Everyone knows that Hollywood is full of not only extremely talented individuals but also very attractive ones too. Indeed, if you want to make it in the acting business it is almost expected that you look a certain way. Beauty can often aid people in life and the acting industry is no exception. Indeed, actors who are considered beautiful and sexy often get ahead. But the acting industry is also extremely harsh and its standards seem improbable.
Still, many Hollywood actors prove that talent and determination will get you further than good looks, or at least, what other people assume to be good looks. Indeed, believe it or not, but many Hollywood actors whom we consider insanely attractive were once told that they were not beautiful enough for Hollywood.
Many actors have come forward and confessed that at one point or another in their career they were told that they were “ugly”, “fat” or that they needed to go under the knife. Many were advised to stop wasting their time and quit acting altogether. Others were “advised” to settle for “fat girl” roles or the roles of the “quirky sidekick”. Yes, Hollywood is a cruel place full of nasty agents and mean casting directors. But funnily enough, those actors who persisted had the last laugh.
20 Meryl Streep Was Told She Wasn't pretty enough for King Kong
Chances are, when you think of Hollywood you think of the famous Hollywood sign, the walk of fame and… Meryl Streep! Indeed, Streep is one of the best-known actors in the world and is considered to be the best actress of her generation. She has won three Academy Awards and eight Golden Globe awards. She is also rather good-looking. And yet once upon a time, she was told that she was too ugly for Hollywood.
This all happened years ago, when Streep was only 27 years old and when she was auditioning for a role in King Kong. The man who called Streep ugly was Dino De Laurentiis, King Kong's producer.
Streep shared the story of the hurtful rejection, as well as a picture from that day (see the image above), on her Facebook page, writing, according to the Telegraph – “This was me on my way home from an audition for King Kong where I was told I was too ‘ugly’ for the part. This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could derail my dreams of becoming an actress or force me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself. I took a deep breath and said ‘I'm sorry you think I'm too ugly for your film but you're just one opinion in a sea of thousands and I'm off to find a kinder tide.’”
19 Lea Michele Was Advised To get work done at 13 Years Old
The actress Lea Michele rose to stardom after playing the role of Rachel Berry in the wildly popular TV series Glee. There’s no denying that Michele is a beautiful young woman but apparently when she was only 13 years old she was told that she was not pretty enough for Hollywood and that if she wanted to make it she would have to get a nose job.
It was Michel’s agent who advised her to get a nose job, according to Bustle – “She’s like, “How old are you?” I was like, “13.” She’s like, “Great, as soon as you turn 15, it’s time for a nose job.” We’re like, “Okay, we’re out of here.” Obviously, I didn’t get it done. And wherever she is, I mean, she can go f**k herself.”
18 Mindy Kaling Was told she could not even play herself
Mindy Kaling is a talented young woman – not only can she act, she is also very funny. She is probably best known for playing the role of Kelly Kapoor in The Office as well as for creating, writing, producing and starring in the comedy series The Mindy Project. And yet not so long ago she was rejected for the role of herself.
Indeed, she was not only rejected but also humiliated because the network that offered her a role in a sketch series made her go through an audition process and only then rejected her.
Kaling said, according to The Guardian – “we were not considered attractive or funny enough to play ourselves. 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."
17 Sarah Jessica Parker had a lot of people who dissed her
Sarah Jessica Parker is perhaps best known for her role of Carrie Bradshaw from the by now iconic TV series S*x and the City. In the show, Carrie was a freelance writer who was passionate about shoes and clothes. She looked great and she had many guys fall for her. And yet, believe it or not, Parker was, at one point in her life, named the “uns*xiest woman alive” by Maxim magazine.
Parker found the title quite harsh, and said, according to the Dailymail magazine – “Do I have big fake boobs, Boto, and big lips? No. Do I fit some ideals and standards of some men writing in a men's magazine? Maybe not. Am I really the unsexiest women in the world? Wow! It's kind of shocking when men... It's so brutal in a way, so filled with rage and anger.”
16 Minka Kelly Was Advised To Get work done
Minka Kelly is a stunning young woman which is why we find it hard to believe that she was once told that she needed to get some work done. And yet it’s true! Kelly admitted that she was once approached by an ex-Playboy Playmate who sad that she’d manage her acting career – for she saw Kelly’s potential – but only if she went under the knife to get “lipo, a few veneers and all kinds of stuff”, according to Huffington Post.
According to Huffington Post, Kelly admitted that the former Playboy Playmate initially convinced her that it was a good idea and thus the actress found herself working at the doctor’s office as a way of getting a free operation- “She was very seductive and said that she wanted to manage me and that I had a lot of potential. She said that she could get me a job at this doctor’s office in return for plastic surgery which I would need to be a Playboy Playmate.”
15 Jessica Chastain Was Told She Wasn't Pretty Enough For Hollywood
Over the course of her acting career, Jessica Chastain has won one Golden Globe award as well as four Golden Globe Award nominations and two Academy Award nominations. In addition, in 2012 she found herself on Times magazine list of 100 most influential people in the world.
