In British GQ magazine’s May issue, the statuesque Charlize Theron talks about her difficulties in finding powerful roles in Hollywood because of her stunning appearance.

“Jobs with real gravitas go to people that are physically right for them, and that’s the end of the story,” the 40-year-old actress said. “How many roles are out there for the gorgeous f—ing, gown-wearing eight-foot model? When meaty roles come through, I’ve been in the room and pretty people get turned away first.”

Similar arguments have been made by other actors with striking appearances. For instance, Rob Lowe once argued, “There’s this unbelievable bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can’t be in pain or they can’t have rough lives or be deep or interesting. They can’t be any of the things that you long to play as an actor.” Jennifer Lawrence likewise was originally told she was “too pretty” for the lead in Winter’s Bone–the part that went onto be her breakthrough role.

But Theron’s comments were immediately pounced on in social media, many arguing that beauty hasn’t been a problem for Oscar-winning actresses like Brie Larson, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, among countless others. Additionally, some people point out that Theron’s Amazonian beauty was clearly working on her behalf at the age of 16 when she won a one-year modeling contract. And indeed, her beauty was surely instrumental when Theron was discovered at the age of 19 when first arriving in Los Angeles to pursue acting. That is, a talent manager discovered her while she was yelling at a bank teller who was refusing to cash an out-of-state check; this proved to be an important step which lead to her being famous by the age of 21. For reasons like these, the British Independent magazine argues, “Despite what she might think, Charlize Theron is lucky: labelling beauty a burden is a luxury only beautiful people have.”

That being said, Charlize is known for speaking her mind no holds barred. The South African star has spoken out about Hollywood sexism, campaigning for equal pay in the industry after the Sony hacks leaked emails revealing the significant salary disparity between actors and actresses. And she is certainly a fierce and celebrated acting force. Theron has not only landed but nailed meaty roles like her Oscar-winning performance in Monster in which she gained 30 pounds and wore prosthetic makeup to portray serial murderer Aileen Wuornos. Another role she played down her beauty was Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road in which she wore a gritty buzz cut.

It’s clear that beautiful actors have the luxury of being able to portray distinctly attractive roles as well as be able to carry off less becoming ones. Think Christian Bale in American Hustle and Jennifer Aniston in Cake. But what do you think? Do you agree that gorgeous actors tend to be overlooked for serious roles?

 

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