“That was the first time I heard someone say, ‘We’re not gonna cast you — you’re too fat.'”
Living life in the spotlight can have its perks but a career in Hollywood has some downsides. Those who make it big are frequently subject to intense scrutiny from not only the public but also those that they work with. And in order to secure their jobs with movie studios and television networks, these celebs are often expected to achieve an unrealistic standard of beauty.
This standard of beauty even includes their weight, with many stars admitting that they have been told that they needed to lose a few pounds just to land a role. This unwarranted advice has a negative impact on not only the celebrity, themselves, but also all those who see them on screen. Thankfully, many of these stars decided to stay true to who they are and not let the pressure be too overwhelming.
Find out which stars say they were told to lose weight…
Queen Latifah says that she’s been “publicly scrutinized” about her weight for most of her career, particularly when she starred on “Living Single.” She explained that despite the show’s success and the fact that she and her co-stars were supposed to represent relatable women, they were still asked to slim down. Thankfully, her business manager “wasn’t having it” and refused to comply on her behalf.
“We helped create ‘Living Single,’ so when you look at that picture you see four different women, four different shades, four different types and we looked like four women who would live in Brooklyn and that’s who we were supposed to be representing and we loved being able to do that. But the word came down that we needed to lose weight. The word came down. We’re like, ‘Who is the word coming down from?'” she said on “Red Table Talk.”
When Kirsten Dunst was working on “The Beguiled,” she says that director Sofia Coppola suggested she lose weight. Kirsten pushed back and thankfully, Sofia was understanding about the situation.
“It’s so much harder when you’re 35 and hate working out,” Kirsten told Variety, adding that shooting in Louisiana made things even more difficult. “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.'”
When Jennifer Lawrence was a young actress, she says she was asked to lose “15 pounds in two weeks” for a part in a film. Not only was she told to shed the weight, but she was forced to strip down and compare herself to other actresses.
“During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet,” Jennifer shared during Elle’s Women in Hollywood event.
While Patricia Arquette was working on “Medium,” she says she ended up getting into an argument with a producer who wanted her to lose weight for her role as Allison DuBois.
“As I was getting older, there was still this pressure to look a certain way…I was like, ‘This lady is a mother, she’s married, she’s got three kids. No.’ But there’s that expectation of looking a certain way. Like, ‘OK, you could be 40, but you’ve got to be a 40 who looks 30,'” Patricia said during Hollywood Reporter‘s TV Drama Actress Roundtable.
Before Chris Pratt landed his role in “Moneyball,” he says he was told he had to lose weight. While he obliged so that he would be cast in the film, he says he ended up doing it in an unhealthy way.
“That was the first time I heard someone say, ‘We’re not gonna cast you — you’re too fat.’ So I decided to drop the weight, like in wrestling. I couldn’t afford a trainer, so it was all running and crash-dieting and cutting alcohol,” Chris told Vanity Fair.
Amy Schumer may have been the writer of her film “Trainwreck” but her creative control stopped when it came to her appearance. She says that she was told she needed to lose weight in order to take on the lead 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. So I lost some weight to do that, but never again,” Amy said on “The Jonathan Ross Show.”
When David Harbour auditioned to play The Blob in a “Wolverine” flick, he ended up getting told by the director that he should probably shed some pounds — despite the fact that he was auditioning to play a character named The Blob.
“He was like, ‘David, look, you’re wonderful, we really think you’re just a great actor, we’re just concerned…we’re really concerned.’ I was like, ‘Why, what’s your concern? I’m good to go. I’m available, let’s do this!’ And they were like, ‘No, it’s just, you lifted up your shirt and we saw the…we’re just a little worried about your health.’ I was like, ‘Wait a minute, dude, pause for one second. You are telling me I’m too fat to play The Blob?'” David explained to The Wrap.
Before Carrie Fisher reprised her role as Princess Leia in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” she was told by the studio that she needed to get in shape for the film.
“They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters! Nothing changes. It’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is,” she told Good Housekeeping UK.
Ashley Benson says she’s often faced criticism about her appearance as an actress and in 2016, was told she was too big for a role. She shared that she tries to not let it upset her too much because if she let it affect her every time someone told her to lose weight, she would go crazy.
“I was just told I was too fat for a part. I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder. A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry — you’d go crazy,” Ashley told Ocean Drive.
Kate Beckinsale says that when she auditioned for “Pearl Harbor” right after giving birth, director Michael Bay told her she’d “have to work out” if she got the part.
“I don’t think I fit the type of actress Michael Bay had met before. I think he was baffled by me because my boobs weren’t bigger than my head and I wasn’t blonde. 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. And I just didn’t understand why a 1940s nurse would do that,” Kate said on the “Graham Norton Show.”
While Hayley Atwell was working on “Brideshead Revisited,” she was told that she would have to lose weight. When her co-star Emma Thompson found out, she was so mad that she threatened to drop out of the film.
“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 told First Post.