Sydney Sweeney Studied Laws to Prepare for 1 ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Role

Sydney Sweeney is fast becoming one of Hollywood’s busiest young stars. In the past few years, she has lent her talents to many popular projects. The actor’s impressive resume features roles on wildly-successful shows like Sharp Objects, The White Lotus, and Euphoria. The newly minted producer even managed to nab a role in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s presumed penultimate film.

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

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ acted as a catalyst for Sydney Sweeney’s career

While Sweeney is experiencing mass success now, not too long ago she was still a struggling actor. However, in 2018, the Washington native finally began to catch a break. In fact, she cites one role, in particular, as a catalyst that would change the very course of her career. That role was Eden in The Handmaid’s Tale.

RELATED: Sydney Sweeney’s Character Books Help Her Tell the Truth

Eden has a particularly interesting arc on The Handmaid’s Tale. A child of Gilead, Eden’s grown up in the world that’s been forced upon many. Sweeney loved the opportunity to bring the 15-year-old to life. But how did she approach her unique character? Since Eden isn’t mentioned in the eponymous book that the show is based on, Sweeney found an interesting way to connect with her character.

The ‘Euphoria’ actor studied Gilead law to help her prepare to play Eden

“I really studied the laws and structure of Gilead in order to work out the daily life of Eden, and what she would learn growing up,” Sweeney told Stylist. “She’s still a teenager, so I wanted to keep that sense of curiosity, but she’s been raised to dream and aspire to be a good wife or a mother and doesn’t really know anything else. She works on blind faith alone: others may judge the regime, but she doesn’t know any different – and I wanted the audience to be able to see that.”

RELATED: Sydney Sweeney Grew up in a House Without Internet

But Sweeney’s commitment to Eden began long before she discovered she booked the role. She actually did a ton of preparation just to audition for the role. When she learned about her audition she immediately began binging The Handmaid’s Tale with her mom.

Sweeney did a ton of research to audition for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

“I actually hadn’t seen the show when I got invited to audition, so I figured I’d watch one episode to get a feel for it,” Sweeney recalled. “I ended up watching the entire first season in a single day and I quickly realized this was the sort of role that would only come along once in a lifetime: I had to get it. So I taught myself how to put my hair up in a braided bun (which is actually how Eden styles her own hair, I later learned), dressed like a child of Gilead, re-read the book – and got a callback!”

Clearly, Sweeney’s hard work paid off. And while she’s booked even bigger parts in various films and TV shows, Eden will always be special to her. In fact, she still is campaigning for Eden to make a return to The Handmaid’s Tale. However, only time will tell if that wish is actually feasible.

RELATED: ‘Euphoria’: Sydney Sweeney Rejected Some Shirtless Scenes: ‘I Didn’t Want to Do It’