Celebrities Who You Wouldn’t Believe Were Body Shamed for a Role
The entertainment industry is definitely not easy on women. A female celebrity’s looks are much more scrutinized than their male counterparts and they have even less time to make it big due to ageism.
But now that body shaming has become a topic in pop culture, more stars are empowered to talk about their experiences and to fight back against body shaming. This includes actresses who have spoken about directors and producers who body shamed them while they were auditioning for or portraying a role.
So which Hollywood actresses experienced this? You’ll be shocked to find out which talented and beautiful stars made the list. Here are 25 celebrities who were body shamed for a role.
1. Kirsten Dunst for The Beguiled
The actress is beautiful and has been able to work in Hollywood for quite some time now. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been body shamed for a role. In an interview with Variety, she revealed director Sofia Coppola told her to lose weight for her role in The Beguiled.
“It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out,” she said, so Kirsten Dunst told Coppola she wouldn’t do it. Dunst said the director was “very understanding” about her refusal. “I’m eating fried chicken and McDonald’s before work. So I’m like, ‘We have no options! I’m sorry I can’t lose weight for this role.'”
2. Amy Schumer for Trainwreck
The comedian wrote and starred in the romantic comedy, but was still pressured to lose weight for the role. “It was explained to me before I did that movie that if you weigh over 140 pounds as a woman in Hollywood if you’re on the screen, it will hurt people’s eyes,” she said on The Jonathan Ross Show. “I didn’t know that so I lost some weight to do that, but never again.”
3. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence certainly made it in Hollywood after winning an Oscar in 2013. But she still has to deal with body shaming when it comes to getting roles.
“Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight,” she told Harper’s Bazaar UK. “They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet. It was just that.”
Lawrence said she was shocked that winning an Oscar didn’t stop this type of treatment. “They thought that because of the way my career had gone, it wouldn’t still hurt me. That somehow, after I won an Oscar, I’m above it all. ‘You really still care about that?’ Yeah. I was a little girl. I was hurt.”
4. Kate Beckinsale for Pearl Harbor
The movie follows multiple characters during the Pearl Harbor attack. Kate Beckinsale was cast in the film not long after she had a baby. Director Michael Bay reportedly was very critical of her. “I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head, and I wasn’t blonde,” Beckinsale said on The Graham Norton Show.
“I’d just had my daughter and had lost weight, but was told that if I got the part, I’d have to work out,” she continued. “And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that.”
5. Margot Robbie for The Legend of Tarzan
The beautiful actress was also pressured to lose weight for a role. She got out of it with an interesting reason. “It’s the 19th century (in the film) – if she’s got a bit of weight on her, it’s probably a good thing,” she explained in TV Week. “I’m not going to look thin just for the sake of it.”
6. Carrie Fisher for Star Wars: The Force Awakens
It’s shocking that even after you become a pop culture icon you’re asked to lose weight. This sadly happened to Carrie Fisher when she returned to her role of Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“They didn’t hire me, they hired me minus 35 pounds,” she said according to the Daily Mail.
7. Hayley Atwell for Brideshead Revisited
The actress was starring in Brideshead Revisited with Emma Thompson when she was told to lose weight. “I went round to Emma’s one night and she was getting very angry that I wasn’t eating all the food she was giving me. I told her why and she hit the roof,” Hayley Atwell said.
The good news is that Thompson used her status to stick up for Atwell.
“I said to them, ‘If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that,'” Thompson said according to Metro.
8. Amanda Seyfried for Mamma Mia!
The actress opened up on Twitter about her struggle to maintain her weight in order to work. “Fun fact: I almost lost out on several roles in my career because I was overweight. Wrong, America.” she tweeted. She didn’t name drop which roles, but she did mention her struggle in previous interviews.
“If I didn’t run and work out, there’s no way I would be this thin,” she told Glamour. “But I have to stay in shape because I’m an actress. It’s f**ked up and it’s twisted, but I wouldn’t get the roles otherwise. If I’d been a bit bigger, I don’t think they would have cast me for Mamma Mia!“
9. Sarah Jessica Parker for Honeymoon in Vegas
The beautiful actress revealed that one movie producer was so concerned about her body that he sent her a gift.
“I was about do Honeymoon In Vegas and before that I was off to do another movie in Iowa and the producer of Honeymoon in Vegas was very concerned about me being fit for Honeymoon in Vegas. So, they sent a treadmill to Iowa,” she said on My Favorite Song with John Benjamin Hickey.
10. Patricia Arquette for Medium
After the actress landed the television role she was almost immediately told to slim down. “When I first got the show I’d just had my daughter and gained about 20lb,” Patricia Arquette said according to Independent. “One of the producers said, ‘Honey, you’ve gotta lose some weight!’ There’s still this Dynasty-esque thing happening on network TV.”
11. Ashley Benson
The Pretty Little Liars star has also struggled to fit the body type that people in the industry want.
“I get told all the time to lose weight,” she revealed to Health. “I got that a month ago. It’s just weird. With my stuff recently, it’s been, ‘You have to be skin and bones or you’re not getting it.’ There was a point where it was getting to where a size 2 was great. I’m a size 2, but I think that a size 4 is healthy. I think that all of these sizes are healthy.”
12. Monica Potter
Once again, an actress was told she was too fat not long after having a baby. Sadly, Monica Potter was told even her great acting couldn’t overshadow her looks.
She told her heartbreaking story to The Hollywood Reporter.