But it was only in the last seven or eight years that people have started to compliment the redheaded actress. Before then, she was generally considered not attractive enough for Hollywood, according to E Online – “Only in the past five years have people been telling me I'm attractive. Before then, I wasn't getting parts because people kept telling me I wasn't pretty enough. People would tell me to dye my hair blond when I first started auditioning. Funny how defined we are by how we present ourselves."
14 Reese Witherspoon Was "Not Tall Enough, Not Pretty Enough, Not Smart Enough"
There’s no denying that Reese Witherspoon is an incredibly attractive woman. And yet it turns out that even truly beautiful people cannot escape criticism – back when Witherspoon was still trying to make it in Hollywood she was told time and time again that she wasn’t pretty enough. Or tall enough. Or smart enough.
Thankfully, Witherspoon was pretty determined to make it and thus no amount of criticism could stop her from pursuing her dream of becoming an actress, according to Dailymail – “You have to be focused and tough because it takes a tenacious personality to deal with rejection. When I first came here (to LA), all I heard was, “No, not right – not tall enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough.” But I didn’t really care about their opinions. I’m stubborn.”
13 Maggie Gyllenhaal Was Told She didn't have it
While it is true that male actors have a hard time making it in Hollywood, it seems like women have it twice as hard for they are expected to conform to specific beauty standards. Take Maggie Gyllenhaal as an example. Apparently, at the start of her career she was told that she wasn’t s*xy enough!
According to Huffington Post, Gyllenhaal said – “When I was starting out, I used to hear ‘no’ a lot and still do. And, ‘You’re not sexy enough. You’re not pretty enough. When I was really young, I auditioned for this really bad movie with vampires. I wore a dress to the audition that I thought was really hot. Then I was told I wasn’t hot enough. My manager at the time said, ‘Would you go back and s*x it up a little bit?’ So I put on leather pants, a pink leopard skinny camisole and did the audition again and still didn’t get the part. After that, I was like, ‘OK, f**k this!’”
12 Lizzy Caplan Was Not Pretty Enough For WB Network
Lizzy Caplan is not only an actress but also a model. Still, she is probably best known for her role as the sexologist Virginia Johnson in the TV series Masters of S*x. Few know, however, that Caplan’s path to stardom was not easy for she was often considered the “underdog”.
Indeed, back in the day Caplan kept auditioning for various WB Network (now defunct) series, but was told, time and time again that she wasn’t pretty enough, according to Dailymail – “'[My friend Lindsay Sloane and I] wanted to get T-shirts made that said, "I AM WB PRETTY!" because we'd just been told, "Oh, she's great, but she doesn't have that WB look. I've always felt like the underdog — partly because I've been told that I'm the underdog, pretty explicitly, on many occasions...In retrospect, I'm so grateful it took as long as it did, because I've been able to slowly acclimate to these changes instead of an overnight success story.”
11 Kate Winslet Was Told She Would Have To Settle For "Fat Girl Parts"
Remember Rose DeWitt Bukater from the 1997 film Titanic? She was a stunning young woman, as was – and still is – Kate Winslet, the actress that played her. And yet Winslet might not have gotten that part – the part that made her an international star – if she had listened to those who criticized her appearance.
According to NZ Herald, Winslet confessed that she was once told that the only way she'd ever make it in Hollywood was if she settled for "fat girl roles" – “I got bullied at school, they called me 'blubber', they teased me for wanting to act, they locked me in the cupboard, laughed at me. I wasn't the prettiest, I've always had big feet, and I was even told that I might be lucky in my acting if I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts.”
10 Winona Ryder Was Told That She Should Go Back Wherever She Came From
“Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough.” Sounds harsh, right? Well, that’s exactly what someone said to Winona Ryder when she was just starting out in her acting career, according to Interview Magazine.
Now, we know what you’re thinking – that’s not possible. After all, Ryder has starred in countless successful movies (such as Beetlejuice and Heathers) and dated countless of handsome and talented A-listers (such as Johnny Depp). She is one of those actresses that are known worldwide. You wouldn’t mistake her with anyone else.
And yet she was once considered not attractive enough for Hollywood. In an interview with Interview magazine, Ryder confessed that a casting director once told her that she didn’t have it – “Oh, yeah. I remember one time in particular. I was in the middle of auditioning, 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.” She was very blunt—I honestly think that she thought she was doing me a favor.”
9 Selena Gomez Is Always Criticized For Not Being Sexy Enough
Selena Gomez is a stunning young woman whose talents do not solely reside within acting – she is also an accomplished musician. And yet, believe it or not, she is constantly criticized for her appearance for apparently, she is not beautiful enough!
Gomez confessed however that she knows that she doesn’t need to be more sexy to be admired and loved by her family and her true fans, according to USA Today – “Every day I get told I'm not sexy enough or I'm not cool enough or if I did this or if I did that, I would have people who love me. Look at this room! I don't have to do any of that to have love!"
8 Viola Davis Is "Less Classically Beautiful" According To The New York Times
When The New York Times called Viola Davis “less classically beautiful” than her co-stars, Davis responded calmly but sharply, saying that the term the iconic magazine used to describe her was just a diplomatic way of saying she was ugly and while before such comments would have hurt her, they no longer defined her.
