‘Euphoria’ Star Sydney Sweeney Comes ‘From a Family of Cassies and Rues’ with a ‘Really Deep Streak of Addiction’

Though Sydney Sweeney has starred in a number of popular TV shows, she is still best known for her work on Euphoria. In the hit HBO drama, Sweeney portrays Cassie Howard, a teenager whose need for romantic love often leads her down roads better left untraveled. Sweeney has long since shared that she loves how relatable Cassie is. However, her character isn’t the only aspect of Euphoria that she feels deeply connected to. It seems that some of the show’s main themes also hit home with Sweeney as she’s watched some members of her family struggle with addiction.

Sydney Sweeney (Cassie Howard) poses at the Euphoria Season 2 photo call
‘Euphoria’ star Sydney Sweeney | Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO

Drug and alcohol addiction is discussed frequently in ‘Euphoria’

While Euphoria is an ensemble show, its central theme surrounds drug and alcohol addiction. The show is narrated by Rue Bennett (Zendaya), a recovering drug addict navigating adolescence and trying to get clean. Much of the show focuses on Rue’s sobriety, or lack thereof, and how it affects her friends and family on micro and macro levels. The theme of the show is something that Sweeney herself has a personal connection with.

Sydney Sweeney reveals that addiction runs in her family

Sweeney and her immediate family moved out to Los Angeles years ago in pursuit of her acting dreams. However, she originally hails from Spokane, Washington, and grew up on the Washington/Idaho border. She recalls being close to her cousins growing up and the magical experiences she had in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. Unlike her Euphoria character, Cassie, her teenage years weren’t riddled with wild parties, drugs, or alcohol. In fact, the MMA fighter’s parents were extremely strict.

Instead of partying, Sweeney put her focus on school, acting, and sports. She actually graduated valedictorian from high school and recalls being terrified of breaking her parents’ rules. To date, she’s never even tried alcohol or drugs because of her family’s history. While speaking with GQ UK, the Euphoria actor revealed that there’s a “really deep, deep streak of addiction” that runs in her family.

Sweeney comes from a family of Cassies and Rues

“I come from a family of Cassies and Rues,” Sweeney explained. “Mostly Rues. I’ve never actually tried any drug, never drank, because I’ve seen my aunts, uncles, cousins, and the effect not just on that person but the community surrounding them. It’s hard to watch someone want to destroy themselves. It’s hard when people judge people they don’t know.”


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Unlike her ‘Euphoria’ character, Sweeney doesn’t drink, do drugs, or party

Even now that she’s in Hollywood, Sweeney is strict about the rules she put in place for herself. She drinks water almost exclusively, opting for a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple on very special occasions. Drugs continue to be off-limits for the Everything Sucks! actor as well. And while Sweeney attends the occasional party for work, she’s more of a homebody in her personal life. Clearly, Sweeney has been impacted by her family’s history. It’s no wonder that she feels so strongly about the stories she’s telling on Euphoria.