HBO's Euphoria caught a lot of attention when it premiered in the summer of 2019. But while fans have fallen for the series highlighting a group of high school students grappling with issues of drugs, sex and violence, it has been no stranger to criticism. Some have considered it to be too mature for teens, although the storyline tackles some very real situations the exemplified demographic experiences. In an exclusive interview with one of the series' stars, Sydney Sweeney, the actress shared her thoughts on those who have criticized Euphoria.
"You can't make everyone happy — number one," the 23-year-old said. "Two, I think that every character — yes, it's all in one school; it's one town and there may be a lot, but that character and that storyline, it happens somewhere in the world and we just happen to put all of them in one storyline altogether. So I think every character, for instance, everything's relatable to someone out there."
Sweeney stars as Cassie Howard, a young teen who feels nothing but judgment based on some of her choices, alongside actresses including Zendaya (Rue Bennett), Hunter Schafer (Jules Vaughn), Maude Apatow (Lexi Howard) and Barbie Ferreira (Kat Hernandez). Each character seems to battle something a little different, however, the real-life experiences aren't just a made-up drama for entertainment purposes. The issues in the show feature very real struggles teens and young adults battle with as they navigate school, home life and the never-ending changes of simply growing up.
"I think that a lot of people, especially teens or young adults, who are growing up and you see something that you relate to on-screen and you realize, 'Oh my gosh, I'm not alone in this; and I'm not crazy,' or 'there are other people who understand what I'm going through,'" she said when asked if she finds it important to share these stories despite their content. "I think that's really important to have in your life and in your mind. Yes, there are shows that I even love to watch to escape in, but I think shows like this are really important to help generations and society move forward."
While Euphoria has helped some feel not so alone, Sweeney is also helping out new drivers after partnering with Autotrader to help ease the process of buying a car for the first time. "It can be so overwhelming; it can be terrifying; It can be stressful. I mean, you're looking at all the different prices, the features, the models. You don't know what to do but Autotrader just makes it so much easier and reliable and enjoyable." It seemed like a perfect fit since Sweeney — much like her character Cassie — enjoys cars, and recently bought a Ford Bronco that she's fixing up herself.