“We need to know if you’re pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine.”
Meryl Streep was told she wasn’t pretty enough when she auditioned for the 1976 version of King Kong. The producer actually said, “Why do you bring me this ugly thing?” when referring to Meryl coming in to audition.
Tiffany Haddish left an audition room and overheard someone say that she wasn’t “as urban as [they] thought she’d be.”
Also, right after her audition, Tiffany heard someone say, “I really think we should just go with a white girl. This role should be changed to white.”
Before auditioning for Friends, Jennifer Aniston was reportedly told “to lose 30 pounds” if she wanted to make it in Hollywood.
During one audition, Lana Condor recalled being told to be “more like Hello Kitty.”
Reese Witherspoon was told to “dress sexy” for her Legally Blonde audition. The casting directors thought she was a “shrew” and exactly like her character from Election.
Gina Rodriguez was asked to come back wearing a “black dress” after an audition because they “need to know if you’re pretty enough to be on the cover of a magazine.”
Emma Thompson was originally told that she was “too old for Hugh Grant” while preparing to film Sense and Sensibility. Emma is only two years older than Hugh IRL.
Sophia Bush was told she “didn’t look sexy enough” to play Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill and then, when she auditioned again, she was told she “looked too sexy.” She actually auditioned for the role three times.
A director actually pointed a camera up Thandie Newton’s skirt during an audition and told her to “think about the guy making love to [her] in the scene.”
During one of her first auditions, Judi Dench was told that she had “every single thing wrong with her face” and that she probably wouldn’t be in “any film” because of it.
Camila Mendes was told that she wasn’t “glossy” enough when she auditioned for Veronica on Riverdale.
While auditioning to play a lawyer, Tracee Ellis Ross wore a “skirt suit and heels,” and was quickly forced into a different outfit because she had to look “sexier.” She was put in a mini skirt, a T-shirt, and bra that was a size too small for her.
Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers told Julie Andrews that she was “far too pretty” to play Mary, but she had “the nose for it.”
Elizabeth Banks was told that she was “too old” to play Mary Jane Watson opposite Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man. Elizabeth and Tobey are barely two years apart.
Kerry Washington was told she looked “like a child” and wasn’t “sexy” after she arrived at an audition wearing overalls.
Sandra Oh was once told to “go back home and get famous, and then come back to LA and see how it goes.”
Kristen Bell would often be told in auditions, “Well, you’re not pretty enough to play ‘the pretty girl,’ but you’re not quirky enough or weird enough to play ‘the weird girl.'”
And finally, Emmy Rossum was asked to show up to a director’s office in only a bikini and that was the audition. He wanted to see if she “was fat now.”
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