“He was perfectly nice,” Dench said an interview published over the weekend. “But at the end he said, ‘You’ll never make a film. You have the wrong face.’ And I said that is fine, I don’t like film anyway. I want to go back to the theatre.”
Dench went on to prove the director wrong with countless nominations for her work in film, including a whopping eight Oscar nods. She later took home an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.”
Dench’s anecdote is sadly not uncommon in the industry, where actors have spoken up about the insulting comments they’ve received from casting directors, agents and fellow Hollywood heavyweights.
“Princess Diaries” actor Heather Matarazzo made waves when she revealed in a 2015 blog post that she once lost a role because a director deemed her “unf*ckable.”
“Even as I write this, I can still feel the pain, shame, and humiliation that came over me in that moment,” Matarazzo said. “I didn’t know then just how damaging those words would be. Three words. ‘You’re not f*ckable.’”
In 2019, actor Mark Webber tweeted about the pain of being dropped from a television pilot because of his looks.
“Look, I’m a straight white male so I know my journey has been way less painful in this warped industry, but I’m being recast in a network television show because I’m not handsome enough for the executives,” Webber said. “It’s important for me to share the real pain we endure in this industry.”