Emily Ratajkowski Told to Stop with the Modeling and Get Ugly to Find Success in Hollywood

The ‘Gone Girl’ actress talks about her early acting career when she quickly realized a ‘really strange negotiation’ that women had to face in the movie industry.

AceShowbizEmily Ratajkowski was warned she’d have to “get ugly” to be taken seriously as an actress.

The model made her film debut in 2014’s “Gone Girl” and has since starred in movies including “I Feel Pretty” and “Uncut Gems“, but she has never forgotten the advice she received from Hollywood agents when she was starting to transition from modelling to acting. In a new interview with BBC’s Newsnight, Emily reveals she told agents she wanted a career like another former model’s – Halle Berry – and they told her she’d have to strip off the make-up and follow the Oscar winner’s lead in “Monster’s Ball“.

“A lot of agents and people in the industry have said to me, and about her (Halle) specifically, ‘Well how you do you that is you have to get ugly. You have to prove that you’re more than just the sex object. You have to go totally the other way, strip yourself down’,” she said.

“I thought that was such an interesting thing, that that exists. That these beautiful women, who really got to where they are by being sexualised and by being beautiful, in order to have longevity or be taken seriously, they have to make themselves ugly…”

“Agents had said to me, ‘If you want to be taken seriously as an actress, you need to stop with the modelling and get ugly for these roles.’ “

So Emily tried to make herself look plainer and was then told she’d gone “too far.”

“I remember doing a self-tape for an audition and I’d met with the producer and he said, ‘Make sure you don’t have any makeup on, I want to see you, like, really rough,’ ” she recalls.

Emily did as he had asked, filmed herself for the potential job, and got a note back about her look.

“The note was – ‘Oh, she went a little too far, can she make herself look a little bit prettier?,’ ” she laughs. “So it’s this really strange negotiation that women in the world, but I think particularly in the film industry, navigate every day.”

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