7 Actors Who Were Considered Too "Ugly" For A Role, And 8 Who Weren't Ugly Enough

·5 min read

1.Emmy Rossum almost didn't get to star as Fiona in Shameless because producers felt she wasn't capable of not being pretty.

Emmy as Fiona

"They didn't want to see me; they wouldn't even [let me] audition," she said. "They thought my image was too glamorous, that I couldn't not be pretty."

Cliff Lipson / Showtime / courtesy Everett Collection

2.Conversely, Andrew Garfield lost out on the role of Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series because he "wasn't handsome enough."

Ben Barnes as Prince Caspian

He had made it down to the final two, but they went with Ben Barnes instead.

Walt Disney Co. / courtesy Everett Collection, Phillip Faraone / FilmMagic via Getty Images

3.Jennifer Lawrence was originally turned down for her role in Winter's Bone because she was "too pretty" — she had to prove to them she was "not cute."

Jennifer in Winter's Bone

Lawrence took a red-eye (they had just moved casting to New York) and then auditioned again. She said of getting the role, "That always helps. Red-eye. Not showering. No makeup. Eventually they went, 'Oh, she's right. She's not cute!'"

Sebastian Mlynarski/Roadside Attractions / courtesy Everett Collection

4.According to Kate Beckinsale, director Michael Bay didn't think she was attractive enough for her role in Pearl Harbor because she "wasn't blonde and [her] boobs weren't bigger than [her] head."

Kate in pearl harbor

"I didn’t make sense to him as an attractive woman,” Beckinsale told Yahoo Entertainment. “So there was a lot of panic and concern over, ‘How on earth are we gonna make her attractive?'" Beckinsale was put on an intense workout regimen and diet.

Touchstone Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

5.Director Joe Wright originally didn't want Keira Knightley to star in his film Pride and Prejudice because of her good looks.

Keira in pride and prejudice

"Then he met me and said, 'Oh no, you're fine!'" Knightley joked.

Focus Features / courtesy Everett Collection

6.After being recast following the pilot for Stumptown, actor Mark Webber went on a social media rant about how he was allegedly fired for not being attractive enough.

Jake Johnson in the role

Webber wrote, “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," calling his treatment "degrading." The role went to Jake Johnson.

ABC, Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images

7.Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis didn't want Hugh Grant to star in the film because he was too handsome.

Hugh Grant in the film

Grant claimed Curtis did "everything in his power to stop me getting the part." Curtis would later say, "The absolutely key thing for that film when I was writing it was that the person who was playing the lead would not be good-looking. That was the absolute starting thesis of the film" as his reasoning for why.

Gramercy Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

8.Minnie Driver almost didn't star in Good Will Hunting because the producer didn't think she was "hot enough."

Minnie in the film

Driver called it the rudest thing anyone had said to her in Hollywood — she later revealed it was Harvey Weinstein who said it. Luckily, writers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as well as director Gus Van Sant fought for her to get the role, for which she was nominated for an Oscar.

George Kraychyk / Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.Alison Brie claims that her past playing polished and "cute" roles almost prevent her from being cast as the less conventionally attractive Ruth in Glow.

Brie in the show

In an interview with Vulture, which claimed that the character wasn't meant to be "conventionally attractive," Brie said, "they didn’t think I was right for the role." She said that for her auditions she would wear workout clothes with no makeup and tie her hair back, saying she wanted to prove them wrong that she could do the role.

Erica Parise / Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

10.According to composer Anne Dudley, Poldark executive producer Damien Timmer was worried women wouldn't find star Aidan Turner attractive.

Turner in the show

Dudley reassured Timmer than they would — and she was right. Turner quickly became a major heartthrob.

PBS/Mammoth Screen/BBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.After being named Esquire's "sexiest woman alive" in 2005, Jessica Biel said she struggled to get work and was told by a director, "I’m not looking for the sexiest woman; I’m looking for the girl next door."

Jessica Biel

She didn't name the exact film, but she did name The Other Boleyn Girl as a part she wanted that didn't go to her.

Jim Spellman / WireImage via Getty Images

12.Henry Cavill was told he wasn't thin enough to play James Bond when he was 21.

Henry Cavill

Cavill said the director pulled him aside, coming to him from a place of "mentoring and guidance," saying what basically amounted to, "Look, buddy, you’re at a Bond screen test. The next time you come to a screen test, really focus on making sure you bend over if it’s for something like Bond."

Mike Marsland / WireImage via Getty Images

13.Scarlett Johansson was "too sexy" to star in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Scarlett on a red carpet

Director David Fincher said, "Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I'm telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can't wait for her to take her clothes off." The role went to Rooney Mara instead.

Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic via Getty Images

14.Meryl Streep was considered "too ugly" to star in King Kong.

Meryl in 1976

Producer Dino De Laurentiis actually said "che brutta" ("how ugly") in front of Meryl when she came to audition — she understood and fired back in Italian. The part went to Jessica Lange instead.

Jack Mitchell / Getty Images, Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

15.And finally, Melissa De Sousa was considered "too pretty" to play a "down-on-her-luck stripper" in Hustle & Flow.

Melissa on a red carpet

De Sousa said she begged them to see her anyway, and that she ended up screen testing, though the role ultimately went to Paula Jai Parker.

Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic via Getty Images

Which of these were the most shocking? Got any other examples of actors being told they were too attractive or not attractive enough? Let us know in the comments!