Olivia Wilde was told to show more skin to break into Hollywood
We now know Olivia Wilde as an actress who’s starred in movies and shows such as House, TRON: Legacy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, and The Lazarus Effect – but Olivia wasn’t always focused on acting. In fact, when she first started out in Hollywood, Wilde worked for casting director Mali Finn.
Right off the bat, Mali made it clear that if she wanted to be an actress, 18-year-old Olivia would mainly be judged based on her sex appeal.
There was one specific instance when Wilde unfortunately learned this to be true, according to her interview on The Off Camera Show. Back when she was working with Finn, Olivia wore a lot of corduroy suits and didn’t show much skin. This became apparent when, one day, she was on her way to an audition and Mali stopped her before she could leave.
“I was heading off to this one audition and I was wearing … a wool turtleneck, in Los Angeles in the summer,” Olivia revealed. “And I was heading out and she said, ‘That’s what you’re wearing to the audition?'”
Olivia answered her boss by saying that yes, she was wearing a wool turtleneck to an audition. In response, Mali asserted, “No, you need to go change and wear something that shows a little bit of your skin.” When telling this story, Olivia revealed that the casting director is a known feminist, but that she was trying to show Olivia just how superficial Hollywood can be.
Though this is one specific instance, Olivia Wilde certainly isn’t the only actress who’s been told to look “sexy” for an audition. Last summer, Charmed’s Rose McGowan called out Adam Sandler when she came across this audition request for one of his movies: “Black (or dark) form fitting tank that shows off cleavage (push up bras encouraged). And form fitting leggings or jeans. Nothing white.” Plus, there’s an entire Tumblr page dedicated to all the casting calls that ask women to show more skin for a role.
Ultimately, this is a disheartening reality that affects us all because we are the ones who watch the movies and shows that object women in this fashion. With this in mind, we hope more actresses continue to speak out about this problem so we can call for necessary change.