Even the next generation of talent can still see a gender-based stigma in Hollywood.
“Euphoria” breakout star Sydney Sweeney, who has become a darling of casting directors thanks to roles in HBO’s “Sharp Objects” and “The White Lotus,” opened up about feeling dismissed and overly-sexualized for her recurring nude scenes in the teen-centric drama.
“This is something that has bothered me for a while,” Sweeney told The Independent (via E! Online). “I’m very proud of my work in ‘Euphoria.’ I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked.”
Sweeney recalled, “I do ‘The White Lotus’ and all of a sudden critics are paying attention. People are loving me. They’re going, ‘Oh my God, what’s she doing next?’ I was like, ‘Did you not see that in ‘Euphoria’?”
The 24-year-old rising star spoke out against the “stigma against actresses who get naked on screen,” saying that she’s been more conscious about her nude scenes in the latest season of “Euphoria,” which premiered January 9.
“When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise,” Sweeney explained. “But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different.”
She added, “I’ve never felt like [creator] Sam [Levinson] has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’ He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it.'”
Sweeney summed up, “When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”
Sweeney’s collaborative work on “Euphoria” is sadly different than what she’s endured in the past. “I’ve had experiences,” she revealed, “where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting.”
And some fans have blurred the lines between Sweeney’s onscreen performances and her real life, including tagging her younger brother in a naked photo of her in-character online.
“That was the most hurtful thing that anybody could do,” Sweeney reflected. “What I do is completely separate from my family. My character is completely separate to me. It’s just so disrespectful and distressing.”