Sydney Sweeney Has Magic ‘Powers’ According to Mike White

The White Lotus Season 2 is just weeks away from premiering. However, many fans are still buzzing over the first season. The show had quite a moment at the Emmys, scooping up five of the coveted awards. Three of them went to writer and director Mike White. And while Sydney Sweeney didn’t take home a trophy on her birthday, fans still loved her portrayal of Olivia Mossbacher.

Mike White, Sydney Sweeney, and Alexandra Daddario at 'The White Lotus' premiere
Mike White, Sydney Sweeney, and Alexandra Daddario | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Sydney Sweeney is nothing like Olivia Mossbacher

Playing Olivia was a dream for Sweeney. Not only did she get to escape the monotony of quarantine to film in Hawaii, but The White Lotus marked her first foray into comedy. Though The Players Table star admits that she was terrified by her character, she had fun bringing the biting college sophomore to life. For Sweeney, playing someone so different from herself is a real treat. Thanks to her extensive preparation process, she’s able to build her character into a fully-formed person whom she can hop in and out of at the drop of a hat.

Mike White gushes about the ‘Euphoria’ actor’s talents

White and Sweeney’s fellow castmates seem to marvel at her ability to transform into character. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, The White Lotus director gushed about Sweeney’s skill set. “And then she’s obviously nothing like that as a person, so that all felt really exciting,” White said about Sweeney. “She’s very likable and charming, but then you put her in front of a camera and — I don’t want to sound like some Old Hollywood freak — but she has these powers. Certain actors have a certain kind of magic, and she is definitely one of them.”

How Sweeney landed her role in ‘The White Lotus’

Sweeney’s magic is seemingly something that helped her get cast in The White Lotus. That coupled with the fact that she approached Olivia in a different way than her competitors. Instead of trying to be funny, Sweeney’s performance of Olivia seemed to be fostered by disdain and intimidation.


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“She had this great, deadpan, monotone approach that I thought was pretty funny,” White told The Washington Post about Sweeney’s audition process. “Lots of actresses that did it in a little bit more of a precocious way, or a more traditionally comedic way … they were landing the zingers. She just had this disaffected, blank way, [and] it was kind of an original take. … I don’t think she has a lot in common with Olivia, per se, but she ended up being the perfect person.”

Will Sweeney return as Olivia in ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2?

Clearly, Sweeney was the right person to bring Olivia to life. She’s certainly been praised for her performance of the biting teen. And while fans of The White Lotus shouldn’t expect to see Olivia in the sophomore season of the show, Sweeney is open to returning for future seasons. For now, Sweeney is focusing on filming Sony’s Madame Web in Boston. It’ll be interesting to see if the magic that White says she possesses is also palpable in the movie.