Maggie Gyllenhaal sat down with several of her peers recently for a discussion about the things women face in Hollywood, and the results were an in-depth look at how tough it can be no matter how long you’ve been in the business.
Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson, and Jessica Lange were among the women interviewed, and Gyllenhaal opened up about still hearing “no” when she goes to an audition, saying she’s been told she’s not “sexy” enough for a role. Most of the women had similar stories.
“When I was starting out, I used to hear ‘no’ a lot and still do. And, ‘You’re not sexy enough. You’re not pretty enough,’” Maggie said. “When I was really young, I auditioned for this really bad movie with vampires. I wore a dress to the audition that I thought was really hot. Then I was told I wasn’t hot enough. My manager at the time said, ‘Would you go back and sex it up a little bit?’ So I put on leather pants, a pink leopard skinny camisole and did the audition again and still didn’t get the part. After that, I was like, ‘OK, f— this!’”
Unfortunately for women in Hollywood, it’s getting harder and harder to maneuver through the double standards they face when it comes to being “sexy.” Gyllenhaal made headlines recently when she revealed that she was turned down for a role because, at 37, she was “too old” to have a romance with a 55-year old actor.
“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time. I’m 37, and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”
Maggie isn’t letting the suffocating Hollywood standards stop her from doing what inspires her creatively, however; the Secretary actress also said in the interview that she is interested in nudity on film and exploring the sexual side of human nature because it is a very personal thing.
“I think sex in film is so interesting. It’s uncomfortable to take your clothes off in front of people you don’t know, but it can be an opportunity for really interesting acting. I’m 37, and I’ve had two babies, and I’m really interested in nudity now.”
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]