Sydney Sweeney’s Character Books Help Her Tell the Truth

Sydney Sweeney’s path to success wasn’t an easy one. Hailing from Spokane, Washington, the actor didn’t know anyone in the entertainment industry growing up. However, through a PowerPoint presentation, she was able to convince her parents to let her pursue a career in acting. And after years of rejection and smaller parts, Sweeney has carved out a space for herself in Hollywood. These days, her characters are featured in some of the buzziest TV shows and movies around.

TV show and movies star Sydney Sweeney at the 'Euphoria' Season 2 premiere
Sydney Sweeney | Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO

Sydney Sweeney has created standout characters for TV shows and movies

Sweeney has developed a reputation for building very distinct and nuanced characters through her work in TV shows and movies. In Everything Sucks!, she plays Emaline, a bonafide drama queen who has difficulties navigating her softer side. In Sharp Objects, she portrays Alice, a haunting teen with deep trauma and familial issues.

The ‘Euphoria’ star makes complex books for each of her characters

But how does Sweeney build such unique characters, especially when filming for the TV shows and movies overlap? For The Players Table star, it all comes down to preparation. For years, Sweeney has been building elaborate books for each of her roles. The incredibly involved books are handcrafted and feature details from all aspects of the character’s life.

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“It’s these character books that are an interactive timeline journal or diary of their entire lives, from the day that they’re born to the first page of the script,” Sweeney shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “With TV shows I’ll usually add in more and more every episode as we learn more and more about the character, and I built her entire world: every house she’s ever lived in, every neighborhood she might have walked, friends you’ve never met on the TV show but have made her who she is today.”

Sweeney reveals that making the intricate books help her tell the truth

It is these books that help Sweeney bring her many characters to life in a truthful grounded way. “Everybody is always like, ‘You must be a really good liar,’ and no, I’m actually a truth-teller, and I’m telling someone else’s truth,” Sweeney continued. “If I’m lying, then I’m not doing my job correctly.” Continuing on, Sweeney shares how much someone’s past memories and experiences affect them in the present day.

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“By building these characters as real humans, I’m telling this person’s truth, because something that happened to Cassie or Eden or Alice — any character that I’ve played — when she’s three years old might affect the way she speaks to a person when she’s 16,” Sweeney shared. “Every character speaks differently, every person moves differently, and I wanted to make sure when I dove into these characters I would make it as honest and realistic as possible, so I create these books.” 

Clearly, Sweeney’s unique method is working out for her. And though it may seem like an arduous task, it’s helped her to create interesting, three-dimensional characters that viewers are falling in love with.

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