Even though body-shaming—especially in Hollywood—is a tale as old as time, it never gets less maddening to hear someone’s experience with it. Succession star Sarah Snook recently opened up about being body-shamed on set by a producer and casting director, and it’ll make you feel both rage and empathy for her.
In a Jan. 16 interview with The Sunday Times, Snook shared that after she’d been cast in a film role, a casting director told her, “We don’t really want you because you’re a nobody, but the director and the writer think you’re good for the role. So what we’ll do is change all of you so that you’re marketable: We’ll whiten your teeth, darken your hair, we’ll give you a personal trainer so you can lose weight and look the part.”
At the time, Snook internalized the criticism, telling herself “in order for me to be successful I have to be all the things that aren’t me.”
As if that’s not maddening enough, the 36-year-old was then chastised for eating “the tiniest bit of chocolate cake” in front of the entire cast and crew by a producer on the film, sharing that she was “dying inside.” Thankfully, a costume director intervened and told her to continue eating the cake.
Shortly thereafter, she recalled another comment made to her after she’d lost weight to play prisoner of war in the TV movie Sisters of War.
“I remember this guy going, ‘Oh, when did you get hot?'” she told the outlet.
Snook internalized the comment, believing, “Well, I wasn’t hot before. So, I must have been disgusting. Therefore, I must maintain this shape at all costs, and I’m only worthwhile as an object in the eyes of another person by being a shape that is appreciable to them.”
Now, she looks back at these instances as what they are: body-shaming. She said, “That’s f*cked-up so bad.”
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s “Today,” Snook noted that she was “too young and naive” to push back on the comments at the time, and that she no longer subscribes to other people’s beliefs about her body and her appearance.
“I think a person’s beauty and body is their own jurisdiction; they should be allowed to make decisions about that themselves,” she said. “I eat whatever I want to, it’s my own body and my own choices.”
“That’s the unfortunate situation when a person is in a position of authority taking advantage, mindlessly saying something that could be taken the wrong way and taken on in a certain context that holds with that person for the rest of their life potentially,” she concluded.