Sydney Sweeney almost didn’t get her breakthrough role as Cassie Howard from Euphoria. Sweeney enters the second half of 2022 in a big way, having received two double Emmy Award nominations. In addition to being recognized in the Best Supporting Actress category for Sam Levinson’s teen drama, the actress also received recognition for her supporting role in another HBO series: the White Lotus miniseries. The admission came after Sweeney often became a scene stealer in the second season of “Euphoria,” often balancing the difficult line between fun and anxiety.
Despite the fact that she was an important part of the first part of the show, in the second season of Euphoria, we delved deeper into Cassie’s relationship with her family and her best friend Maddie (played by Alexa Demi). In particular, the series showed how Cassie struggled between her relationship with Nate (Jacob Elordi) and her friendship with Maddie, given that Nate and Maddie had only recently broken up. This struggle brought Euphoria much-needed moments of relief, especially compared to Ryu’s (Zendaya) ongoing battle with addiction. It also highlighted Sweeney’s versatility as a performer who often had to work through multiple emotions during one scene.
However, Sweeney’s new profile on THR shows that she almost didn’t get into Euphoria. She was told that the casting director of the show did not think she was suitable for the role, to the point that she said she should not bother auditioning. However, her agent had other clients who tried to play Cassie and were willing to hand over the script. This allowed Sweeney to send her audition tape, on which she read the script with her mother. After that, she was booked directly. “No hate for the casting director,” Sweeney added. “I love her now.”
Despite the fact that “Euphoria” has been praised and criticized for its visual effects, the show is equally a showcase of actors who rely on a talented ensemble to sell heated storylines and endless conflicts. It’s easy to see that with a less talented performer, Cassie wouldn’t be such an irresistible character. She would either be too funny or unsympathetic. But in Sweeney’s hands, the insecure teenager remains at least attractive to watch—even though some viewers disagree with the decisions she makes.
This shows the importance of casting and how many popular TV shows could have been completely different and fundamentally less successful if the casting directors had not demonstrated flexibility. For example, Sarah Michelle Gellar may not have been Buffy, as she initially tried to be the evil girl Cordelia. The casting process helps to figure out which actors are suitable for which roles, and, fortunately, in the case of Euphoria Sweeney turned out to be exactly the person who was able to bring Cassie to life.