From a pious Christian wife in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” to an insecure emotional teenager in “Euphoria,” to an outspoken daughter in “The White Lotus,” Sydney Sweeney has played all sorts of women. And, having had a hand in crafting just about all of them, the actress wants other young actresses to be able to have the same opportunity.
“I was a teenage girl. I’ve experienced many things that my characters may or may not have gone through, I have friends who have. So it’s just a more personal touch that I think young females can have with these stories,” Sweeney said during an appearance on WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” podcast.
“And we have writers now that are writing incredible female-led stories,” she added. “It’s important to be able to have those females be empowered through it, as well.”
In her latest film “Reality,” now streaming on Max, Sweeney was teamed up with director and screenwriter Tina Satter. The movie is an adaptation of the FBI interrogation transcript of Reality Winner, a 25-year-old former American intelligence specialist who leaked classified information about Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign.
“I was really drawn to the project because I knew it was going to be a huge challenge for myself, because usually I’m very free with my character’s words and my character’s thoughts and their actions,” Sweeney explained.
Being in front of the camera isn’t the only way Sweeney is empowering female storytellers. In 2020, the actress launched her own production company, Fifty Fifty Films, stemming from her love of reading and her connection to an array of characters. According to the actress, she began optioning the rights to her favorite books, packaging them and taking them out to studios, financiers, and streamers. She’d sell them then develop the scripts.
“I love that process. It’s such an amazing, cool creative process to be a part of,” Sweeney said. “It’s also on the business side, which I really love to learn and navigate. So I’ve been kind of just building that side of my career and seeing where it goes and seeing what excites me.”
She continued: “It’s been really, really fun being able to just have a bigger voice and have more creative say, because I think it’s important for young females to be able to be more involved.”
“UnWrapped” is a podcast produced by WrapWomen, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women in media and entertainment. Each episode “unwraps” topics from entertainment news and industry trends to career advice, Hollywood headlines and more.
Special guests include industry leaders, actors, producers and studio execs. The aim of the series is to connect those looking for knowledge and access to those with the knowledge and access, providing the WrapWomen community tools to succeed in their personal and professional lives.