"I didn't feel comfortable doing it, and it pissed me off."
It's not always easy to work in the entertainment industry. While being an actor or actress certainly has its perks, there are also moments that having a job so heavily focused on appearances can be difficult. Women in Hollywood particularly have a long history of being objectified because of their appearance, both by the media and while they’re at work. But many actresses have now begun to come forward, sharing their stories of how they have been reduced and degraded purely based on how they look.
And it's not an issue that's exclusively faced by women. Men, too, have admitted to feeling objected at auditions, on set and in scripts. While it’s unfortunately still a pervasive part of the culture in entertainment, these actors and actresses hope that voicing their frustrations can help make a difference.
Charlize Theron had to take a break from acting after an experience she had while working on her film "2 Days in the Valley."
"Someone thought it was a good idea to market almost the entire movie on me; objectifying me a little bit. I got a lot of attention from it, but the problem was that, afterwards, it was like, 'We want you to do that again. Can you just do that?' And so I didn't work for almost two years," Charlize told Elle.
Gina Rodriguez says she was auditioning for a film when things took a questionable turn. Instead of asking her to get into character, the production team asked her to return in a sexier outfit, even though it didn't make sense for the character.
"I was up for a role and auditioned in character. They were like, 'We love her, but can she come back in with a tight black dress?' I said, 'That doesn’t make any sense for the character.' They were like, 'We need to know if you're pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine.'" she said during a Hollywood Reporter round-table chat.
Jennifer Aniston admits that she's felt objectified on numerous occasions during her career, writing about her experiences after a particularly difficult time when her body was scrutinized in the media. While she didn't call out a specific project where she felt objectified, she explained that it can happen to women at any point in time.
"The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty…We use celebrity 'news' to perpetuate this dehumanizing view of females, focused solely on one's physical appearance, which tabloids turn into a sporting event of speculation," Jennifer wrote.
During Kit Harington's time on "Game of Thrones," he says he sometimes felt as though his art was being put aside in favor of "sex appeal." And while he's often been labeled a hunk, he says it's not what he's going for.
"To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning. It really is and it's in the same way as it is for women. When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty, it can be quite offensive. It's not just men that can be inappropriate sexually; women can as well. I'm in a successful TV show in a kind of leading-man way, and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal. And I don't like that. In this position, you get asked a lot, 'Do you like being a heartthrob? Do you like being a hunk?' Well, my answer is, 'That's not what I got into it for,'" Kit explained.
Zoe Saldana revealed that she was once on a movie set when a producer thought she was being too vocal about her opinions and told her that he had only hired her "to look good in your underwear holding a gun" – not to get her thoughts and opinions.
"I was told walking into this project that they really wanted me for the part, and that any input or ideas I had to please share them. That's what I was doing, and this producer was so bothered by the fact that he had to disrupt his vacation to call me and tell me to stop being a difficult bitch. I thought, Wow, it's real. It really happens. I have a strong sense of self…If I am just like wallpaper, there's no need for me to be here," she told Allure.
Brie Larson admits she's felt objectified during auditions and on multiple occasions has had casting directors request that she change her outfit to be more revealing. She says that in those instances, she doesn't even want to return to the audition.
"There were many times that I would go into auditions and the casting directors would say, 'It's really great, we love what you're doing but we'd really love for you to come back in a jean miniskirt and high heels.' Those were always a fork in the road because there's no reason for me to show up in a jean miniskirt and high heels other than the fact that you want to create this fantasy," Brie told Forbes.
Chloë Grace Moretz says she’s been objectified her entire career, even when she was still a teenager. While working on projects, she admits she's had her appearance judged with no consideration of her actual acting skills.
"I've had certain projects tell me I need to wear push-up bras because I'm an A-cup, or I've been told I don't have a pronounced-enough jaw, that I have a moon face. When I was younger I really took it to heart," Chloë told Nylon.
Tracee Ellis Ross says she was once auditioning for a series where she was supposed to play a lawyer but all the casting agents cared about was her appearance. They picked apart what she was wearing and then picked out the sexiest outfit they could find for her.
"I tested once for a network show to play a lawyer. A Harvard-educated motherf---in' lawyer, OK? I wore a skirt suit and heels. Seemed appropriate. Then there were many discussions about my hair. They'd printed up all these pictures of me from 15 f---in' years ago and had me in and out of the bathroom trying on clothes. They finally pick a skirt -- the shortest I brought. Then got a T-shirt from one of the people in the office. The woman says, 'Hmmm, your boobs.' I was like, 'I didn't bring a bra for this T-shirt.' She screams down the hall, 'Who wears a 34B?' I put on someone else's bra, a size too small, and somehow auditioned. I remember wondering, 'What did I just allow myself to do?' The other actress [who auditioned] was dressed like she was going to a club and got the role. It was one of those moments where you're so confused and humiliated. But that's part of the biz," Tracee said during a Hollywood Reporter round-table chat.