Sydney Sweeney is calling out internet trolls who took screenshots of her nude scenes in “Euphoria” and tagged her family members online following the HBO hit’s 2020 debut.
“It got to the point where they were tagging my family. My cousins don’t need that. It’s completely disgusting and unfair,” the actor told British GQ in an interview published Friday.
Sweeney — who plays Cassie Howard in the teen drama series — spoke up about receiving misogynistic responses to her work. She noted that the “disgusting” people who sent her family members the naked scenes echo the eerie sexualization women face.
Like her “Euphoria” character, whose NSFW photos went viral among her high school classmates in Season 1, Sweeney opened up about the unsettling connection between her real life and Cassie.
“You have a character that goes through the scrutiny of being a sexualized person at school and then an audience that does the same thing,” the 25-year-old told the outlet.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan about the cyberattacks in February, Sweeney shared that she’s learned to separate herself from disturbing internet behavior.
“When I get tagged in Cassie’s or Pippa from The Voyeurs’ nudes, it feels like me looking at their nudes, not Sydney’s nudes,” she told the outlet at the time, referencing her 2021 American erotic thriller film. She added that those shoots are “so technical and so not romantic.”
Despite her frustration, Sweeney admitted to GQ that the pesky trolls wouldn’t deter her from starring in more NSFW scenes on “Euphoria” and other series, noting the unwarranted trolling fuels her even more.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I’m an artist, I play characters. It makes me want to play characters that piss people off more,” she added.
The “White Lotus” actor — who explained earlier this year that she only does nudity when it’s important for the storyline — revealed how she’d pushed her whole life to make people see her for more than just her body.
“I had boobs before other girls, and I felt ostracized for it,” Sweeney said. “I was embarrassed, and I never wanted to change in the locker room. I think that I put on this weird persona other people had of me because of my body. So I did play every sport, and I studied really hard, and I did everything that people wouldn’t think I would do to show them that my body doesn’t define who I am.”
Though Sweeney previously shared that “Euphoria” director Sam Levinson never forced her to act in any nude scenes that made her uncomfortable, she admitted that she wasn’t so fortunate while working on other projects.
“I’ve had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting,” she told the Independent in January. “I didn’t feel comfortable with my castmate or the crew, and I just didn’t feel like my character would be doing it.”
“Euphoria” is now available to stream on HBO Max.