Speaking with POPSUGAR, Sweeney shared her process for getting into character as Pippa, explaining that while some actors attempt to fully emotionally invest themselves in their characters via method acting, her approach is a little more unconventional. "I'm building the character in a different way," she said, adding that she creates detailed written backstories for every character she plays. "I do love how method actors stay in character. I take that approach, but from their past. I live and breathe in [that] past so that present-day Pippa or whatever character I'm playing is just having all of these moments happen to them organically and fresh."
"I build her entire life from the day she's born."
In building Pippa's life story, Sweeney dedicated hours to compiling a timeline of real-life historical events that might have shaped her life and diary journals written from Pippa's perspective, treating her like a living, breathing human being. "It's hard because I try to make sure that every character is completely different from the other," she said. "Trying to make sure that each character has its own genuine journey and path and past, present, future is really important to me. It's a lot of cross-referencing."
For Pippa's character, Sweeney said she created around 10 or 20 pages of writing outlining the young optometrist's story. "Every book is a little different, but structurally I try to keep it constant with what I'm looking to put into it," she said. "I build her entire life from the day she's born . . . There are diary journals as if Pippa has written them. There are visual boards of her house that she grew up at and the school that she went to, her dream board — things that girls would have put in their diaries — and then just normal facts about someone. It's quite an intensive, extensive process."
Infused with sexual tension and scenes so steamy you'll want to open a window, the film is also layered with dark themes that bring out the worst in each character. By diving into Pippa's life before the move to Montreal, Sweeney was able to help the character explore her own sexuality and wicked tendencies on screen, making for a story that's equal parts suspenseful and alluring. "I always felt that Thomas and Pippa were late-high-school sweethearts that went to college in the same town," she said. "Then Thomas really didn't focus on school — he was more into his band — and Pippa just buried herself in books her entire life, so she has always envied this wild life that Thomas had in a way."
Ahead, read more from Sweeney about what it was like behind the scenes of the chilling film and see an exclusive clip from The Voyeurs.