8. Jennifer Lawrence
When it comes to acting, Jennifer Lawrence is on top of the world. She is one of the youngest actresses to win an Oscar for a leading role and has worked with legendary directors such as Quentin Tarantino and David O. Jennifer Lawrence. Russell and she is the face of the blockbuster Hunger Games.
Like many young actors, Lawrence was told by several producers early in his career that he was “too fat” to succeed in the industry for long.
According to Lawrence, he was once threatened with dismissal if he did not lose a certain amount of weight. She told Harper’s Bazaar magazine, “They basically brought in naked pictures of me and told me to use them as motivation for my diet.”
Since that experience, Lawrence has spoken out publicly several times about society’s attitude to women’s bodies in the entertainment industry, saying she will no longer tolerate even a producer whispering the word “diet” to her.
7. Jessica Chastain
With impressive roles in films such as ‘Zero Dark Thirty, ‘The Martian’ and ‘The Help’, it may come as a surprise that Ms. Chastain has not always been considered a cinematic beauty.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Chastain explained that it is only in the last five years that people have told her she is attractive. Before that, she said, she was often turned down for roles because she was “not pretty enough”.
Even her red hair, which has become Jessica Chastain’s trademark, was never considered too unattractive to get her the roles she applied for. Casting directors suggested she dye her hair a more conventional blonde for future success, but she refused.
6. Kat Dennings
Kat Dennings is a charming actress who has managed to do what few others have managed to do: star in a successful television series without conforming to the typical leading man type.
With her dry wit and quick wit, Dennings already doesn’t fit the Hollywood mold. Without the cane body type, Dennings received unfavorable reviews from managers in his youth and career.
According to a profile in the New York Times, Dennings rejected all advice and suggestions from his various managers to fix his teeth, get a tan, lose weight or even dye his hair.
Instead, Dennings has maintained unwavering confidence in herself, which has led to a number of major roles in films such as Thor, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and also the lead role in 2 Broke Girls.
5. Judi Dench
Judi Dench is an actress who has brought so much talent and skill to the world of theatre that she was literally honored by the Queen of England for her work.
But apparently, being a woman doesn’t make you immune to the harsh and superficial criticism that plagues the entertainment industry.
In an interview with the BBC, Dench revealed that she only began her film career in the 1960s, after a disastrous audition in which the director told her she would never make it to the screen because her face was “fake”.
Eventually, Dench gave the film another chance, leading to a successful career that resulted in an Oscar, six BAFTAs for film, and four BAFTAs for television, putting that anonymous director in his place.
4. Mindy Kaling
Today, Mindy Kaling is widely respected as an artist who is much more than just an actress. Kaling is not only an artist, but also a writer, director, and creator of her own sitcom: The Mindy Project.
Because Kaling doesn’t fit the typical Hollywood leading lady mold, she has had to deal with criticism about her body and appearance.
In an interview with The Guardian, Kaling recounted one of the most humiliating experiences of her career, which was related to her appearance. After moving to Los Angeles and starting her work as a writer and actress on The Office, a network offered her a sketch show but asked her to audition for the role anyway.
The network later turned her down because, Kaling says, “we weren’t considered attractive or funny enough to have fun.” That network is no longer on the air, while Kaling continues to dominate the TV comedy scene.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock in The Final Problem.
With his piercing eyes and British accent, it’s no surprise that Benedict Cumberbatch has had a successful career in the international film market.
His acting talents earned him an Oscar nomination for his lead role in The Imitation Game, and he has appeared in many successful films, including Doctor Strange, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and The Hobbit: The Wasteland of Smaug.
Despite being ranked 22nd in Glamour magazine’s Sexiest Men of 2017 list, Cumberbatch was once considered too undesirable to play the lead role in Sherlock, the BBC television series that brought him international fame.
After he was cast for the role, network executives were less than confident that he would attract viewers, calling him a “weird redhead” and criticizing his nasal frame. Fortunately, the executives took the risk of hiring someone they apparently thought was ugly and were quickly proven wrong.
2. Meryl Streep
Although the name “Meryl Streep” is now synonymous with “actress”, there was a time when she was just like any other unknown actor, working diligently to make it to the top.
At 26, before starring in iconic films or collecting Oscars, the actress was invited to audition for the 1976 film King Kong after the producer’s son saw her in a play.
In his office, producer Dino De Laurentiis turned to his son and asked him in Italian why he had brought him such an “ugly woman”. Unfortunately for De Laurentiis, Streep knew some Italian, so she was able to reply in that language that she was sorry she was too ugly to be in his film.
The role eventually went to another film legend, Jessica Lange, but it was only three years before Streep received her first Oscar nomination for The Deer Hunter.
1. Reese Witherspoon
Before Reese Witherspoon won Oscars and starred in the HBO series, she was desperately trying to fit into the Hollywood mold to get a role.
After studying drama in college, Reese Witherspoon moved to Los Angeles where she continued to receive rejections from casting directors.
She said that for a long time she was not considered suitable for a role because she was not “tall enough”, “pretty enough” or “smart enough”.
By her own admission, it was her tenacity that helped her make her way through the jungle of rejection and criticism until she finally landed a leading role in The Man in the Moon.
Today, with an Oscar for Walk the Line and a long career playing many different characters, Witherspoon’s determination continues to influence her success.