If you’ve seen even five minutes of HBO’s Euphoria, you know the program isn’t hesitant to show some skin.
Sydney Sweeney stars as Cassie Howard, an emotionally sensitive youngster in the popular teen drama Euphoria, in which she has been half naked in several sequences over the years.
In an interview with The Independent last month, she criticized the industry’s double standard on nudity. Now, in Cosmopolitan’s current cover story, the Euphoria actress talks about her own experience filming nude scenes and how the consequences vary for men and women in the industry.
“I’m so disconnected from it. When I get tagged in Cassie’s or Pippa from The Voyeurs’ nudes, it feels like me looking at their nudes, not Sydney’s nudes,” said Sweeney, 24. “When you film one of these scenes, it is so technical and so not romantic. There are people staring at you, there’s pads between you, there are nipple covers and weird sticker thongs all up in your butt.”
“I wondered if I’d done too much,” Sweeney acknowledged when asked about the first time she watched her naked scenes from The Voyeurs.
“I researched celebrities who have done nude scenes, trying to make myself feel better,” she concluded. “There are hour-long compilations of world-famous male actors with nude scenes who win Oscars and get praised for that work. But the moment a woman does it, it degrades them.”
“They’re not actresses. They just take off their tops so they can get a role,” she added. “There’s such a double standard and I really hope I can have a little part in changing that.”
Her remarks triggered a heated debate about respect, exploitation, and the double standard that exists in Hollywood for female performers who play parts that require full or partial nudity.
“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,” Sydney said, referring to a “stigma against actresses who get naked on screen” in an interview with the Independent in January.
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The 24-year-old performer has expressed her dissatisfaction with the lack of acclaim she has received for her performance in the blockbuster series, claiming that people focus too much attention on the fact that she appears naked in the show, which was just renewed for a third season.
Sweeney, who previously told The Independent that men are typically rewarded for nude sequences but women are often chastised.
“I think it’s a conversation that needs to be had,” Sweeney told WSJ. Magazine, “and I have no problem doing the scenes, especially when meant for the character and if it’s important to the character’s story. It’s such an interesting question — that no one has actually reached out, and now I’m like, what?”
Sweeney is becoming engaged in the behind-the-scenes element of the industry with the formation of her own production company, Fifty-Fifty Films, to assist drive this transition.
“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?'” she recalled to the publication. “They’ve always believed in everything I put my mind to, so they supported me and sent me books to consider.”
The White Lotus actress was astonished to realize “how many steps it takes to get something made” after having greater creative freedom with Fifty-Fifty Films.