into Season 2 of Euphoria, how was it different for you?
SYDNEY SWEENEY: It’s the first time that I’m able to revisit a character. I was really excited because it was the longest time I’ve ever spent with another character — another person. So being able to go back into her shoes and learn more about her and grow was truly an experience that I’ve always dreamt of.
DEADLINE: How did Sam prepare you for the intense arc that was coming?
SWEENEY: He gave me a heads up of Cassie and Nate’s love affair in between Season 1 and Season 2. But other than that, I was just along for the crazy rollercoaster ride.
DEADLINE: This girl is so alive. What is Cassie like to live in?
SWEENEY: I truly feel everything Cassie feels. I like to look at it as if I am living and breathing that character’s life, and the moments that are happening are truly affecting her. I’m just allowing whatever hits her to hit me. It’s quite a process, but it’s why I fell into acting.
DEADLINE: From the affair that begins in the first episode of Season 2 until Cassie’s unraveling in the finale, do you have a sense of the season’s arc, or do you get the story script by script?
SWEENEY: We will do a chunk of episodes at the same time. We filmed the first four episodes all at once. The first scene that we did was the scene of me in the bathroom going, “I’ve never, ever been happier.” But everything is out of order, and you have to keep track of where you came from and where you’re going, and follow that path that your character’s on. I had no idea what was happening after Episode 4, until we got towards the end of that block. You just have to let go. It’s like this beautiful feeling of, yes, you know your character, but you also have to be open enough to whatever happens next.
DEADLINE: The bathroom scene is so powerful. If you are not actually building up to that chronologically, how do you get to that level of intensity?
SWEENEY: It goes back to me being able to allow a character to just affect me. I truly believe when they call action, I am now Cassie. And when they call cut, I’m Sydney. Anything that is happening [in between], whether it’s the scene partners, the atmosphere, anything in a moment — like a conversation you are having, I just truly listen and feel what Cassie is experiencing. I don’t like to plan it. I don’t do line reads. I just truly allow myself to live in my characters.
DEADLINE: Which is interesting, because sometimes that means that the body doesn’t know the difference between reality and fiction. Do you find that it affects you afterwards? Is she hard to shake off?
SWEENEY: No. Before I even come to set, I am able to flesh her out so much as her own individual that I know her memories, the way that she moves and the way she talks, to the point where what you see on screen is Cassie. I don’t put my own memories and my own life experiences into a character. So, I’m able to separate myself as completely as I need to.
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The 2022 Emmy nominations were announced on July 12, with shows like “The White Lotus,” “Ted Lasso,” “Succession” and “Hacks” receiving major recognition from the Television Academy. To celebrate, read here for reactions from Sydney Sweeney, Nicholas Braun, Murray Bartlett and more on nomination morning.
Supporting Actress Limited Series (“The White Lotus”); Supporting Actress Drama (“Euphoria”)
How are you doing today? Congratulations on your double nomination!
Thank you. I’m doing just fine. I’m honestly kind of out of words. I don’t know what to say.
One of the shows you were nominated for, “The White Lotus,” saw a lot of the cast get recognition. How does it feel to share that moment together?
We are just cheering each other on in our group chat. And we are so proud of one another. We’re so excited to be able to be sharing this moment with each other. It’s such a beautiful and lovely cast and experience that we had. So it’s great to see good people get to enjoy this.
You’re not going to be in the second season, but are you interested in going back to “The White Lotus” for a future season?
I would love to be back. I love working with Mike White, I think he’s such an incredibly talented writer and director and he’s such a joy to work with. You’re really laughing every day.
Season 2 is going to be in Italy. Any ideas for where future seasons should take place?
I mean Italy is one of my favorite places in the world so I’m a little bummed I missed that. Where should we go? I feel like if I say it, it could happen. so I want to make sure I choose very wisely. Spain could be fun. Japan could be interesting. Maybe like a safari jungle cruise through Africa.
Do you have any idea when “Euphoria” begins shooting again? What are you looking forward to doing with Cassie after the very messy season she had this year?
