10 Celebrities Who Had a Hard Time Rising in Hollywood Because of Their Height
The average height of an American woman is 5’3″, while in Mexico and some other Latin American countries, the average height is between 5’2″ and 5’3“. While extremely tall women are in great demand in industries like fashion and sports, in “normal” life, many of them suffer from social stereotypes — since they are taller, they stand out from the majority of girls. Actresses from different countries have shared how they’ve faced judgment and rejection as they got ahead.
1. Gwendoline Christie, 6’3’’
Gwendoline Christie has stood out in recent years thanks to her iconic roles in shows like Game of Thrones and Wednesday, but it’s been challenging for her. Because of her being 6’3″ tall, she used to only get very specific roles.
“I’d been told, just simply because I was a tall woman, with somewhat unusual looks, that I would probably never work on-screen,” the 44-year-old star recalled in an interview with Vogue. However, thanks to Wednesday, she felt that her “body was beautiful” regardless of her height. The success of the Netflix series was indisputable and has led to the actress’s rise to the top. Christie’s character has also been widely applauded.
2. Elizabeth Debicki, 6’3’’
Elizabeth Debicki dabbled in modeling in her native Australia, taking advantage of her uncommon height and slim figure. However, entering the world of acting was a different experience. The roles she was cast in were the glamorous, villainous, and even alien type, like her part in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
It wasn’t until 2018, in the movie, Widows, that Debicki could finally play an ordinary person. “There is something really beautiful for me to get asked to play somebody ’ordinary’ and ’normal.’ I guess what I mean by that is to play a housewife, to play someone young, of a low socioeconomic background. I really haven’t gotten the chance to play a lot of those characters before,” she said in an interview.
3. Geena Davis, 6′
The actress has appeared in influential films, such as Thelma and Louise, but she began her career as a model. However, she recently spoke about how her height made her insecure when she was younger. She confessed that she felt like a misfit among her schoolmates since she was taller than everyone else.
“I was tall from a baby. I was always the tallest kid in class, male or female, right up until senior year. And I found it very stressful to stand out so much because the last thing I wanted to do was stand out. It’s not like kids teased me — I just felt it. I didn’t fit in,” she said in an interview.
“My mom knew from early on that I was going to be extremely tall, and she was on me from the beginning to not slouch my shoulders. She was, like, ’You have to stand up straight.’ And so I would find ways to curve my hips out, which would maybe make me a little shorter. But I really wanted to be small.”
4. Nicole Kidman, 5’10’’
Nicole Kidman, one of the most famous actresses these days, has appeared in many movies, magazine covers, and TV series and even won an Oscar for her performance in The Hours. However, because of her height, she suffered a lot when she was young.
“I was a teenager who wouldn’t conform, but I had a lot of fears and insecurities because I was very tall. I was 5’10” by the time I was 13 years old," she said in an interview.
5. Charlize Theron, 5’9’’
The South African actress has portrayed all types of roles, from dramatic ones, like in Monster, for which she won an Oscar in 2003, to action roles and villainous ones, like in The Fast and Furious saga.
However, her fame did not come easy to her. In interviews, she recalled that her height did not help her open the necessary doors for the roles she desired. “Jobs with real gravitas go to people that are physically right for them, and that’s the end of the story. How many roles are out there for the gorgeous, gown-wearing 8-foot model?” the actress explained.
6. Blake Lively, 5’10’’
The actress, who’s also Ryan Reynolds’ wife, revealed in an interview that her classmates teased her and even called her Abelardo (like the huge yellow bird from Sesame Street).
“Kids used to make fun of me in elementary school by calling me Big Bird (because I was ’too tall’ and had ’yellow’ hair). Here’s to making best buddies with the things that once hurt you,” she wrote on Instagram. After her bitter experience, Lively now insists on discussing body acceptance on social media.
7. Sigourney Weaver, 6′
The star of movies like Alien and Avatar has always been characterized by being tall, which allowed her to attract interesting roles that allowed her to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
However, when she was young, Sigourney Weaver’s growing height was considered abnormal, and her parents even took her in for medical tests. She said that she reached her current height when she was still a child, which caused great concern among her family and at school. “I was this tall when I was 11, like a giant spider,” she shared. “I think (my parents) were afraid I’d just keep growing.”
8. Brigitte Nielsen, 6′
Brigitte Nielsen became a remarkably famous actress in the late ’80s thanks to her many roles as a strong, tall woman in The Red Warrior with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rocky IV with Sylvester Stallone, and Hollywood Detective II with Eddie Murphy.
But this fame contrasts with the problems she faced as a child. By the time she turned 13, she had already reached a height of 5’10“. In an interview, she confessed that she was teased at school, as in addition to being tall, she was extremely skinny.
“That was really hard. I don’t wish that on anyone, and I always say that in my next life, I’m going to be 5′ 8”, okay? What made me stand up straight was when I was 16, I was seen, in Copenhagen, by a model agent who spotted me and crossed the shop to talk to me. It gave me some firm confidence. But, of course, having been teased for 10 years, in your young years... that never really leaves you."
9. Kristen Johnson, 6′
The actress, who became famous after playing a very peculiar alien in the ’90s series, 3rd Rock From the Sun, suffered a lot as a child because, at the age of 11, she was already 6′ tall.
In the book she wrote in 2012, she confessed that she had to wear orthopedic shoes that only added to her impressive height. Furthermore, she was classified as a disabled learner. All this caused her to be teased and even beaten by her schoolmates. But these problems helped her grow, and she overcame them through acting.
10. Allison Janney, 6′
Allison Janney is a well-known actress with a solid film, TV, and theater career. She also earned an Oscar for her dramatic role in I, Tonya.
She confessed in an interview that her height made it very difficult for her to get good roles. “I felt like my career started late, and I think it was because of my height and maybe some of my confidence issues. I was playing 40-year-old women when I was 20. I didn’t get considered for ingenue roles.” All this led her to the comedy side of entertainment, where she succeeded. She has been nominated multiple times for her leading role in the series, Mom, and has several projects in the making.
If you want to read more about celebs whose height is above average, click here.
Other celebrities don’t quite look how high they are. Check this article to see who.