For anyone who hasn’t hidden in a bathtub at a party after sleeping with their best friend’s boyfriend or was called a slut via a play written by her sister and performed in front of the entire high school, the experience of watching HBO’s Euphoria is not exactly a relaxing way to spend a Sunday evening. In fact, this writer would characterize it as anywhere from deeply anxiety-provoking to actively horrifying. Behind the scenes, though, the actual act of filming the show has an entirely different effect, at least for its bathtub-hider and hot-tub-puker-in-chief, Sydney Sweeney.
“Cassie is definitely the closest—especially in season one—to me that I’ve played and she means a lot to me,” Sweeney said of her character in a recent interview with Glamour UK. “It’s almost like therapy: where I can let out so much… that when I go home, I feel free.”
As stressful as watching the show may be, Sweeney is really onto something here. If everyone could find a way to get paid to deliver Cassie’s show-stopping “you can all judge me if you want, but I have never, ever been happier” monologue or stick their entire torso out of a car driven a million miles over the speed limit by Jacob Elordi (in a controlled environment, of course), the world would be a much healthier place.
Still, despite these moments of catharsis, Sweeney knows the experience of filming Euphoria’s third season—set to commence next year—will have a tragic undertone. Sweeney’s co-star Angus Cloud died this summer at the age of 25, leaving his friends and family in mourning and still trying to process the loss. “[My costars and I] were constantly on the phone with each other crying, because it was just such a shock,” Sweeney said of first hearing the news. “I don’t think it’ll truly feel real or hit me until we’re filming and I won’t see Angus on set.”
“(At least) when we are filming, all of our eyes are on each other and we’re there for each other, just in a different way than we’re able to when we’re all in very separate places in the world,” she continued. “It’s really interesting when someone passes away in our industry, because they’re still alive in so many forms.”