I don’t want this blog to be all about me, I want us to talk about you as well but until I have followers (leaders!) I will talk a bit about my experiences and hopefully it will start a discussion.
I’ve always wanted to be an actress and to date I’ve had some success! I was on a National children’s show in Canada, I’ve guest starred on a couple TV series, shot a few Lifetime movies, done some commercials and voice work… I’m grateful. I don’t, however, have any connections in Hollywood, I didn’t get started when I was a kid and I’m Canadian. I think all these things have worked against me “making it big.” I also don’t have a “Hollywood nose.” At least that’s what an industry makeup artist told me.
I have a unique nose. It’s wider than the noses you typically see on the girls in Hollywood. It has a funny bridge, its kinda wide and turned up. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt if you saw me in person you’d find my nose offensive (my husband even thinks its cute) – but in a closeup on camera I guess it doesn’t look as good as a small, dainty nose that can be lit easily (quickly) from all sides (lighting is a big thing.) Basically, there is an argument that certain noses look beautiful from all angles.
When I was in elementary school a bully named Ashley called me “pig nose” every day. “I must be ugly” I thought.
Sitting in a makeup chair twenty years later being told by my makeup artist that “I don’t have a Hollywood nose” I wondered if a girl like me, talented or not, would be awarded acting roles with a nose like mine.
But looks shouldn’t matter if I was a good actor, right? And at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging I think I am a good actor. I work hard at it. I worked hard in theatre school and I’m always training to have good technique… But looks do matter in Hollywood, they matter a lot, so much that sometimes it feels like having good technique is less important than having good looks.
When I was starting out as an actress, my soon-to-be-agent told me I’d “never be the lead but instead I’d be the lead’s best friend” – (He hadn’t seen me act yet, he made this assumption based solely on my looks.)
Sure, there are unattractive people working in Hollywood but only a handful. Far and away, the type of girl that gets acting work has big wide set eyes, a smaller sized nose, full lips and she is probably thinner and more fit than anybody we actually see walking around the streets in our day to day lives.
But aren’t actors and actresses meant to tell human stories? Humans aren’t all perfect looking. Would you still pay to see movies if the actresses had wrinkles, freckles, body fat…?
I have a red carpet coming up in a week for a new series I’m in (I play the lead’s best friend.) I also had a baby four months ago so I’m twenty pounds heavier than I was when I shot the show. Yesterday I burst into tears because I know the producers, my co-stars, crew and media will notice that I’m “heavier” and in this business being in less than perfect shape as an actress can make you seem less legit.
Do I get red carpet points for being the happiest and most fulfilled I’ve ever been in my life being a mom? I doubt it.
What are your thoughts on “perfect” looking actresses (and actors?) xoxo