‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Sydney Sweeney Played Eden With ‘Hidden Movements’
Sydney Sweeney’s resume is bustling with exciting projects. In the last two years alone, she’s delivered solid performances in chaotic comedies like The White Lotus and dark dramas like Euphoria. But even before the actor started becoming a household name, she was nailing smaller roles on other popular TV shows. A great example of this was her role in The Handmaid’s Tale as Eden.
Sydney Sweeney was cast in season 2 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
Filmed back in 2018, newer fans of Sweeney may be surprised to realize that she played a child of Gilead. Fans of the dystopian Hulu series will recall that Eden had an enormous arc. When she is first introduced, she seems to be a very obedient and devout 15-year-old. However, by her final episode, The Handmaid’s Tale viewers can see Eden’s rebellious spirit on full display.
Playing such a nuanced character was a real treat for Sweeney. And she didn’t just rely on the script to help fans get to know her character. She also gave Eden some unique quirks to help fans better understand who this child bride was as a character. In an interview with Stylist, Sweeney got granular about building her character for The Handmaid’s Tale and layering in some hidden mannerisms.
The ‘Euphoria’ actor reveals that she layered in hidden movements for Eden
“Performance-wise, I memorized the different prayers Eden would’ve learned in Gilead to have with her throughout different scenes, reciting them in my head during key moments,” The Handmaid’s Tale alum shared. “I also played with her posture, eye contact, and threw in some hidden movements that some viewers may catch: for example, you’ll see Eden observes Serena Joy – a woman she greatly admires – and starts to clasp her hands just like her.”
Eden’s costuming reflected a consistent theme
But Sweeney wasn’t the only one who was throwing in clues about Eden and the themes she represented. The costume designer for The Handmaid’s Tale also had fun with the way they outfitted the young character. “You’ll see Eden’s costumes play with the symbol of innocence and fertility,” Sweeney added. “One of her dresses actually symbolizes a fertile egg.”
Naturally, most fans of The Handmaid’s Tale have long since known the full trajectory of Eden’s story. However, before season 2 aired, Sweeney had no idea how people would react to her character. Still, Sweeney wanted fans to realize that Gilead was all Eden had ever known and all of her choices, the good and the bad, came from that place.
Sweeney describes her character in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
“To me Eden is innocence,” Sweeney shared. “She has unwavering faith. I don’t know if viewers will relate to her, or feel any sympathy, but they’re guaranteed to feel for her in some way – and recognize that she has been defined by the world within which she was raised.”
Clearly, Sweeney was committed to her role on The Handmaid’s Tale. Now that fans know about her hidden movements, they may want to go back and revisit the sophomore season.