We will all be getting back together soon. I don’t know if I can actually say when, but soon. I’ve fallen in love with Cassie, and she’s on such a crazy roller coaster. I selfishly hope that she might still be on the ride, it’s really fun for me to be able to stretch my legs and challenge myself in that way. But I believe and trust Sam [Levinson] and what he does with these characters in the story. So I’m just excited to see what’s next.
Were there any shows outside of the two you were in that you were happy to see get recognized this morning?
I’m always a huge “Succession” fan. And I love “Ozark” so I’m really happy for Julia Garner, I think she is beyond talented. “Yellowstone” didn’t get anything, did they?
No, “Yellowstone” didn’t get anything.
I was cheering for “Yellowstone.” I feel like “Yellowstone” got snubbed.
What other projects are you working on? What can fans see you in coming up?
Currently I’m filming “Madame Webb.” And I can’t really say anything about my character, but I’m very excited. My first Marvel movie. So it’s been a lot of fun, a lot of training and just prep work to get into it and then I previously just finished “National Anthem” directed by Tony Toast from Bron studios. So I’m very excited for that character. Her name is Penny Joe, and she was a cute, sweet-hearted character. I loved her.
Everyone’s favorite terrifying teenager is getting an award right here in Austin. ATX TV Festival on Friday announced that Sydney Sweeney, star of HBO hits “The White Lotus” and “Euphoria,” will receive its second Breakthrough Award.
Sweeney will be in town for the festival, which runs June 2-5, and she will participate in a one-on-one conversation about her career.
The honor “recognizes an individual whose creative voice has made a substantial and unique imprint on the current moment in TV, and whose work exemplifies the emotional, entertaining, and artistic possibilities of the medium,” according to the festival. “Pose” star Angelica Ross won the inaugural Breakthrough Award last year.
EXCLUSIVE: After a breakout year that included starring roles in HBO’s The White Lotus and Euphoria, Sydney Sweeney is now ready to jump into Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters. Sources tell Deadline that she has joined Dakota Johnson in Sony Pictures’ Madame Web. S.J. Clarkson is on board to direct the pic. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless penned the screenplay, with Kerem Sanga also penning a previous draft.
In the comics, Madame Web is depicted as an elderly woman with myasthenia gravis and thus was connected to a life-support system that looked like a spider web. Due to her age and medical condition, Madame Web never actively fought any villains. For that reason, sources have stressed it’s possible the project could turn into something else. Insiders say due to her psychic sensory powers, she is essentially Sony’s version of Doctor Strange. It is unknown who Sweeney will be playing in the film.
Sony is coming off a hot streak with Venom: Let There Be Carnage making more than $500 million worldwide, while Spider-Man: No Way Home was the biggest film of 2021 with $1.85 billion in worldwide sales.
Not only is Sweeney on one of the hottest shows of the year in Euphoria (HBO recently announced it is the network’s second most-viewed show behind only Game of Thrones), she clearly came away as one of the big winners from this season and has quickly jumped to the top of every major studio lists for young rising stars. Sources say Sweeney had been weighing several offers in recent weeks, but the opportunity to join Johnson in what would be the first female-centric film in this universe was too good to pass up.
Sweeney has had a busy 12 months that started with her scene-stealing role on another hit HBO series White Lotus. On the film side she had starring roles in The Voyeurs for Amazon and Blumhouse’s Nocturne. She is currently filming Tony Tost’s National Anthem, which also stars Simon Rex and Halsey.
She is repped by Paradigm and Hansen Jacobson Teller.
Source: Deadline Hollywood
Sydney Sweeney Made You Look
Hiding in the tub (as Euphoria’s Nate-crazed Cassie), dominating the tub (as our Love Issue cover star)—whatever it is, the 24-year-old powerhouse is commanding all the attention.
