Sydney Sweeney Endures Nasty Huntsman Spider Bite While Filming 'Anyone But You' — Watch the Video

Bianca Piazza - Author

Dec. 14 2023, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Actor Sydney Sweeney was bitten by a huntsman spider while filming 2023's Anyone But You.
  • She of course lived to tell the tale, but fans questioned the danger of huntsman bites.
  • Common in Australia, huntsman spiders eat household pests.
  • Generally, huntsman spider bites are not considered deadly, but can still cause short-term adverse health effects.
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As it turns out, uber-dreamy Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi as antagonist Nate Jacobs isn't the most venomous scene partner Sydney Sweeney has worked with thus far. While on the set of her December 2023 romcom Anyone But You, directed by Will Gluck (Easy A), The White Lotus star had to act with a huntsman spider crawling up her arm. The movie's filming location is Sydney, Australia — which may as well be the giant arachnid capital of the world.

Unfortunately, Sweeney's "trained" eight-legged scene partner got spooked, biting into her arm. In a behind-the-scenes clip shared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Dec. 12, 2023, Sweeney is seen transitioning from acting to suddenly shouting, "No, he's really biting me!"

Considering some spider bites are fatal to humans, many wondered about the dangers of huntsman bites. Here's what you need to know about Sweeney's experience, and all the basics on huntsman spider bites.

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Close-up photo of a huntsman spider
Source: iStock

Sydney Sweeney got a huntsman spider bite while filming the 2023 film 'Anyone But You.'

As featured in the film's trailer, Sweeney and co-star Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick) jump and scream after Sweeney's character, Bea, finds a huntsman spider on Powell's Ben's butt.

The equally goofy and sexy scene required bravery from Sweeney, leading to a gnarly bite. In the mentioned "blooper" footage, the actor's fake screaming morphs into real screaming. "It actually got you?" Powell asks in the clip, concerned for his co-star's safety.

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"That was like a soul scream," she told Fallon on the show. "I thought I was gonna die!"

To clarify, Sweeney was giggling while telling the story and is completely fine. So, how dangerous are huntsman bites?

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Are huntsman spider bites poisonous or dangerous?

Sweeney did mention that the bite was poisonous, but how poisonous are we talking? According to the Australian Museum, huntsman spiders are technically venomous, as are most spider's bites, "and a bite may cause some ill effects." That being said, they are "not considered to be dangerous spiders."

Huntsman spiders, belonging to the family Sparassidae, act as natural pest controllers in Australian homes. They typically eat insects "and other invertebrates."

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Similarly to tarantulas, huntsman spiders are perceived as treacherous, because, well, look at them. There are almost 1,300 huntsman species, as noted by the Cornell Chronicle, and they're on average about 1 inch long with a 5-inch leg span. However, according to Live Science, they can reach the size of a dinner plate. Imagine seeing that in the middle of the night.

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As mentioned, a huntsman bite can cause some irritation. First Aid Pro listed swelling, itchiness, inflammation, and occasional nausea and headaches as effects of a bite. Interestingly, these symptoms are often not related to the venom, but the bite itself.

As far as allergies go, a 2002 scholarly article by Geoffrey K. Isbister says that "allergic reactions following contact or injury from arachnids are uncommon."

The Australian Museum recommends putting a cold pack on the bite to help with local pain. Medical attention is deemed necessary "if symptoms persist." Of course, we always recommend speaking to your physician in situations such as this.

It's reassuring that these intimidating guys are fairly harmless, but we'll leave the handling to Sweeney and arachnologists.

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