TV & Movies

Sydney Sweeney’s Best Movie & TV Roles Are Incredibly Complex

From Euphoria to Sharp Objects, she’s played some harrowing roles.

Sydney Sweeney, 23, has a lot of acting credits to her name. Here are her best TV shows and movies t...
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Some of the best parts of HBO’s The White Lotus are the withering stares, sardonic smiles, and scathing truth bombs of Olivia Mossbacher, played by Sydney Sweeney. Unfortunately, viewers will have to bid aloha (it’s both hello and goodbye in Hawaiian) to Olivia on Sunday, Aug. 15, on the show’s season finale. The good news is that the Mike White series will be returning for Season 2. The bad news is that the social satire will no longer be set in idyllic Hawaii, which means a different luxe resort, hotel crew, and permutation of privileged guests.

Luckily, at just 23, Sweeney has already heaped impressive acting credits to her name, so viewers missing Sweeney’s sharp-tongued Olivia have a lot of other complex Sweeney characters to be captivated by. From bit roles in shows like Heroes, 90210, and Grey’s Anatomy, Sweeney landed roles that showed off her acting chops. Onscreen, she’s had an abortion (Euphoria), inflicted self-harm (Sharp Objects), and even been possessed by the supernatural (Nocturne). And she has even more projects lined up, including The Player’s Table with Halsey, The Voyeurs, and American Sole. As White Lotus comes to a close and the release date of her upcoming show, Euphoria’s Season 2, is still TBD, here are the best Sydney Sweeney TV shows and movies to tide you over.


In Euphoria, the Zendaya-starred hyper glamorized HBO teen drama, Sweeney plays Cassie Howard, a troubled teen whose sexual past haunts her. In an interview with Good Morning America, Sweeney shared that playing the sex-positive Cassie has been “really, really powerful” for her. “I’ve definitely struggled with a lot of body dysmorphia and been self-conscious,” she revealed, adding that the character was “therapeutic” in helping her “accept my body in a different way.”

The Handmaid’s Tale

In The Handmaid’s Tale, the award-winning dystopian series based on the 1985 namesake novel by Margaret Atwood, Sweeney plays the uber pious Eden Spencer. Pretty much the entire series is jarring, and most of the characters’ fates are grim at best, but Eden’s story is especially harrowing as the child bride of Nick Blaine, played by Max Minghella. Eden only appears in a few Season 2 episodes, but her arc will leave viewers unsettled.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Who can forget when Sweeney calls Brad Pitt “the Hawaiian guy” in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood? (Pitt’s now-iconic tropical button-down became a Halloween favorite in 2019.) In the semi-fictional, semi-biographical dramedy about the life — and death — of Sharon Tate, Sweeney plays Snake, who’s part of the Manson family. The critically-acclaimed film features a star-studded cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino, among many others.

Pretty Little Liars

Sweeney plays a small but memorable role in the series finale of Pretty Little Liars, the seven-season teen mystery thriller about the stalker/murderer/blackmailer A. In the creepy (and slightly confusing) ending, a new group of teens finds themselves in the exact same situation as the pilot. Sweeney plays Willa, or Spencer 2.0 with the same line that Troian Bellisario had in the pilot: “I've looked everywhere for her, I think I heard her scream.”

Everything Sucks!

Sweeney takes a break from the heavy subject matter as drama student Emaline Addario, who also happens to be the love interest (though unrequitedly) of multiple people in Everything Sucks!. The lighthearted Netflix comedy was canceled after just one season, but the ’90s-set coming-of-age series is worth a watch if not for the nostalgia, then for the budding queer romance between Sweeney and Peyton Kennedy.

Sharp Objects

In another dark role with a tragic end, Sweeney plays troubled teenager Alice in Sharp Objects, the HBO series adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s namesake debut novel. Committed to a psychiatric hospital for inflicting self-harm, Alice becomes roommates (and friends) with Camille (Amy Adams), a recovering alcoholic journalist. Sweeney, who was already a fan of director Jean-Marc Vallee (Big Little Lies), told Nylon, “When I saw that [Vallee] was doing a project with Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, I was like, ‘I have to do this. Someone, please tell me there's a role in this for me. I'll audition for anything.’”


Juliet (Sweeney) and Vivien (Madison Iseman) may be twin pianists in Nocturne, but only Vivien is the prodigy. So when Juliet finds a notebook belonging to a deceased classmate and is possessed (literally) by the music and creepy occult-like inscriptions, she steals Vivien’s life — her piano piece, show, and boyfriend. Sweeney’s portrayal of Vivien in this supernatural horror film is eerily compelling.

Big Time Adolescence

The Hulu comedy Big Time Adolescence follows the friendship — that errs on the exploitative — between 23-year-old Zeke (Pete Davidson) and his ex-girlfriend’s 16-year-old brother, Mo (Griffin Gluck). Sweeney plays Pete Davidson’s girlfriend, Holly, who also has a brief dalliance with the other main character. Sweeney will reunite with Davidson in the upcoming film American Sole.

Under the Silver Lake

Starring Andrew Garfield, the neo-noir thriller Under the Silver Lake centers on Sam (Garfield) who stumbles upon a conspiracy after a woman he likes disappears. Sweeney plays a nameless “Shooting Star,” one of the many aspiring actors-turned-escorts. The film is a searing look at the fate of some young Hollywood aspirants, and Sweeney, in her beret, short shorts, and hoop earrings, plays the professional pleasure-giver to a tee.


In Clementine, Sweeney stars as Lana, the teen who captures the eye of the much-older Karen (Otmara Marrero). Despite the picturesque lakehouse backdrop, the film constantly flits between queer romance and mystery thriller. Of her character, Sweeney told ET, “I loved the mystery behind her. You weren't quite sure how she was, where she came from, or who she was.” She added, “Then all of a sudden, after this crazy relationship [that unfolds between the two women], you realize she's just another lost girl.”