Casting director: Hollywood has “never been as open” to atypical actors “than now”

Casting outside the box!

In my grasping-at-straws hope that one day, Hollywood will accept the full range of healthy weights, I found a little gem in a recent CNN article.

From casting director Robert Ulrich (emphasis mine):

“We hear over and over to think outside the box. I’ve been in the industry a long time, and it’s never been as open to people being something different than now,” Ulrich said. “I work on ‘Glee,’ and those actors never would have been cast on network television a few years ago. It’s a show about diversity, and it’s a hit.”

Granted, the overall article was about the Oscar-nominated star of Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, who is beautiful but obese. (The article asks, can she still be a star?) And Hollywood has a long track record of presenting women only on the tiny and large ends of the spectrum.

But wouldn’t that then mean that a healthy-weight woman would be thinking way, way out of the box?

So, note to casting directors: Next romantic comedy, bring in some normal-weight women. Just look how much publicity Mark Fast got!

What do you think? Will Hollywood ever get out of their skinny box?

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Published in: on 03/17/2010 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I haven’t checked your blog in awhile and I apologize for that, back on subject.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. I do think Gabby did very well in her part and she should have won that Oscar but, at the same time I’m at a lose as to what other parts she could play. I think we are getting ahead of ourselves. I do believe the weight standards in Hollyhellland are just silly but, I don’t think we should kid ourselves here. It’s going to be about what people buy and in the end, most people just do what they think is the norm.

    I also found your post on plus size models interesting. When I was 215 pounds I actually had a 37 inch waist but found myself in about a size 16 most of the time. I’m wondering where the CDC has these women measure themselves? The natural waist is normally higher than the belly button on females. This might be some of the reason why it seems so large. Most of us wear our pants low as well and will measure at the waist of our pants. That’s normally on the hips though.

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Ann. And great question about where the CDC had women measuring themselves. I didn’t think of that.

  3. Leigh Ann, I found you blog very interesting. I have found myself falling into the trap of what Hollywood’s perception of what a healthy weight should be is for some time now. There has to be a happy medium between being too thin, like some of the models and actresses are, and being extremely obese to the point of being unhealthy. A lot of times, when it comes to determining how much one should weigh, I feel that not enough emphasis is put on the shape of your body or how tall you are. For example, I am 5’3″ but I am also very shapely (I am still wishing to go back to the time when voluptuous meant you had large breast and not that you were fat). If I paid attention to my waist measurements alone, I should be able to fit into a size 6 slack but these pesky hips of mine won’t allow that, so I have to settle for a size 8. I can’t imagine what it would be like to wear a size 0 like some of the models out there. I would have to weigh a hundred pounds. I tell people all the time that I can lose 5 pounds easily but I would have to lop off my breasts to do it and I am not willing to make the sacrifice.


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