Think actresses live the easy life of being beautiful and earning huge bucks? Think again. Typecasting and sexism run rampant in Hollywood, and a new video by Casting Call: The Project, highlights exactly what actresses are dealing with on a regular basis.
The video, created by three NY-based artists, shows actresses reading and cringing their way through actual casting call announcements. Mortifying quotes include, “she loves being a woman, so she probably wears a push-up bra,” “the role involves a short sexual activity, but nothing to worry about, LOL,” and the spectacularly tone-deaf “lead actress needed for film about feminism, she is moderately attractive.”
While Casting Call’s video starts out upbeat, with the actresses laughing or rolling their eyes in surprise at the insulting casting notices, the embarrassment and honest pain that seem to be a daily part of the lives of many actresses soon takes over. “You want me to say this?” One asks in surprise, as another responds to a casting notice reading “slightly overweight and considered unattractive in the face, however she’s naturally funny so people do enjoy her company,” with a well-deserved “F— you.”
Mic recently spoke to actresses about their struggles with typecasting and sexism in the industry. Among their heartbreaking stories were tales of real sadness by actresses who feel they can’t live up to their ability because of the way they look.
Emily Dunlop, who thinks she excels at quirky sidekick roles, is instead constantly sent out for “vixen” parts, because, in her words, “”I’m a 32DD, blonde Caucasian [woman], and that is a box I probably won’t break out of until I’m in my 50s.”
Other women shared stories of being unfairly asked to undress for auditions, while male partners in the same romantic scene remained clothed. Heather Olson, an Atlanta actress, recalled a time where her concerns about taking off her shirt during a love scene audition were treated like she was kidding. “I got really pissed because they didn’t ask him to take his shirt off! I asked if they were going to ask him to do that too…He thought I was making a joke when I asked if he was going to be made to do the same thing.”
Of course, looks have always mattered in Hollywood, but that doesn’t make any of this okay. Not only can typecasting and beauty standards lead to the industry missing out on incredible talent, it’s demoralizing to all actors who get into the business because they love to act, not because they happen to look like what society tells us is beautiful—typically thin, young, able-bodied, and white.
Check out Casting Call’s video below: