This past week, Euphoria actor Sydney Sweeney opened up about her finances, stating that she can't afford to take a break. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the emerging starlet reveals, "If I wanted to take a six-month break, I don't have the income to cover that. I don't have someone supporting me, I don't have anyone I can turn to, to pay my bills or call for help. They don't pay actors like they used to."
While Sweeney's statements bear some weight as streaming is changing the entertainment industry, it's hard to feel entirely sympathetic when she's reportedly paid $25,000 USD per episode of the HBO Max show that made her famous. Despite being a Sydney Sweeney stan, I fear her comments are woefully out of touch. Receiving nearly half a year's salary in a day's work is more than most Americans could ever imagine, yet alone being able to vacation more than two weeks out of the year. Coming from a working-class background, money is most likely always on The White Lotus' actor's mind, and while it's heart-warming to see her star power rise in an age of nepotism, Sweeney's remarks completely disregard the many financial privileges she has.
"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...If I just acted, I wouldn't be able to afford my life in L.A. I take deals because I have to." she continues. While it's important to be transparent about expenses, especially for aspiring actors, Sweeney misses the reality that these expenses are quite literally the cost of fame, which is a privilege in and of itself. Apparently, being the 24-year-old owner of a $3 million USD home comes with downsides. While Sweeney cannot support her L.A. lifestyle on her acting income alone, her career enables her to partner with brands many of us cannot afford, like Miu Miu and Armani. At a time when the cost of living is sky-rocketing, thanks to inflation, the prospects of millennials and Gen Z being able to build generational wealth are slim to none, yet her side hustles enable her to do so.
I'll continue to watch Sydney Sweeney's deserved rise to Hollywood stardom from a $1300 USD-per-month studio, though it's difficult to fully support the complaints from another conventionally attractive famous person.