Indeed, Davis’s full response was this, according to Mashable – “I think that beauty is subjective. I've heard that statement my entire life. Being a dark-skinned black woman — you hear it from the time you get out of the womb. Classically not beautiful is a fancy term of saying ugly, and denouncing you, erasing you. Now it worked when I was younger; it no longer works for me now. ... Because really at the end of the day, you define you."
7 Kat Dennings Was Advised To Change Her Appearance Drastically
When Kat Dennings was starting out in the acting industry, it was “recommended” to her that she change her appearance drastically. Dennings, best known for playing the role of Beth Behrs on the 2 Broke Girls series, ignored all the nasty comments and today she is making millions.
According to The New York Times, Dennings admitted that initially casting directors were full of advice, saying things such as “tighten up your teeth, dye your hair, lose weight, get a tan” to her. Dennings was stubborn however and proved that she did not need to change anything in order to make it in the acting business.
6 Meghan Markle Was Told She Wasn't Pretty Enough
Before Meghan Markle married Prince Harry and before she gained prominence starring on Suits she was struggling to make it in Hollywood. And as always, everyone was full of “constructive criticism”. Indeed, according to Hello Magazine, Markle was told that she was “not pretty and not thin enough” to become a successful actress. That seems ludicrous now but back in the day, it took Markle everything to keep going.
Markle said, according to Hello Magazine – “Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not ethnic enough, while also being too thin, too ethnic, too pretty the very next day. I would drive to auditions and park at the back of the parking lot, far from the eyes of anyone who could see me unlocking the trunk and crawling into my car through its only feasible entry point."
5 Jennifer Lawrence Was Told She Was Too Heavy
If there was one actress you probably did not expect to find on this list, it was probably Jennifer Lawrence. And yet Lawrence too is among those actresses who were once told that they were not pretty enough to make it in Hollywood. In Lawrence’s case, she was told that she was much too chubby.
Indeed, Lawrence remembers the humiliating incident as if it had happened yesterday , according to Forbes – “When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by the producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks. One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough, and during this time a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side by side with only paste-ons covering our privates. We all stood side-by-side with only [tape] 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.”
4 Nia Vardalos' Agent Said She Wasn't Pretty Enough To Be The Lead Actress
Sometimes agents can cross the line. And even though they’re paid professionals who are supposed to know their stuff, it seems that that is not always the case. Take Nia Vardalos for example. Nowadays she is best remembered for starring in the 2002 romantic comedy film My Big Fat Greek Wedding in which she played the lead role. And yet according to her agent, she was not pretty enough to land lead roles. And, interestingly enough, she was not “fat” enough to be the sidekick.
According to Variety, Vardalos said – “I said to her, ‘Why am I not getting auditions?’ And she said, ‘Because you’re not pretty enough to be a leading lady and you’re not fat enough to be a character actress.’ I held off for a bit to see if she was going to say, ‘Just kidding.’ But no, she was not kidding, not one bit. And I had real sadness for this woman because I realized she was hating on her own gender and that years of Hollywood had turned her so jaded.”
3 Gwyneth Paltrow Did Not Get A Part In Golden Gate Because She Wasn't Pretty Enough
Gwyneth Paltrow needs no introduction – she is one of Hollywood’s A-listers who are famous worldwide. She has starred in numerous box office hits and has won countless awards for her roles.
She is also considered to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. And yet once upon a time she was refused a role in the 1994 drama Golden Gate because she was deemed not pretty enough.
According to Female First, Paltrow said – “He [director John Madden] auditioned me for 'Golden Gate' when I was 20. But the guy at Fox who made the decisions said I wasn't pretty enough."
2 Whitney Cummings Wasn't Pretty Enough To Be Anything But The Quirky Sidekick
The actress, comedian and producer Whitney Cummings, best known for creating the show 2 Broke Girls, is another actress who, back in the day, fell prey to a nasty agent that criticized her looks and told her that she’d never make it in Hollywood.
Cummings now finds that pretty funny, considering how her agent, whom she called an “ogre” was not exactly a handsome man himself, according to Vulture – “I remember my agent at ICM at the beginning of my career telling me that I wasn’t pretty enough, that I was always going to be a quirky sidekick. And he was an ogre of a man. He should have been carrying a torch. If he was in a bar, he couldn’t have come near me, and then he was deciding my fate.”
1 Taylor Lautner Was Too Skinny To Play Jacob In New Moon... Even Though He Played Him In Twilight!
To this day, Taylor Lautner is best known for his role as Jacob Black in the Twilight series. But few fans know that he almost did not return to the second movie! Apparently, the producers thought that Lautner was much too skinny to play the strong and handsome werewolf and thus were thinking of recasting him.
Back then, Lautner was pretty heartbroken by the prospect of not being able to return to the series and said, according to MTV News – “I have been working out. I've been working out since the day we finished filming 'Twilight.' I just weighed myself today; I've put on 19 pounds. I'm guaranteeing Weitz 10 more [pounds] by filming.”
Lautner’s hard work paid off in the end – he returned to the series as Jacob, having proven to the producers that he could be just as handsome and muscular as the Jacob that was described in the books.