Euphoria fans have praised the HBO series for offering an unsanitized and often purposely salacious look at the high school experience, but many have noted that Sydney Sweeney, who plays Cassie, seems to have a disproportionately large amount of nudity in her scenes. Put bluntly: She’s topless quite a bit.
Addressing this pattern in a new interview, Sweeney gave some important context for how the show approaches those scenes. “Sam is amazing,” she said, per BuzzFeed, praising series creator Sam Levinson. “There are moments [in the script] where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here’…. He was like, ‘Okay, we don’t need it.’”
Sweeney explained, “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.”
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. “I’ve had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting…. I didn’t feel comfortable with my castmate or the crew, and I just didn’t feel like my character would be doing it,” Sweeney recalled of filming intimate scenes in other projects, adding that in those situations she “didn’t feel like [she] was able to speak up.”
She also pointed out the double standard applied to male and female actors with regard to onscreen nudity, saying there’s a “stigma against actresses who get naked onscreen” and that “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.”
She also shared the frustration she felt when she had her “breakthrough” moment appearing in the buzzy The White Lotus*—*well after she had already been on Euphoria and The Handmaid’s Tale. “I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria,” Sydney Sweeney said. “I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked. 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? Did you not see that in The Handmaid’s Tale?’”
This story was originally published on Glamour.com