Sydney Sweeney Open to Returning for 'White Lotus' Season 2 (Exclusive)

The actress opened up to ET about playing Olivia on Mike White's hit HBO series.

After breaking out on season 1 of HBO’s Euphoria, Sydney Sweeney took advantage of the work stoppage during the pandemic to play Olivia Mossbacher, the icy millennial daughter to Nicole (Connie Britton) and Mark (Steve Zahn) and older sister to Quinn (Fred Hechinger), on Mike White’s hit series The White Lotus. While speaking to ET’s Katie Krause, the actress opened up about playing a mean girl, White Lotusdeadly season 1 finale and the possibility of returning for season 2. 

As one of the guests at an exclusive Hawaiian resort, The White Lotus followed Olivia as she cut down her family and others with her scathing and unimpressed remarks while manipulating her best friend, Paula (Brittany O'Grady). “There’s definitely a few little, mean bones in her,” Sweeney says, admitting she had a blast playing the character. “She’s so far from myself, so it’s fun to just dive into this. I’m so terrified of Olivia [and] it’s really fun playing a character that you’re scared of.”

While Olivia and Paula arrived at the hotel as thick as thieves, things quickly fell apart when Paula was caught hooking up with hotel employee Kai (Kekoa Scott Kekumano), much to Olivia’s ire. And because she is someone at the center of her own universe -- "everything always revolves around Olivia; Olivia is always the one who gets everything," Sweeney says -- Olivia loses it when doesn’t have control over the situation.  

“Olivia’s a real sh**ty friend but that is what friendship is to her,” Sweeney continues. “So Paula not being her number one, per se, and breaking that girl code that Olivia had in some weird form.” So when Paula started turning her attention to Kai, Olivia “was really sad, and heartbroken, and disappointed in the friendship.”

But even after learning that Paula was behind Kai’s attempted robbery of her parent’s jewelry, Olivia did not rat her friend out. And by the end of the season, she found herself caring for Paula, who was heartbroken over Kai’s arrest. And looking back on the finale, Sweeney says, “Olivia had a little bit coming to her. But then, at the same time, I feel for her. There’s something that I think Olivia needs to work out with herself still.” 

She adds, “Hopefully she grows a little bit.” 


When it comes to the other, unexpected events involving Murray Bartlett’s character, the put-upon hotel manager Armond, the actress was just as shocked as viewers. “When I was reading it, I did not see it coming at all because the entire time I was trying to figure it out,” Sweeney says. “It was definitely funny seeing it though, and Armond going to the bathroom in the suitcase. It was amazing.”

Ahead of the finale, HBO announced that the once limited series will return for season 2, following a whole new cast of characters at another White Lotus resort location. While Sweeney says there have been conversations with the show about the possibility of returning, whether it as a new character or as Olivia was not specified. Either way, she’s open to whatever direction the creator decides to take things. “I’m just so excited for Mike,” she says. “Mike’s writing is just so much fun and so incredible. And whatever he brings to season 2 will just elevate it even more and be a blast to watch.” 

No matter what happens with The White Lotus, fans can rest assured that Sweeney is returning to Euphoria for season 2 as Cassie. After the shutdown delayed production, Sam Levinson’s HBO series began filming again in the spring. 

While she can’t say anything too specific about the plot or what’s going to happen to Cassie after she terminated her unexpected pregnancy with McKay (Algee Smith) in the season 1 finale, she promises the delay is well worth the wait. “I am so beyond excited and proud of the season, so I cannot wait for everyone to see it and all the hard work everyone’s been putting into it,” Sweeney says. 

Although the pandemic and subsequent COVID safety protocols led to a very different version of that season than what was originally planned, Sweeney says she really loves what this season is now. “It’s definitely darker,” she teases. “It’s darker; it’s more intense. I don’t want to say much more without giving too much away.”

And will it be more shocking than The White Lotus season 1 finale? “I mean, it’s Euphoria. Yeah!” Sweeney says. 

The White Lotus is now streaming on HBO Max.