9 Talented Actresses Whose Appearance Prevented Them From Getting the Roles They Really Wanted
Ageism in Hollywood has been discussed online many times. The actresses who’ve just turned 30 sometimes have to hear, “You’re too old for this role.” But the reverse situation is also possible, when an actress hears that she isn’t old enough for serious movies.
However, sometimes, an actress won’t get a role because of her appearance, weight, ethnicity, or the type of character she tends to play in movies. We decided to find out what actresses with great dramatic potential had to work hard to prove they were worth the roles they eventually played.
This 20-year-old actress rose to stardom after the premier of the series Wednesday. But just before that, Jenna was thinking about quitting. According to her, she was considered too old for children’s roles and too young for serious ones.
“Nobody tells you this until you get there, but there’s an awkward phase in your life where you’re going through puberty, and there’s a 2-year span where work is just extra hard to find,” Jenna says. Another thing that held back her career was her collaboration with Disney. Jenna had to prove that she was capable of something more than just playing Disney characters. But she did it by playing in 2 horror movies, Scream and X.
After Anne Hathaway turned 30, she began to experience certain difficulties in finding movie roles. The fact is that the roles that were intended for actors who were her age, were given to 20-year-olds.
“When I was in my early twenties, parts would be written for women in their fifties and I would get them. And now I’m in my early thirties, and I’m like, ’Why did that 24-year-old get that part?’”
When Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, she was immediately asked how much weight she was going to lose. But the actress refused to lose weight. She didn’t want other girls “who are going to dress up as Katniss to feel like they can’t because they’re not a certain weight.”
Luckily, Jennifer sees that standards has been changing recently. “I remember when I was doing The Hunger Games, nobody had ever put a woman in the lead of an action movie because it wouldn’t work — because we were told girls and boys can both identify with a male lead, but boys cannot identify with a female lead. And it just makes me so happy every single time I see a movie come out that just blows through every one of those beliefs.”
During the press conference dedicated to the premiere of the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a journalist asked the film director why Margot Robbie’s character didn’t speak much in the movie. Later, there were heated discussions online about why Robbie, who is a very talented actress, only got a few lines in the flick.
Quentin Tarantino explained that the main character of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. So, the story revolved around him. Still, he promised to add more lines to Robbie’s character in the director’s cut of the movie.
The actress revealed that when she landed a starring role in the series about a rising pop-star at 19 years old, she was required to change her appearance. “All the things that they were trying to change about me ― whether it was my weight, my look, the shape of my face, the shape of my eyebrows ― that was so not what I wanted to do, or the industry I wanted to work in,” Pugh said.
Eventually, the series was cancelled after the pilot episode, and the actress had to return to England, thinking that her career was over. Luckily, this didn’t happen. 2 weeks later, she was cast to star in the movie Lady Macbeth.
Ana de Armas
After playing in the movie Knives Out, Ana de Armas’ career took off. However, the actress almost turned down the role of Marta Cabrera.
The fact is that Ana is from Cuba, and after reading the script, she got the impression that Marta was just another “pretty Latina caretaker.” And she didn’t like that because, according to the actress, Latina characters often lack depth and characterization. Luckily, Ana eventually changed her mind.
Zoe Saldaña has also spoken about the pressure that society puts on women. According to the actress, as soon as a woman has children and turns 40, she’s considered old.
“I’m 44, and I took control over my aging, and I took control over my voice and how I consider myself as a woman. And I’m so happy that I’m able to collaborate with filmmakers and producers and people in this industry that want women to be ageless and who don’t fetishize women’s youth.”
The role in the movie Election put Reese’s career at risk. She began to be considered typecast. So, it wasn’t easy for her to land the part of Elle Woods.
“They thought I was a shrew. My manager finally called and said, ’You’ve got to go meet with the studio head because he will not approve you. He thinks you really are your character from Election and that you’re repellent.’ And then I was told to dress sexy.” Eventually, the actress landed the starring role in the movie Legally Blonde, which made her a star.
It wasn’t easy for Emily Blunt to land her famous role in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Actually, she nearly bombed her audition because the film director thought she wasn’t stylish enough. The fact is that she was rushing to the airport and was wearing sweatpants, so they didn’t see her as a fashion magazine employee.
Eventually, the film director told her, “We need you to do it again, but can you, like, not wear sweatpants? Because the studio needs to see you look more stylish—more like the character.” So, she landed the role only after meeting their requirements. By the way, Emily admits that her interest in fashion increased significantly after playing in this movie.
What do you think is more important for an actress: talent or appearance?