Sydney Sweeney: ‘I watched my parents lose a lot. We filed for bankruptcy’

Sydney Sweeney covers the latest issue of Women’s Health, all to promote Anyone But You, the romantic-comedy she did with Glen Powell. The interview has a weird feel to it, probably because Sydney couldn’t talk about the movie during the strike, but the second the strike ended, she called up the magazine and had them add some quotes. At this point, I don’t know what to think about the romance rumors between Glen and Sydney, but I do think this young woman would do almost anything to promote her work. She’s a hustler, and I’m saying that in a complimentary way. Her parents gave up a lot to help her break through and now that she’s arrived, she’s not wasting any opportunity. Some highlights from Women’s Health:

She loves to water ski: “It’s a lot of upper body strength, it’s balance, it’s core, it’s legs—you get tired really fast. I see such a change in my body after an entire summer of [skiing]. My arms are stronger, more sculpted. My abs are rock solid. But I never look at it as a workout because it is so much fun.”

She loves new challenges: “Whenever a new challenge presents itself and I’m not scared to push myself to try, that’s when I’m really proud of who I am… I know that my body can keep going—it’s more just that mental challenge to push myself through. I take that skill into skiing, into acting, into anything I do, because it’s always more mental than physical. Of course you have to train, but it’s mind over matter at the end of the day.”

She deals with social anxiety. “Whenever it feels like the world’s so loud, and there’s so much going on, and I’m trying to balance it all—sometimes, it can feel overwhelming.”

Her parents’ sacrifice: “I watched my parents lose a lot. We filed for bankruptcy, and they lost their house back home on the lake. [Sydney has since bought back her great-grandparents’ home on the same lake so she can return.] We couldn’t afford life in L.A. We couldn’t afford life anywhere,” she recalls. To help pay the bills, Sydney babysat, cleaned restaurant bathrooms, and led tours at Universal Studios. “It was hard because they were supporting my dream, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I didn’t want to fail them. No matter how long it took, I was going to be in a TV show or a movie, and I wasn’t going to stop until something happened.”

Working with Glen Powell: “Getting to work with Glen, I’ll never forget this one… I hope the audience can actually feel the love and fun we all shared making this film. That’s something I always feel from my favorite rom-coms—the joy and energy shared amongst the cast and crew, and I was lucky enough to experience that on this film.”

Kindness: “I truly believe that kindness is the most important attribute anybody can have, because whoever you see on your way up, you’re going to see on your way down,” she says. “I try to be as loyal to my people as I can, and I hope they return the favor. I also love watching everyone succeed together.”

[From Women’s Health]

I sometimes wonder if something has to give with Sweeney – she loves to work, she’s a workaholic, she would happily book back-to-back jobs for the next ten years. And then the other side of her is happy in Idaho with her family, and wanting to get married and be a young mom. It’s possible she can do all of that have it all, but I do wonder if there will be a fork in the road and she’ll end up choosing the Hollywood life and the big career for the next ten years.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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19 Responses to “Sydney Sweeney: ‘I watched my parents lose a lot. We filed for bankruptcy’”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    It’s lovely that she bought her family home back after her parents lost it. But it’s not up to Sydney to support her family. A lot of pressure is placed on the successful person in the family and I think you can be generous without being the entire support system.

    • Mario says:

      I agree with you, but I suppose its a particularly appropriate gesture if, as she reports, her parents made specific financial sacrifices for the express purpose of facilitating her dream, including moving to L.A. while she was a minor, despite not having the skills or earning power to live there.

      That said, something about it feels…off. I hope it’s just me being cautious, but I get nervous when anyone (a child, a spouse) is made to feel like they were the reason the other had to suffer or sacrifice, and now are expected to feel a guilt and obligation in return. That may not be happening here, but the way she talks about it is ringing some familiar and uncomfortable bell.

      The adults made those choices. A lot of kids want to be actors, but parents don’t risk it all to move the family to LA, losing a house that has been in the family for generations, and getting into the kind of financial trouble that required the kid(s) to stay hustling and working the entire time, too. It feels a lot like she blames herself for the financial hardship and losses, while also sounding like these parents might habe found themselves in the same place under any number of circumstances.

      The idea that she is famous because of their sacrifices and now its time for her to pay them back is a dangerous one. Parents don’t support their kids dreams transactionally. I want to be careful not to accuse anyone, but I hope everyone is being emotionally intelligent about what comes next here.

      (Also, the way she characterizes needing to do whatever needed to be done to finally be in a TV show or the movies, in part to make her parents’ sacrifices worth it, makes me nervous, especially considering how nude and sexualy explicit her roles in “Euphoria,” ‘The Voyeurs,’ etc. have been. But again, I want to be careful to say I don’t know these folks. At best I just want her to be careful. The hand-to-mouth cycle is also trauma and especially so when you are allowed to believe you are the reason for it.)

      • ML says:

        Well said, Mario. Sydney Sweenie isn’t my favorite actor, but I have a ton of respect for how she’s made the financial world behind becoming an actor visible. (Coaches, trainers, stylists, endorsements, etc—this is much easier if you’re rich.) And it sounds like her parents have made it clear to Sydney how much she owes them (she’s certainly internalized this message), which as you stated, doesn’t sound entirely right.

      • R says:

        @Mario. Agreed. It was her dream, but ultimately it was up to her parents to make all the decisions. They could have said finish HS and then go to drama school, if that’s your dream. They decided to move, leave their old life and old jobs and let her do all those auditions as a kid/teen, in the hope she would make it. Working and needing to provide for your family as a kid will lead to trauma, whether Sydney is cognisant of that…(also sounds like her family is MAGA, so that gives me even more ick about her family)

      • tealily says:

        @ML that’s a really good take. I completely agree with you.