Sydney Sweeney changed my life. In 2019, I was Cosmo’s op-ed editor—a busy job unto itself. But I was also in the midst of another professional challenge: finishing my first novel, They Wish They Were Us. Around the same time, Sydney was stealing scenes in Sharp Objects and The Handmaid’s Tale—and although she was about to debut as the hungry-for-love, bad-decision-prone Cassie on Euphoria and the snarky, privileged Olivia on The White Lotus, she was dreaming even bigger too. Determined to be the person in control of her career, she was plotting the launch of her own production company, through which she’d option books, adapt them for the screen, and become a Reese Witherspoon–level Hollywood boss. She was, by the way, 22.
Sydney ended up reading my book—a prep school murder mystery—and flying to New York to talk to me about buying the film rights. Now she’s in the midst of turning it into an HBO Max series called The Players Table, starring herself and her real-life best friend Halsey (casual). So like I said: life, changed.
Along the way, Sydney’s been dramatically transforming her own life. She’s been optioning a slew of projects through her up-and-very-much-running company Fifty-Fifty Films, writing screenplays, and solidifying her spot as a next-gen A-list actor in movies like Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, the erotic thriller The Voyeurs, and the Netflix vampire flick Night Teeth and, of course, on the new season of Euphoria, where her already nuanced character goes to even more complex places.
She dives deep into all her projects by creating what she calls “character bibles,” backstories and inner lives that often take months to catalog. (“There are characters I love, and then there are characters I’m scared of—those are the good ones,” she explains.) It’s a process that wouldn’t surprise anyone who really knows her. This is, after all, the same woman who, as a preteen, convinced her family to move from Spokane to Los Angeles via a PowerPoint presentation that included a five-year plan for how she’d become an actor. “I love something that feels like a challenge,” Sydney says as we reconnect for this interview. The more daunting, the better.
Most actors wait for what seems like decades before they get involved with the business side of the industry. Did you have a plan for how to get started?
I’m obsessed with branding and marketing. I love the idea of being like, Okay, I love this project, now how can I make this consumable to a mass market? So I called my agents and was like, “Do you think this is something I can achieve?” They’ve always believed in everything I put my mind to, so they supported me and sent me books to consider. Of course, I fell in love with yours, and you know the rest of that. But I don’t think they thought I’d become so engrossed in it.
What’s surprised you about being in the driver’s seat of Fifty-Fifty Films?
One, how many steps it takes to get something made. There are so many hurdles and passageways and people. Two, as much as people in the industry say they support young female voices, I’m still having to fight, even among older women. I was told that I couldn’t get a credit I believed I deserved, and I couldn’t get my company’s name on a project I was developing. I have my theories why. Maybe they feel like we’re getting it too easy. I was told I have to do multiple things before I can get a credit like that, as if I didn’t deserve it. And that came from women. I found that very surprising. Everyone puts on the charade that we’re supporting each other, but I have not felt that fully yet.
It’s like they want you to jump through the hoops they jumped through. What else—besides the projects we already know about—are you working on right now?
Like, a shit ton. I sold a movie. I may or may not have adapted a book as a screenplay. I have about seven different books that I have the rights to. It’s terrifying because this is the kind of industry where everyone gets to watch you fail. It’s a lot of pressure. But everyone is going to have good and bad; no one has a perfect slate of box-office hits.
Are there any roles you look back on now and, well, cringe just a little?
Anything before Everything Sucks! and Sharp Objects. I pretend that was a whole different person—I have blocked out so much of that time, of my high school life. Going to school in L.A. was so different from back home in Spokane. People’s values were on a whole different level. My grandparents gave me their old Volvo that squirrels were living in. I had to put cardboard on the floor because oil would just spill out everywhere. All the other kids had Range Rovers and BMWs, and I was so embarrassed by my car. I feel bad because I’m so beyond grateful that I had grandparents who were able to give me a car, but I would leave the keys in the ignition hoping someone would steal it so I could take the insurance out on it. No one did.
It sounds like you were straddling a double life as you were trying to get your acting career off the ground.
Yes. And at that time, I wasn’t the most confident person. I knew I was a good actor, but no one believed in me. I was told to lose weight or that my hair was the wrong color. Random things that make you start to question, Am I not going to ever become my dream?
And you had a lot going on at home too, right?
