On Euphoria, Sam Levinson’s provocative, teen drama about a group of high school friends navigating a number of ongoing issues, including drugs, identity and sex, shifts focus onto Cassie in episode seven, which airs Sunday, July 28.
“You get to learn about her backstory, and what makes her, her, and what she’s had to deal with, and the situations she’s had to overcome,” Sweeney teased to ET at Monday’s premiere for her new film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
So far in the series, which is led and narrated by Rue (Zendaya), audiences have slowly learned more about Sweeney’s character, whose promiscuous reputation proceeds her. Even though Cassie is dating McKay, a college freshman jock played by Algee Smith, their relationship has been challenged by rumors and outside perceptions by Nate (Jacob Elordi) and his father, Cal (Eric Dane).
In episode four, while upset with McKay, Cassie got high on ecstasy and made out with Daniel (Keean Johnson). Unfortunately for Cassie, he saw that as an opening to pursue her, despite her desire to stay faithful to her boyfriend. By episode six, it seems that McKay and Cassie are at an impasse over their relationship. Later, during a Halloween party, Daniel gets upset with her after she shuts down his sexual advances, claiming that she leads him on. By the end of the episode, Cassie is seen at home, crying and drinking wine. “F**k,” she says, making a sidelong glance at a box of tampons.
“As the end of episode six may have hinted, there is more she has to deal with in her future,” Sweeney said. Audiences, she added, will have to watch to see what decision she makes.
Earlier in the year, the 21-year-old rising star told ET she was able to bring some of her own real-life experiences into her portrayal of Cassie. “It was a very therapeutic experience,” she said at the time, adding that she felt like she owed it to other girls that would be watching, who have gone through similar experiences.
Cassie’s big episode also marks the penultimate episode for season one, which ends with episode eight on Aug. 4. The HBO series, meanwhile, was renewed for a second season. At the premiere, Sweeney was overjoyed by the news. “We put so much work into the show,” she said. “We were working [for] eight months [on] the entire season. So, being able to do another season, and come back together, and bring our stories back to life -- I can’t wait!”
Until then, Sweeney is busy promoting Quentin Tarantino’s new film starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio about two aging actors in Hollywood who interact with Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and the Manson Family ahead of the real-life murders that rocked Hollywood in the summer of 1969. The actress plays Snake, one of Manson’s followers, who shares scenes with Pitt’s stuntman character, Cliff.
On the red carpet, Sweeney explained how nervous she was to work alongside the Hollywood star. “You walk in the first day and you have this amazing, talented group of actors and filmmakers,” she recalled. “I’m just sitting there like, ‘Hey, I’m Syd.' What do you say, Mr. Pitt? From the first day, everyone was so welcoming and so nice. It just felt like another day at work.”
She continued, revealing that everyone was “just hanging out because [we] didn't have phones on set. So, everybody was just talking and getting to know each other. It was just a different kind of atmosphere.”
In fact, it allowed her to form a bond with the cast and crew. “We all really got to just dive into being on this film together and we all became really close," she revealed earlier this year, adding that Tarantino would sit around and tell stories about his days in Hollywood, from different movies he's done to the people he's worked with. “It would have been an interviewer’s dream.”