  2. Oswin says:

    I fully believe she and Glen Powell are just like the Kaley Cuoco/Henry Cavill PR pair up. They probably did have a bit of a tryst, but it’s primarily a promo tactic that they both agreed to. Like the showmance situationships Dancing With the Stars churns out.

    Actors will do anything to promote themselves, until they move off the C- and B- lists.

  3. Kara says:

    Why is no one reporting on her dirtbag director Will Gluck grabbing her boob at the Anyone But You premiere?

    There are posed photos of her, the director, and her costar, and the director Will Gluck very obviously had his hand cupping the side of her breast. Poor woman, her boss molests her at a work event and no one cares.

    • ML says:

      Yikes, I didn’t know that!

    • Mario says:

      Oh, just looked it up. That is horrifying. As a man who has taken many a photo with women (and men), there is NO reason your hand needs to go any further than the other person’s back. No matter how short or tall.

      An exception is when you are a couple and/or evoking one (as with co-stars promoting a film), but that’s pretty much it, and even then, the hand goes on the waist, not under the breast.

      He will absolutely blame the height difference but, again, as a man the minute you EVER feel your hand brush up against anything sensitive, you are 100% aware of it. Nothing about this is okay.

      And the setting is one that specifically requires she grin and bear it.

      It reminds me of the recent Albert Alarr scandal at “Days of Our Lives,” where he, the exec producer and a director, would take the male actor’s place briefly to “demonstrate” holds and intimate interactions…what could the actresses do? It was work and they were in front of so many people.

      I want Sweeney to realize her own power and go Taylor Swift on him. Just because she’s frequently nude and in graphic sex scenes does not give him, or anyone else, the right to see her, nor treat her, this way…and yet so many men think the opposite.

  4. Bettyrose says:

    I feel like I’m always defending her because I really like her work on HBO, although I’m treading more lightly post reveal that she might be MAGA but is definitely MAGA adjacent. If she doesn’t transition from prestige tv to Marvel soon, her spotlight will fade no doubt. I’m cautiously rooting for her.

    • likethedirection says:

      She already has transitioned to Marvel! She’s in Madame Web.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Okay I just had my Marvelgeek partner explain Madame Web to me. Spinoff Marvel universes, eh? 🤔 Well, good for Syndney, I guess. 🤣

      • Concern Fae says:

        Oh, dear. Madame Web is that Dakota Johnson Sony Marvel project that is on track to be another Morbius. I know she financially needs to work a lot, but at some point you need to hold out for good movies.

      • Bettyrose says:

        @Concern Fae – MTE. Watched the trailer. It’s a forgettable throwaway movie. If Marvel has to dominate Hollywood, I’d love to support more badass female leads but this looks pretty bad. She’s not the lead, though so it’s probably neutral in terms of career impact. Crazy that this is what lesser known actors have to do to stay relevant instead of challenging tv roles. No shame ever in an honest paycheck, tho.

      • BQM says:

        Spider verse (non animated) movies are always blah. Venom was a bit fun. They’re separate from Spiderman as the MCU does them though Sony releases them. That’s why no Spider-Man in these adjacent movies.

  5. tealily says:

    Coming from a position of having no money, I’m sure she feels like she has to say yes to everything. Hopefully she’ll get a to a point where she is comfortable enough to say no sometimes, or she will completely burn herself out.

  6. AC says:

    I have to admire Sydney as she really did start from the bottom and worked very hard to try to get any roles. She’s not a nepo-baby and I remembered reading about her that she had to convince her parents that she wanted to be an actor – even presented them a business plan PowerPoint presentation. I’m not surprised she’s trying all she can to promote her work. She’s a very smart girl, graduated top of her class in HS.I know there were some controversies about her parents before, but they’ve tried to clarity their politics (I’m still 50-50 which political spectrum they’re on).
    But in either case, I hope she will get more recognition as she’s a talented actress.

  7. SuitMeUp says:

    Stories about kids growing up in poverty and helping their families regain their footing in adulthood always move me. Leo Di Caprio, Margot Robbie, and some others did the same thing. Think Kirsten Dunst and Jodie Foster were also the main breadwinners for their families. It’s sad these kids feel like they’re the ones who have to save their families but it’s a reality esp in showbiz.

    Kirsten, Jodie, and Leo as child stars had astute parents who protected them very well on set. But look at how Britney Spears, Aaron Carter, and some others ended up in sleazy HW where there are definitely a lot of pedophiles. The Client with Brad Renfo – he died very young – was on TV the other night and I wonder what happened on the Apt Pupil set with Bryan Singer as the director. All these poverty-stricken families provide HW and other sleazy industries with a ready supply of kids. The parents need to make sure their kids are protected.

  8. Not Just says:

    I have / had colleagues who had family in lower income countries that sent home a paycheck every month so their parents could live comfortably. Does Sydney need to earn back money for her parents? No, but what she’s doing is not unusual either. Also, to my knowledge she got jobs as an adult and wasnt forced into roles or on sets. She could wanted this career and it seems that she’s at the wheel and making the career choices.
    I also think that it might be uncomfortable to be the one with a glitzy jetset life (at least from the outside looking in) when you know your parents or family barely gets by. Especially if they supported you so ardently. If these are the most important people to you, then you want them to be happy and comfortable as well.
    I don’t know a whole lot about Sydney and haven’t seen anything of her though so I’m just speculating.