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The 24-year-old actress stars as Cassie Howard – a character haunted by her sexual past – in the HBO drama series alongside Zendaya, and she admitted that during filming for the latest series she would intervene at times when the script called for her to perform nude.
She said: “There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam [Levinson, director], ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here’ and he was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it.’ “
However, the star was quick to admit that the idea of being naked was never “pushed” onto her and insisted that she wasn’t forced to do anything she didn’t want to.
She told The Independent: “I’ve never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”
Sydney – who has also starred in Netflix series ‘Everything Sucks!’ and dystopian drama ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – admitted some scenes for other projects left her feeling “disgusting” and she didn’t feel able to “speak up” for herself.
She said: “I’ve had experiences where I want to go home and scrub myself completely raw because I feel disgusting. I didn’t feel comfortable with my cast mate or the crew, and I just didn’t feel like my character would be doing it. That made me even more self-conscious. I didn’t feel like I was able to speak up.”
Sydney has called out what she perceives as a double-standard in the industry, pointing out that male sex scenes are lauded over those performed by women.
She said: “When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise. But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different.”