Sydney SweeneyAnd, along with the rest of us, we saw her character Cassie take an emotional turn in the second season of the hit HBO trance. From embarking on a secret affair with her best friend Maddie Nate (Jacob Elordy) to the messy ending of Maddie’s birthday party, Cassie has been front and center this season, and while battling her inner demons, she has stirred up some wonderful feelings. Moments that rocked the Internet. Sweeney talking to THR About diving into Cassie’s darkest places and the other raucous HBO show she’s starred in this season, white lotus;
How was this season of trance different for you than the first?
She definitely got a lot of real estate to be able to explore Cassie, between Cassie’s relationships, her relationship to herself, her mind, and her passion. There was more for me to play with.
What is the most challenging scene for you this season?
I personally feel that I thrive and thoroughly enjoy Cassie’s challenging and emotional scenes up and down the rollercoaster. And the ones I had the hardest time with were in the hot tub with all the girls and Nate because I actually had to hold that tube in my mouth that was pumped up with fake vomit. And I had to hold it in my mouth because my mouth was full of God knows what and acted as if nothing had happened. I’m a picky eater, so there were random things going in my mouth and I know that was the hardest.
Your character finds himself in dark moments this season. How do you get to that place yourself?
I have created a very safe bridge for myself to become my characters as I have created these character books that allow me to completely lose myself like Sydney. I don’t really have to go through an operation or think about anything other than the homework I put in Cassie, because I’m able to live the moment through. Whatever is said to Cassie, whatever happens to Cassie, they are really reactions during that moment. They’re not premeditated, but Cassie would naturally react to something. Once they call it a cut, I can jump into Sydney and be completely detached from all of that. It would be really heavy if I had to think about everything Cassie had to go through because she had so many hard emotional scenes. Sure enough, being able to jump in and out with ease saved my sanity.
Can you talk more about those books?
Basically, it’s the whole life of my character in the book, and I’m filling in all the holes that might not have been in the scripts. I create a whole world for her so I know how something will trigger her because of a moment in her life. We are all who we are because of our memories and the moments that happened throughout our lives. I am able to respond organically but this person will be because there is a life behind it. I do this for every character.
How long does it take?
No matter how long I go! As for Cassie, because we had to wait to see if we got picked in season one and then had such a long gap between season one and season two, I had a tremendous amount of time to be able to work on it.
Was this something that came to you organically?
she was. When I was young, I had all these friends and fantasy worlds, and I love creating things. I am a person of arts and crafts – michaels is my heaven. When I was auditioning, I didn’t understand the desire of all these acting coaches to rehearse a certain way and not build a person. I always felt like it wasn’t natural or organic, so I just started doing my own thing. It’s a lot of work. I push myself, and half the time my mom says, “You do it yourself,” and I say, “But it’s the craft!”
How do your fellow co-stars support each other when you go through tense arcs?
We have a really strong fraternity in the group. We all experience this together, and we spend a lot of time together. We have all become friends. It’s basically like sleepovers every day. We go back to our trailers and hang out, watch TV or random videos – really hang out and decompress with each other.
A few months ago, you talked about having a voice and what you feel comfortable filming, especially the nude scenes. What did you learn from that experience about where your personal boundaries lie?
I have always felt that there are necessary moments [in which] Cassie just knows how to communicate through her body. I’ve always wanted to make sure that anything being used sexually by Cassie actually drives the story forward. Toxic [Levinson, showrunner] He does a beautiful job at what he communicates through the eyes of the audience, through Nate’s eyes with Cassie, or Cassie’s mind through sexuality. And having an intimate coordinator on set is incredible. He’s another advocate for you, and he’s very technical. It’s not really sexy in any way. But I never said any scenes were superfluous – things were taken out of context. Sam is incredible, but he would never force us or make us feel a certain way about it. I could call Sam and say, “Hey, I never want to do a scene like this again,” and he’d be like, “Okay.”
Almost at the end of the previous season, there were reports of how Sam was managing his group. What do you think that?
It takes a lot of hours and people to put it together. It’s definitely not an ordinary 9 to 5, and if you expect it to, you’ll be dumped. It’s a lot of work, but we’re very lucky to have it trance It has impacted the lives of so many people, and the hours and hard work that everyone puts in show.
Is it true that you felt dove after this role?
Cassie is a sexual character, and that has become a template that was back then [forced] me as a human rather than just Cassie. I’d see people say, “Oh, she only got this because she showed her breasts.” I had many shows and movies before I did this trance. I look completely different in everything I do because I want to become the character individually, and I don’t want people associating Sidney Sweeney with a character – I want them to feel totally like they are experiencing another world and another person. People didn’t hook that up 2 months ago, I did The Handmaid’s Taleor before that you were in Everything is disgusting. A month ago I did sharp objects And when people started putting that together and then watching white lotusWell, I guess that’s kind of about it for everyone. You look at some of these amazing male actors playing the coolest, most versatile characters, and people are like, “Oh, cool.” Nobody puts any kind of stigma behind it.
How did you become attached to your role in white lotus?
We were supposed to start filming like March 15 or 18, 2020, but literally the day before, we were closed due to COVID and they were like, “We’re going to go on a two-week hiatus and let it cool down,” and then two weeks later, it turned into another five months, eight months and then After a whole year. In the middle of that, around the time of summer, there was a show called white lotus. My team heard about it and saw that they were running tests. I made my own tape with my mom, got a callback and met Mike White on Zoom. I have been so fortunate and honored to work through such a difficult time and in such a safe environment, and it was incredible to be surrounded by the greatest comedy crew you could be a part of. I’ve always been afraid of comedy because I never knew if I could do it. If something scares me, it means that I will challenge myself to do something that is not innate to me as a person. Being able to be there and learn from everyone and build and create Olivia… It was such an amazing and amazing experience.
Do you see any similarities between Olivia and Cassie?
No, I think Cassie would be afraid of Olivia and would hate Olivia Cassie.
What is your favorite scene to shoot?
Anytime we were able to have family dinner or breakfast scenes and everyone was seated at the table and Murray [Bartlett] Was walking around. I really felt the energy in the dynamic of what Mike was building.
What was the hardest thing you faced?
I’ve never smoked a bong before. I had no idea how to do this. I was like, “I’m going to look stupid!” This is one of those moments where every crew member is like, ‘This is how I Do it!” It was hard not to cough, but I finished laughing and we held on.
you have Madame Web coming. What drew you to her?
My God. I grew up watching Marvel movies and superheroes are the coolest thing ever. So I just dreamed of being a part of something bigger than life itself. And that’s what I feel like I’m going to be a part of Madame Web.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
This story first appeared in the independent June issue of The Hollywood Reporter. to receive the magazine, Click here to subscribe.