‘Euphoria’: Sydney Sweeney Revealed How She Prepared to Play Cassie

Unlike some of her Euphoria castmates, Sydney Sweeney has a fairly simple audition process to land her role on the hit HBO show. While Barbie Ferreira auditioned a whopping eight times before she landed the role of Kat Hernandez, Sweeney’s path to becoming Cassie Howard was a one-and-done situation. After putting herself on tape for the role just once, she was offered the part of the doe-eyed blonde.

But how did Sweeney prepare to portray the promiscuous Cassie? In many ways, the cheerleader is completely divorced from who Sweeney is as a person. While Cassie is one of the most popular girls in school, Sweeney was bullied growing up and lost the bulk of her friends when she decided she wanted to pursue acting. And while the fictional cheerleader drinks alcohol and takes drugs recreationally, Sweeney refuses to try drugs and drinks water exclusively.

Sydney Sweeney (Cassie Howard) poses at the Euphoria Season 2 premiere
‘Euphoria’ cast member Sydney Sweeney | Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO

Sydney Sweeney created an entire book to prepare to play her ‘Euphoria’ character

Even though the Washington native has been acting for over a decade, it can still be challenging for her to play a character who is so different from her. Fortunately, Sweeney has developed a very distinct (albeit intense) preparation process so that she can bring her characters to life in an authentic way. In an interview with Story + Rain, Sweeney shared how she prepped for Cassie.

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“I create books to build the characters that I play,” Sweeney revealed. “I create an interactive timeline, journal, diary of their entire lives from the day they were born to the first page of the script. I spend a couple of hundred dollars at Michael’s! I buy a book and I decorate the whole thing and write tons of stuff down.”

‘The White Lotus’ star knows what happens to Cassie at every age

Continuing on, Sweeney got granular about what’s in Cassie’s book. “There are sections to each book,” the Euphoria star revealed. “There’s the timeline of her whole life, a section for her relationships, her memories, what her world looks like. And I have a section for where the script starts. I believe that when a character is in a scene, she’s still living. So I have a section for what happens between every scene.”

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But when does Sweeney start creating her character books? She used to create them for every audition, but investing so much time, energy, and effort into a character she wasn’t sure she’d play became taxing. Now, Sweeney reserves the creative process for roles she’s already been offered. And she usually begins the very day she learns that the part is undoubtedly hers.

Sweeney headed to Michaels the day she booked her role in ‘Euphoria’

“Usually on the day I get the role, I’m like, ‘I’m going to Michaels! I’m getting my book!'” Sweeney shared. “And it depends how long I have to finish it. I typically finish it before my first day of filming. For Handmaid’s Tale, I had a week to make her book, and for Euphoria I had a whole entire summer to make her book.”

Clearly, making a book for Cassie has paid off. Sweeney has been championed for her performance in Euphoria. And considering what The Players Table producer has teased about her character for the sophomore season of Euphoria, fans are sure to see more nuanced and layered performances from Sweeney.

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