Christina Ricci and Sydney Sweeney an’t afraid of demanding roles.
For the latest episode of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” the “Yellowjackets” star sits down for a conversation with the “Euphoria” actress.
“We’ve both played characters that have turned into memes. Olivia’s a meme. Cassie’s a meme,” Ricci remarks.
“Misty’s a meme. Do you like it?” Sweeney asks her.
Ricci admits, “I think it’s really fun.”
“Sometimes when I’m texting my mom, I send back memes of my characters as replies,” Sweeney reveals.
Despite the meme qualities of the characters, both actresses make sure to imbue their characters with a lot more depth.
“You’re like, ‘Oh, she’s crazy, or she is fanatic — and she’s just emotional.’ But there’s so much going on in her brain that it’s emotions that she’s actually feeling,” Sweeney says of her “Euphoria” character, before asking Ricci, “Do you love playing ‘crazy’?”
“I do. I’m a bit of a contrarian, so I’ve always enjoyed — almost in an immature, rebellious way — playing people that you are supposed to hate,” Ricci says. “And that’s of course just me being a jerk. You were saying if you played Cassie in a way where she wasn’t grounded in extreme pain, you could dismiss the character. I feel like Misty is a similar sort of situation.”
She adds, “It’s just on the edge of camp. And she is the comedy in a lot of the scenes, so my real desire and struggle and whole intention was to just have it all be grounded in reality, and have her be somebody that you might have seen that person on the street and been like, “Oh, what a weirdo” — but this is what’s going on actually inside that weirdo. Even her appearance is very extreme.”
Getting into a conversation about sex scenes, Ricci notes that Sweeney has done her share: “It does seem like you guys have so much ownership in what you’re doing.”
“It’s a very safe environment. I’m very fortunate that I am coming up during a time where there is so much thought in this process, and we now have intimacy co-ordinators,” Sweeney tells her.
“Oh yeah. I’ve never worked with one,” Ricci says.
“It’s really interesting, because it’s kind of like a stunt co-ordinator for a sex scene. They bring in tools,” Sweeney says. “Sometimes there’s yoga mats that you can put in between each other. Or there’s, like, pads that you can put, or yoga blocks — there’s some weird stuff. And even if you have agreed to something, they ask you on the spot on the day, ‘Did you change your mind? Because you can.’ It’s really nice. I’ve never felt uncomfortable.”
Ricci says, “I haven’t done a sex scene in a couple years. I’m at that age where they don’t ask you to do them so much anymore. I mean, I don’t really enjoy them.”
“I have weirdly become very confident with my body through Cassie,” Sweeney reveals.
“I was going to ask you about that, because there’s so much nudity. Once I had to do a movie where I was naked pretty much the entire time,” Ricci recalls. “The thing that made me more uncomfortable was other people being uncomfortable with me being naked. So what I did, and you probably wouldn’t be allowed to do this now — I just stayed naked. I was like, ‘Don’t make me feel weird, like I’m the person who has to be ashamed.’ I would talk to crew members naked.”
She continues, “I wanted everybody around me to stop reacting to it, because then I would forget that I was naked. And it worked. But it’s one of the only times I’ve ever actually really felt comfortable being naked on camera.”
“I have to say, it’s kind of like a power move,” Sweeney remarks with admiration.
“Throw my five-foot-one stature around here. ‘You’re going to have to look at my boobs. Sorry!'” Ricci laughs.
Ricci also shares one particularly bad experience, telling Sweeney, “With the conversations that were had on our set about intimacy and people’s comfort, it was the first time I realized that things have really changed, and women are now allowed to say, ‘I’m not comfortable.’ I mean, I remember once on a movie saying I wasn’t comfortable with something and they threatened to sue me if I didn’t do it. That would never happen now.”
She adds, “It was fine. I didn’t do it anyway. And they didn’t sue me.”