Sydney Sweeney can do it all. Best known for playing Cassie on Euphoria and Olivia on The White Lotus, the rising star is also a producer, entrepreneur, martial artist and car mechanic. And the real twist? She’s only just turned 24.
Sydney’s most recent role as Cassie on Euphoria propelled her further into the spotlight, with the show reaching great heights as HBO’s second-most-watched show since 2004. Euphoria-related content permeates every corner of the internet – from the 34 million tweets that ravaged Twitter to viral memes like Cassie’s meltdown scene where she sobs, “I’ve never, ever been happier”.
Watching Euphoria is a highly stressful experience. As Cassie navigates high school’s complex waters in her ruinous search for love, viewers are up in arms over her questionable choices. This is in part due to creator Sam Levinson’s clever script, but it is also largely due to Sydney Sweeney’s masterful control over a dynamic range of emotions. Her depiction has viewers toeing the line between pitying Cassie and wanting to shake her back to reality. The calculated subtlety and bold modulation in Sydney’s portrayal of Cassie is palpable – Cassie shifts from desperation and panic to manic calmness and indifference within a few short minutes. An entire episode would see her run through hundreds of different emotions. And what of Sydney’s own mental state? Well, those aren’t her emotions. “I separate myself from my characters as much as possible”, Sydney explains. “Their memories are not my own. Their favourite colour or music isn’t mine. That way I’m truly able to jump in and out.”
Sydney’s intentional mental separation from each character she takes on is by no means due to a lack of commitment. She distances herself so as not to get lost in the roles she plays. To further delve into the core values that make up different characters, Sydney writes in-depth “character bibles” for each role she takes on, detailing events from the moment the character was born all the way to the point Sydney steps in. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she revealed that she goes so far as to create dedicated playlists for each character she plays. “Whenever I’m reading a script or I start building the character and working on backstory, I’m listening to the kind of music that I think she would listen to”, she explains.
When asked what she loves most about acting, Sydney’s answer was simple. “Connecting with others. Learning and experiencing different lives. The ability to make people feel things through my character”, she says. “I get to meet so many people that I would’ve never had the opportunity to meet.” Her experience on Euphoria was a clear example of that, while also providing a space for Sydney to develop and mature. “I’ve definitely grown as both an actor and an individual with Euphoria. I’ve learned and grown from my fellow cast and crew but also from the fans. We have such an incredible community that I’m honoured to work with, and I think that everyone’s hard work translates to what the fans see.”
Sydney joins a new collective of driven and committed next-gen hustlers and multi-hyphenates carving out the future of the entertainment industry (think Zendaya, Selena Gomez, Millie Bobby Brown and Masai Martin). Sydney launched Fifty-Fifty Films in 2020, her own production company. There, she adapts stories by first-time female authors by bringing together a team of rising talent from burgeoning directors to up-and-coming screenwriters. “I want to create as many stories and characters as possible for people. The process is a lot of work, but I love a good challenge.”
Most recently, Sydney was cast in an undisclosed role in the upcoming live action adaptation of Marvel Comics’ Madame Web where she will star alongside Dakota Johnson. “I’m really excited to start that ride with everyone, and for you to meet my character!”, she shares. Despite her numerous and impressive projects, Sydney still makes time for her hobbies. Besides her love of the outdoors and anything athletic, she’s also an impassioned car mechanic and just spent the past year restoring and rebuilding her 1969 Ford Bronco. “I love learning new things. I love the connection you get with the car, and you feel really proud of the hard work you put into it.”
It comes as no surprise that Sydney is constantly on the prowl for exciting skills she can add to her weighty arsenal. “I think if I had time to continually go to school for the rest of my life I would try to study as many things as possible”, she muses. “Business, Law, Psychology, Anthology, Math… I would study it all if I could”. Her hard work, dedication and hunger to learn have led her to wide-reaching success as she opens new doors for herself in acting and for other rising talent with Fifty-Fifty Films. You could even say that she’s never ever been happier.
Photography: Petra Collins
Styling: Dena Giannini
Producers: Alexey Galetskiy @AGPNYC & Serie Yoon @360PM
Casting: Jill Demling @Creative Casting Agency
Makeup Artist: Melissa Hernandez @The Wall Group
Hair Stylist: Rob Talty @Forward Artists
Manicurist: Zola Ganzorigt @The Wall Group
Set Designer: Nicholas Des Jardins @Streeters
Cover Wardrobe: Gucci
Cover Jewellery: Messika Paris