In Spokane, I played sports every day. My cousins were always over at my house, teaching me how to start fires with magnifying glasses. I miss my childhood a lot. I miss how beautiful the world looked and I miss having a family unit, my mom and dad and brother all in one place. After we moved to L.A. so I could act, finances were a huge stress. My dad lost his job and we went bankrupt. They always say, “It wasn’t your fault.” It was. And when my parents were getting a divorce, my brother blamed me. But at first, I think they enjoyed L.A. It was an escape from routine. That’s what I tell myself. There was definitely a different, rough route that I could have taken.
There’s a history of alcoholism and drug addiction in my family tree. I’ve never done any drugs—I’m terrified that I’m going to have that addiction. There’s something in my family’s blood that just hits a different way when they do stuff. I drink maybe once a year, because I have social anxiety. I prefer intimate gatherings. I’d like everyone to pile up on the couch and play board games or watch TV. I can’t do the pointless standing around and drinking and getting nowhere in life. But around the time my parents got divorced, I did act out with guys. I would run into the arms of guys to try to fill this void.…I was looking for love to replace the emptiness of a home.
This is the stuff that makes us. How has your relationship with your family changed?
My relationship with my mom became way healthier, and my dad and I kind of drifted apart, which broke my heart. My brother and I are way better now. Do I wish that we could all be together? Of course, what kid doesn’t? I tried, once. When you’re an actor who’s a minor, a small percentage of your paychecks goes into a bank account you can’t access until you’re 18. I naively thought I was going to have all this money, and I had this grand plan for it. When we left Spokane for L.A., we had to sell the house I grew up in. It was my mom’s dream house. So when I turned 18, it wasn’t even a year after my parents divorced and I thought, I’m going to buy this house back and I’ll save everyone. I’ll get my family back together. Turns out, I had nowhere near enough money. I never cried more in my entire life.
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Welcome to The White Lotus Resort & Spa.
Your vacation begins July 11 on HBO Max. #TheWhiteLotus #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube here.
A social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, The White Lotus follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week as they relax and rejuvenate in paradise. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travelers, the hotel’s cheerful employees, and the idyllic locale itself.
The White Lotus stars Murray Barlett (Looking), Connie Britton, (Nashville), Jennifer Coolidge (2 Broke Girls), Alexandra Daddario (True Detective), Fred Hechinger (Eighth Grade), Jake Lacy (Girls), Brittany O’Grady (Little Voice), Natasha Rothwell (Insecure), Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria), and Steve Zahn (Treme). The White Lotus is created, written and directed by Mike White, of HBO’s Enlightened.
Play it again, Sam!
Sam Levinson is one creative machine. When that pesky pandemic halted a traditional production plan for his Euphoria Season 2, Levinson responded by producing two special episodes, one focusing on Zendaya’s Rue and one focusing on Hunter Schafer’s Jules, during that very pandemic — and then made a friggin’ feature film starring Zendaya and John David Washington. Now, it sounds like that restless spirit will continue with Levinson telling IndieWire quite optimistic plans about shooting and releasing a proper Season 2 of Euphoria by the end of 2021.
During an interview on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast, Levinson revealed his plan is to begin shooting Euphoria Season 2 in March 2021 (exactly one year after Season 2 was originally meant to begin shooting), and “to release episodes this year” as well. Levinson wasn’t exactly sure if this schedule could be made, using the word “hopefully” in his comments.
While I’m certainly more than ready for Season 2 of this thrilling and unpredictable show to get here sooner rather than later, I’m more more than ready for all of its participants to stay safe and healthy, rather than kowtowing to the needs of content in sacrifice of inherent humanity. Euphoria is a show of massive craft, intense filmmaking styles, and gobs of people; and while the COVID-era special episodes are planned and executed in much more contained, limited spaces to navigate these safety issues, I would imagine Levinson’s plan for Season 2 proper is a lot grander. Or, perhaps he’s been using this time to reduce it all to a manageable, safer space. Whatever the case, if we get Euphoria Season 2 by the end of 2021 or not, I sincerely hope safety is coming first. We can wait, Sam!