Speaking Out

Sydney Sweeney Lays Out The 'Stigmas' Hollywood Puts On Young Mothers

The "Euphoria" star wants to have children, but knows the industry will treat her differently once she does.

Sydney Sweeney says she wants to be a young mom. Here, she attends the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards at...
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Sydney Sweeney has been experiencing a meteoric rise to fame. The 24-year-old actress was just nominated for two individual Emmy awards for her roles in HBO’s Euphoria and White Lotus, and was recently cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man spinoff, Madame Web opposite Dakota Johnson. But, if she could take a step back from it all to become a mother, she would.

In a new profile with The Hollywood Reporter, Sweeney admits she’s always wanted to be a young mom but dreads the treatment she would receive from the industry if she had children.

“I want to have a family, I’ve always wanted to be a young mom, and I’m worried about how this industry puts stigmas on young women who have children and looks at them in a different light,” Sweeney, who is reportedly engaged to restaurateur Jonathan Davino, told THR. “I was worried that, if I don’t work, there is no money and no support for kids I would have.”

Her Sharp Objects co-star Amy Adams assured her that a work-life balance could be achieved, but Sweeney still doesn’t understand how she would be able to afford her current lifestyle without a steady, Hollywood-level paycheck.

“If I wanted to take a six-month break, I don’t have income to cover that,” she insisted, saying she takes on gigs with brands like Miu Miu and Armani to “be able to afford my life in L.A.”

“I don’t have someone supporting me, I don’t have anyone I can turn to, to pay my bills or call for help,” she continued. “They don’t pay actors like they used to, and with streamers, you no longer get residuals. The established stars still get paid, but I have to give 5 percent to my lawyer, 10 percent to my agents, 3 percent or something like that to my business manager. I have to pay my publicist every month, and that’s more than my mortgage.”

To clarify: Sweeney knows how privileged she is and doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. She does, however, want to make it clear that the luxurious life of an actress comes with the harsh realities of a very competitive, man-driven business.

Sweeney, who grew up near Spokane, Washington, and was her high school’s valedictorian, may play a troubled teen on screen but she’s anything but. As her name and face become more recognizable, Sweeney’s goal is to take charge of her career, as she’s launched her own production company Fifty-Fifty Films, and is eager to be respected in the business.

“The rejection you get while you’re trying to learn to be yourself is insane. It’s insane how adults look at you,” she told THR of navigating success in her early 20s, later adding that the industry is “built to try to make you backstab people.”

“My agent is my best teammate, and I’ll have her forever,” she added, “[but] I see how people are like, ‘We support each other’ — and I’m like, ‘No. You f—king don’t.’ ”

Let’s hope there are more women like Sweeney who continue to work hard and stand up for one another. Young moms, or not.