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16 Actors Who Were Told They Were Too Fat For A Role

Hollywood's pressure on actors to be thin has been the source of negative body image worldwide. And as it turns out, it has also affected some of the most talented actors and actresses in the industry. Some of our favorite stars have been told to lose weight, lest they lose a part—or have downright been rejected from a part specifically for their body shape.

These 16 actors were told they they were too fat for certain roles—showing that Hollywood has some seriously skewed perceptions.


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1Ashley Benson

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson was told she was too fat for a role—in spite of being a size two. "I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder," she told Ocean Drive magazine in January.

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3Carrie Fisher

Decades after she appeared on-screen in a now infamous bikini, Carrie Fisher was told to lose 35 pounds to reprise her role of Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The iconic actress did lose the weight, but she was vocal about the issue of body shaming in Hollywood. "I'm in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up," she told Good Housekeeping UK.

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5Hayley Atwell

When Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell was told to lose weight for Bridesheads Revisited, her co-star Emma Thompson fought back. When Thompson realized the then-25-year-old was on a strict diet for the film, she called the producers and threatened to drop out unless they revoked their demands. 

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6Kate Beckinsale

This Pearl Harbor actress recently made headlines when she opened up about the experience working on the film. Director Michael Bay told Kate Beckinsale she needed to lose weight if she got the role—and then he continued to insult her body through the production process of the movie. "I'd just had my daughter and had lost weight, but was told that if I got the part, I'd have to work out—and I just didn't understand why a 1940s nurse would do that," she said.

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7Patricia Arquette

Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette was told to lose her pregnancy weight when she landed the starring role on Medium in 2005—but she fought back. "One of the producers said, ‘Honey, you gotta do something about your weight.’ I said, ‘Why? This [character] is a mother of three.’ I’m sick of that image everywhere," she said on The View.

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9Kate Winslet

When this actress won a Bafta for her role in Steve Jobs, she used her speech to talk about a time when she was told to lose weight. A drama teacher told Kate Winslet she was too fat, and that she might do well if she would be happy to "settle for the fat girl parts." 

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10Chris Pratt

This Parks and Recreation star shocked fans when he became super-ripped for his role in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, but he actually had to conform to Hollywood's body standards even earlier. Chris Pratt was told he was too fat for his role in 2011's Moneyball, so for a part in the Brad Pitt flick.

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11Monica Potter

This Parenthood star once lost a part because of her weight. Monica Potter was told she was too fat for a role after she had her last daughter and had yet to loose the baby weight. "The weight thing is a crappy thing to deal with in this town, you know?" she commented years later.

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12Margaret Cho

Here's proof that body shaming is really dangerous: Margaret Cho has permanent kidney damage because she lost 30 pounds in two weeks when ABC executives told her she was too fat to star on her semi-autobiographical show All American Girl. "Being called ugly and fat and disgusting to look at from the time I could barely understand what the words meant has scarred me so deep inside that I have learned to hunt, stalk, claim, own and defend my own loveliness and my image of myself as stunningly gorgeous with a ruthlessness and a defensiveness that I fear for anyone who casually or jokingly questions it," she said, opening up about the experience on Facebook.

More from The Stir20 Badass Celebrity Women Who Chose Not To Have Kids

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13Ryan Gosling

When this actor was initially cast as a grieving father in The Lovely Bones, he decided to gain weight to better fit the role. But, the director disagreed with the choice—Ryan Gosling was fired because of his weight gain and because of his differing vision for the role, which eventually went to Mark Wahlberg.

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14Tina Fey

Back in 1998, this actress/writer/comedienne famously lost around 35 pounds before starting to appear on-screen at Saturday Night Live. It remains unclear whether Tina Fey was told she was too fat or if she made the decision to lose weight herself, but a 2008 Vanity Fair profile (unfairly) credits the weight loss with Fey's launch to stardom.

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15Margot Robbie

This actress may have already turned plenty of heads in The Wolf of Wall Street and Focus, but that didn't stop an unnamed source from telling Margot Robbie to lose 20 pounds so she could become an A-lister. It's unclear, however, where the already slender actress would lose weight from! 

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16Mindy Kaling

Even before she landed The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling was told she wasn't attractive enough to play herself in a sketch show that had been offered her. She went on to write and appear in The Office, and the rest is history.

More from The StirMindy Kaling Is The Friend Women Want and The Role Model They Need


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