The role of a star in an Emmy-nominated television show does not pay the same amount it once did. Sydney Sweeney, the breakout star of the HBO hit series Euphoria as well as White Lotus isn’t shy about talking about her financial issues.
At first glance, Hollywood starlets appear basically relaxed. It’s hard to imagine any of the actors or pop stars in the dreadful Vogue beauty videos stressing about budgeting. In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter, 24-year-old Sweeney claims that fame may not be as relaxed as it seems. Stars have a lot to learn, but who knew they were like us?
A starring role in an Emmy-nominated TV show doesn’t pay what it used to. @sydney_sweeney, the breakout star of the HBO hits Euphoria, talks about her money troubles. https://t.co/jpsD3vpLj5— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) July 29, 2022
Hollywood isn’t paying as much as it used to.
“They aren’t paying actors the way they did in the past, and with streaming services, you don’t have residuals anymore,” Sweeney said in the Hollywood Reporter interview.
Sweeney was paid an estimated $25,000 for each episode of the first season of Euphoria as per World Celebs. In comparison, Jennifer Aniston was paid around $22,500 per episode in the very first season on Friends (which could be around $39,000 when you take into account inflation). Nowadays, every principal actor of Friends is still earning $20 million annually from the reruns’ residuals.
Of course, Friends was a network huge success and Euphoria is considered to be a premium TV show, but with fewer viewers (though it’s the most watched HBO show, following Game of Thrones). However, it’s unlikely Sweeney will ever have this sort of financial success as a result of the growth in streaming services.
When actors who have shows on streaming platforms receive an income from residuals that’s a flat fee that is not proportional to the number of viewers. “There is no residual as in the conventional sense since the show is not airing. Therefore, what we’d like is a greater price based on the number of views,” TV writer Brenden Gallagher outlined streaming programs in an email.
However, Sweeney must keep busy with the trappings of fame. Sure she could purchase a home worth $3 million within the Hollywood Hills, but she stated to her Hollywood Reporter paying for her team — lawyer, manager, agent and publicist — is more costly than the mortgage.
To get by her family’s needs, she’s turned to commercial opportunities and has become an ambassador for MiuMiu as well as the model for the Armani Beauty campaign. “If I had acted only once in a way, I would not be able to afford my living in L.A. I make deals because I need to,” she said.
But she’s still worried about her future, and how she’ll help a family in the future in the future. Sweeney would like to be an early mother as she stated in the Reporter interview. However, she recognizes that it’s not an option in the industry of entertainment.
“I was afraid that in the event that I didn’t get a job I’ll have no money, and there is no assistance for children I might be able to provide,” she said.
Sweeney will also not want to be able to lose the momentum she’s gained in the last five years. Moreover, she’s not financially secure enough to be able to take a long break. “If I were to take a six-month vacation I’m not able to earn enough to pay for it,” she said in the interview. “I don’t have anyone who will support me. and I’m not able to find anyone who I can turn to for help with my bills, or to get assistance.”
As a model born into an upper-middle-class family, She’s made a name for herself in Hollywood with no connections, and this is becoming a rare thing nowadays. In the last couple of years, many have posted via social networks that they are for a reason shocked that some people have got to Hollywood through nepotism.
Everyone enjoys hearing about an artist who has made it by themselves. However, the battle to achieve fame is not without the difficulties of making payments for rent or mortgage in a big city such as L.A.