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It may seem like Sydney Sweeney burst on the scene out of nowhere, but the actor has actually been pounding the pavement and going on auditions for over a decade. Long before she was earning Emmy nominations for her performances on The White Lotus and Euphoria, she had much smaller roles in TV shows and movies. For example, one of Sweeney’s earliest film roles was in a psychological horror film starring Amber Heard.

Sydney Sweeney at HBOs Emmys Party
Sydney Sweeney | David Livingston/Getty Images

Sydney Sweeney starred opposite Amber Heard in ‘The Ward’

In The Ward, Sweeney portrayed a young girl named Alice, who is frequently seen chained up in a cellar. Alice seems to haunt Heard’s character, Kristen, in flashbacks. The role may have been small, but it was one that The Washington native desperately wanted. Thus, when she got the audition for The Ward, she did everything she could to increase her chances of booking the role. In an interview with Backstage, Sweeney spoke about the intense way she prepared for the role.

The ‘Euphoria’ actor went to crazy lengths to prepare for her movie audition

“I had a small role in John Carpenter’s The Ward with Amber Heard,” Sweeney remembered. “My character is locked in the basement and terrified for a really long time, so the audition scene was to be freaked out and crying. I had my parents lock me in the crawl space of our house and leave me in there for as long as I could stand it just to see what it felt like. I think [my parents] were probably like, ‘You’re a strange child, but also, at the same time, this is kind of cool.'”

Sweeney’s preparation may have been extreme, but it landed her the role, and she got to act opposite Heard. And while locking herself in a crawl space may have been unorthodox, Sweeney was used to doing intense preparation for her auditions at that time. However, her preparation process was typically less physical and more cerebral. The MMA fighter would create books for her characters just to audition. Ultimately though, she found that it wasn’t a sustainable process for her.

Why the MMA fighter stopped building entire books for her auditions

“When I was younger, I would do more work on my audition, building more in my book and putting that kind of work into it, and then I found myself becoming very attached to my auditions and being let down,” Sweeney explained. “As a teenager, when you’re told no so many times and you take that very personally, it starts becoming a little more difficult and unhealthy. So I stopped building the books for the auditions.”

How does Sweeney prepare for her auditions today?

These days, Sweeney saves the book-building process for after she books a role. So how does she prepare for auditions these days? Like all actors, she prepares her lines, committing them to memory. Then she does research on everyone involved on the project to get a feel for their style and what kind of tone she should aim for. She also uses her imagination to visualize the world of the project in her mind.


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But even with all her preparation for auditions, Sweeney admits that sometimes her interpretation of the character isn’t what the director or producers have in mind. The actor tries to leave herself open in auditions and not take things personally. “Sometimes you think the way the character is completely different from what they want, and you can’t put that on yourself,” Sweeney shared.

Clearly, Sweeney’s commitment to her auditions has been paying off for her. We’re sure her fans are eager to see what TV shows and movies she’ll star in next.