I was pushing like 180 pounds at the time. I’m like, ‘You guys, I just don’t feel physically fit yet.’ I had my Spanx on and looked like a damn sausage, but I went in and thought I did a really good job. I got home and get the call from my agents. I’m like, ‘I did good, right?’ And they say, ‘You did great. The problem is you’re just …’ ‘I’m too fat.’ ‘Yeah, we’re just going to wait a little bit.’ I said, ‘I already told you this’ The weight thing is a crappy thing to deal with in this town, you know?
13. Margaret Cho for All-American Girl
The comedian got her own sitcom, which was the second American show to focus on a lead Asian character. ABC executives reportedly told her she needed to lose weight for the role so she lost 30 pounds in two weeks, according to Color Lines. Now, she reportedly has permanent kidney failure from dropping the weight.
14. Debra Messing for A Walk in the Clouds
The actress revealed that director Alfonso Arau body shamed her while she was shooting a scene. “I was doing a love scene with Keanu Reeves,” Debra Messing said according to Marie Claire. “We started filming and the very famous director screamed ‘Cut’ and said, ‘How quickly can we get a plastic surgeon in here? Her nose is ruining my movie.'”
Messing then continued, “I was so confident coming out of graduate school with my Masters in acting. I’d studied in London and I was so well equipped with skill sets, and then to walk on set and have that happen – I was reduced to an un-Hollywood nose.”
15. Romola Garai for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
The actress claimed a female producer pointed at her thighs while she was in her underwear and said, “This isn’t good enough.” She also claimed she “weighed in and out every day with a dietician flown to Puerto Rico” to make sure she stayed “underweight” according to Page Six.
“Not only did it completely changed how I felt about my body,” Romola Garai continued, “but I felt like I’d failed because I hadn’t fought back. I felt complicit because I didn’t say no. I signed off on Photoshopped images and felt terrible for perpetrating this… lie.”
16. Brooke Satchwell for Neighbours
The Australian actress was 17 years old when she was body shamed by a producer on her show. It happened after she filmed a scene where she had to run in the rain in a wet swimsuit. “I was sitting in front of the producers. It was a big finale episode and the cast got to watch it,” Brooke Satchwell said according to Daily Mail. “And I hear the producer sitting behind me going, ‘she could look a little more attractive.'”
The actress continued, “Body-shaming is incredibly damaging, and it’s a growing problem – particularly with the rise of social media and internet trolling.”
17. Charlotte Rae for The Facts of Life
The actress claimed there were scales backstage to weigh actresses. “The more they tried to pressure them and weigh them and threaten them, the more they would eat,” she said according to ET Online. “It’s not the way you handle adolescence. You don’t do that.”
18. Minnie Driver for Good Will Hunting
The beautiful actress shocked many when she revealed why a producer of Good Will Hunting didn’t want her in the film. “The producer of Good Will Hunting did not think I was hot enough to be in that film and did not want me in the film,” she said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
19. Busy Philipps
The actress was told by a producer that she should remove her moles while working on a television show. She wrote about this on Instagram. “Do you know that 1. That’s literally almost impossible? 2. Moles covered with makeup look WAY weirder than when they’re natural?” she wrote.
20. Meryl Streep for King Kong
The legend has multiple Oscar nominations under her belt, but that doesn’t mean she has been sheltered from insults. Meryl Streep tried to get a role in King Kong in the ’70s, only to be insulted. When she came in to audition she claimed the producer, Dino De Laurentiis asked: “Why do you bring me this ugly thing.”
She said the experience was “very sobering as a young girl.” She then continued, “I’m sorry I’m not beautiful enough to be in King Kong!“
21. Winona Ryder
The actress’ career has had its ups and downs, but she has certainly seen success in the industry. Sadly, it didn’t come without a dose of body shaming.
“I was in the middle of auditioning,” Winona Ryder told Interview magazine, “and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, ‘Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough. You should go back to wherever you came from, and you should go to school. You don’t have it.'”
22. Mindy Kaling for The Mindy Project
The comedian was actually offered a sketch show only to be asked to audition for the role that was based on her!
“We were not considered attractive or funny enough to play ourselves,” she revealed to The Guardian. “That network is no longer on the air, and The Office went on to be one of NBC’s most hit shows in years. I feel like karmically, I was vindicated, but at the time it felt terrible.”
23. Maggie Gyllenhaal
It’s hard to talk about body shaming and ignore ageism. After all, most of the beauty treatments and weight-loss recommendations are meant to combat aging.
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has been told her age was a reason she didn’t get a role. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55,” she revealed to The Wrap. “It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”
24. Mary Elizabeth Winstead
The Fargo star also has a terrible director story.
“I auditioned for a really famous director once who looked at my photo which was like an old photo that had been given to him, and commented on how I must have been eating a lot of Southern food recently,” Mary Elizabeth Winstead said according to The Wrap. “I told him I was from the South and he was like, ‘Oh, I see you’ve been eating a lot of Southern fried cooking since this picture was taken.’ And that was before my audition. I was just like, ‘Yep. Yep, yeah. I have.'”
25. Jamie Denbo
The Orange Is the New Black star was also rejected for a role because of her age. “I was just informed that at the age of 43, I am TOO OLD to play the wife of a 57 year old,” she posted on Twitter. “Oh, the characters also have an 18 year old daughter. I am TOO OLD to be the mother of an 18 year old,” she also tweeted.
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.
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