Image Source: YouTube user HBO Max
Sydney Sweeney is transforming for her newest role. On April 19, HBO released the trailer for its new film “Reality,” in which Sweeney stars as real-life whistleblower Reality Winner, an NSA translator who leaked information to The Intercept about Russia’s role in influencing the 2016 presidential election. Winner was eventually sentenced to five years and three months in prison, which prosecutors said was the longest sentence ever from a federal court for leaking government information to the media. In the trailer, Sweeney is stripped down from her typical glamorous looks and glares at the camera during questioning.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about preparing for her movie role, Sweeney said she wasn’t quite familiar with Winner’s story. But when she read the script, “I was completely blown away because I’ve never read something that flowed that way, directly taken from a transcript,” she said.
“There were multiple layers to it that I was fascinated and drawn in by,” Sweeney continued. “She embodies all of these different contradictions that defy what it means to be a woman, a veteran, a millennial. And then also just the actual situation: the interrogation, the fact that this was a real moment in a woman’s life that felt surreal and incredibly tense with huge consequences.”
According to Sweeney, Winner was very involved in the making of the new movie, and the actor said it helped that she got to meet her while filming. “It was incredible having her involved because it’s her story, it’s her life,” Sweeney added. “When I went back and read the transcript after speaking with her, I saw so much more of her [in it].”
According to HBO, the film is focused on when, in 2017, 25-year-old Winner was confronted by FBI agents who arrived to question her about her mishandling of classified intel. The network said the movie uses dialogue directly from the transcript of Winner’s conversation with authorities. The movie’s director, Tina Satter, previously staged the story and transcript as a play called “Is This a Room.” The real Winner was released from prison in June 2021, per The Verge.
“Reality” is another project at HBO for Sweeney, who has a long-standing relationship with the cable giant. In addition to starring on “Euphoria” as Cassie, she also appeared in the first season of “The White Lotus” in 2021. The actor is continuing to keep her slate of projects full. She recently filmed a rom-com with Glen Powell, she’s signed on for a “Barbarella” reboot, and she’ll appear in Sony’s “Madame Web” next year. She also stars in “Americana” with Halsey, which premiered at SXSW in March, and released a collection of bikinis with Frankies Bikinis in April.
Ahead, here’s what else we know about “Reality,” including the cast and release date.
Joining Sweeney in the film are Marchánt Davis as Agent Taylor and Josh Hamilton as Agent Garrick.
“Reality” Release Date
“Reality” will air May 29 on HBO and stream the next day, May 30, on Max.