9 Talented Actresses Who Had Trouble in Getting Their Famous Roles Due to Their Looks

It is true that Hollywood is obsessed with youth and beauty. Though we seem to start making progress in terms of the representation of women on the big screen now (better late than never), we’re still seeing older actresses shut out. Even for actors with pretty looks, ageism has been an obstacle in their careers.
Of course, it doesn’t happen to all. There are still some great examples of reasonable casting for actresses, with Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and Tilda Swinton still dominating the screen. However, this problem comes with some surprising stories of great actresses who missed out on the roles they really wanted just because of their age, appearance, or weight.
Below are 9 actresses who are so talented but still their appearance prevented them from getting their dream roles. If you want to see more, read these articles now: Movie Roles That Brought Nothing But Trouble To The Actors, Actresses Sacrificed Their Beauty For A Movie Role, and Actresses With A Non-standard Appearance Who Became Style Icons.

#1 Reese Witherspoon

Talented ActressesSource: © Legally Blonde / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and co-producers

After the movie “Election”, Reese Witherspoon was considered typecast. So, she finds it difficult 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.

#2 Jenna Ortega

Talented ActressesSource: © Wednesday / MGM Television and co-producers

Jenna Ortega rose to stardom after starring as Wednesday Addams in the Netflix horror comedy series “Wednesday”, for which she received nominations at the Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. However, before that, she almost quit because she was considered too young for serious roles and too old for children’s ones. She says, “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”.

#3 Anne Hathaway

Talented ActressesSource: © JEP Celebrity Photos / Alamy Stock Photo

The actress started facing difficulties in finding roles after turning 30. The roles at 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?’”

#4 Margot Robbie

Talented ActressesSource: © Once Upon a Time in Hollywood / Columbia Pictures and co-producers

In the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, Margot Robbie’s character didn’t speak much. Many people wondered why a talented actress was limited dialogue. Quentin Tarantino explained that the story revolved around Rick Dalton, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. He promised to add more lines to Robbie’s character in the director’s cut of the movie.

#5 Florence Pugh

Source: Vianney Le Caer / Invision / East News

Florence Pugh was required to change her appearance when playing a rising pop star. She shared, “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”. Eventually, the series was canceled after the pilot episode.

#6 Ana de Armas

Source: © Knives Out / Lionsgate and co-producers

Although Ana de Armas’ career took off thanks to “Knives Out”, she almost miss out on the role of Marta Cabrera. It is because Ana is from Cuba while her character was a “pretty Latina caretaker”.  According to the actress, Latina characters often lack depth and characterization. Luckily, eventually, she still got the role.

#7 Zoe Saldaña

Source: Domine Jerome / ABACA / Abaca / East News

Zoe Saldaña was under the pressure that 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.”

#8 Jennifer Lawrence

Source: © Allstar Picture Library Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

At the audition for the role of Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games”, Jennifer Lawrence was immediately asked how much she was going to lose. She refused to lose weight because 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.”
Fortunately, Jennifer sees that standards have 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.”

#9 Emily Blunt

Talented ActressesSource: © The Devil Wears Prada / 20th Century Studios and co-producers

It was challenging for Emily Blunt to land her famous role in “The Devil Wears Prada”. She almost turned down the role because the director thought she wasn’t stylish enough. 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.
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