20 Celebs Who Were Turned Down for Roles Because They Were “Too Ugly” & 20 That Were Turned Down for Being “Too Pretty”

20 Celebs Who Were Turned Down for Roles Because They Were “Too Ugly” & 20 That Were Turned Down for Being “Too Pretty”

Typically, when we envision Hollywood, we imagine stunning actors, luxurious lives, and limitless options. However, the truth is that numerous renowned stars have been rejected due to their physical appearance. Certain individuals are judged as unattractive or ordinary, while others are considered too beautiful or captivating. The celebrities mentioned in this article were either turned down for roles or nearly missed out on them due to their looks. Let us explore which accomplished performers were informed that they were either too unattractive or too attractive for a particular role.

Meryl Streep

Starting our list is an actress who has gained wide acclaim throughout the years. Despite being an accomplished star now, Meryl Streep wasn’t always seen as the best of the best. Back in 1976, when she went for an audition for the movie King Kong, she got rejected in an impolite manner.

Upon Meryl’s arrival to audition, a producer of Italian descent made an insulting remark to his colleague in their native language, referring to Meryl as “unattractive.” Unbeknownst to him, Meryl is fluent in Italian and comprehended every word. The situation was uncomfortable and embarrassing for all involved.


Emily Ratajkowski

It may come as no surprise that Emily Ratajkowski, an American actress and model, has been rejected for roles due to her exceptional beauty. Her undeniable physical appeal has led some filmmakers to decline casting her, with the former runway model admitting that her ample chest has been a reason for rejection.

According to Emily Ratajkowski, she frequently gets typecast based on her physical appearance, and it is difficult for filmmakers to envision her in diverse roles. She astutely considers this as a form of sexism against women.

Reese Witherspoon

This list includes multiple celebrities who we would not consider to be unappealing, average, or homely. Reese Witherspoon is among them. However, the actress from America has disclosed that she frequently received feedback about not being attractive enough to be the lead character in a movie.


In addition to being labeled as not attractive and being criticized for her short height, Reese faced constant comments about her physical appearance. However, her prestigious awards, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA, two Golden Globes, and an Emmy, prove otherwise.

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron, a South African actress, had faced many instances where her good looks almost hindered her from being cast for certain roles. In the movie Monster, where she portrayed the character of a serial killer named Aileen Wuornos, she had to go through a significant change in her appearance.

Similarly, during her audition for the horror film The Devil’s Advocate, Charlize was told by the director that she was too attractive to be cast in the role. In reaction to this critique, Charlize decided to stop wearing makeup, neglected brushing her hair, and made an effort to lessen her striking appearance by waking up early in the mornings. Luckily, her efforts proved successful!


Jessica Chastain

It is surprising that the stunning Jessica Chastain was rejected for movie roles for several years because she was considered not good-looking enough. Recently, she disclosed that she started receiving compliments about her appearance only in the last five years. Prior to that, she was constantly informed that she was not aesthetically pleasing and consequently, was denied opportunities in the film industry.

It’s quite ridiculous that casting directors repeatedly advised the stunning redhead to change her hair color to blonde for role opportunities. It’s a wonder if these individuals lacked creativity or imagination. Nevertheless, the redhead persisted and gained recognition by winning an Academy Award.

Jamie Dornan

The TV show, The Fall, is about a detective named Stella Gibson who is on a quest to capture a serial killer in Northern Ireland. Stella’s actress, Gillian Anderson, has disclosed that Jamie Dornan was close to losing the role of criminal Paul Spector because he was too attractive.


According to her, the original plan did not involve hiring someone who was so attractive. However, after appearing in two seasons of the show, the Northern Irish actor gained worldwide recognition for portraying the charming Christian Grey in the popular movie Fifty Shades of Grey.

Winona Ryder

To believe that Winona Ryder was ever discouraged about pursuing an acting career is honestly absurd. Nevertheless, she confessed that during the ’80s, a casting director actually told her those exact words.

It is said that while she was speaking, they interrupted her and expressed that she wasn’t a suitable actress due to her lack of physical attractiveness. They went on to suggest that she return to her hometown and pursue an education instead, stating that she did not possess the necessary qualities for success. Nevertheless, she defied this negative feedback and went on to become an influential figure in the fields of fashion and acting.


Jon Hamm

This list includes multiple celebrities who believe that their traditional good looks have restricted the types of roles they receive. For instance, actress Emily Ratajkowski’s perceived physical beauty resulted in her being typecast and unable to portray characters beyond those that require physical attractiveness.

The actor Jon Hamm has expressed his dissatisfaction with being constantly typecast as a serious leading man, despite his desire to showcase his comedic talents. He believes that he has a lot more to offer beyond just his physical appearance.

Lea Michele

It’s unfortunate that Hollywood values physical appearance so highly that it destroys the aspirations of many young individuals. Actress Lea Michele was advised to undergo cosmetic surgery while she was still struggling to make a name for herself. To make matters worse, this suggestion came from her agent.


Lea was advised to get a nose job to secure roles, just as Lady Gaga was informed that she wouldn’t succeed in the entertainment industry unless she had nose surgery.

Alicia Silverstone

In 1994, a teenage drama named “My So-Called Life” was premiered, which later became a cult favorite. Clare Danes played the lead role who wasn’t a big name back then. However, the show’s co-creator thought Alicia Silverstone was too good looking for the character of Angela Chase, who also auditioned for the role.

According to Marshall Horowitz, the girl in question has been receiving compliments on her beauty since the age of six, and therefore it would be difficult to accurately describe her appearance in the context of the written material.


Benedict Cumberbatch

When Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat first presented Benedict Cumberbatch to BBC executives, they weren’t happy. They claimed that they had been promised a super-hot leading man, and weren’t impressed with the English actor’s less conventional attractiveness.

Thankfully, the showrunners kept Benedict Cumberbatch as their leading man. Clearly, they made the right decision as he won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries in 2014. The star also has a dedicated fanbase who would certainly disagree with the idea that he’s not handsome enough.

Christina Hendricks

While many Hollywood hotties are tall, slim, and blonde, Christina Hendricks bucks the trend. With her red hair, fair skin, and curvaceous figure, the actress has stunned audiences in a variety of roles. However, her good looks have also held her back.


The American actress and former model has said that she’s had very strong auditions and has been surprised not to land the part. On one occasion, she was told that she didn’t get the part of a doctor because doctors simply don’t look like her.

Rowan Atkinson

English actor Rowan Atkinson is known for various comedic characters. He charmed British audiences as the irritable Blackadder in the ’80s sitcom of the same name. Then, he charmed millions of children as the childish Mr. Bean in a number of TV shows and movies.

The actor initially studied to be an electrical engineer, but eventually made his way into the comedy arena. According to some sources, the star was told by various directors and producers that he wasn’t attractive enough for leading man roles.


Rob Lowe

Up next is another handsome actor who has been frustrated by being typecast. Rob Lowe was a true ’80s heartthrob and member of the Brat Pack. Annoyingly for him, this meant that he was only offered certain types of roles based on his appearance.

The star has said, “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.” Thankfully, as Chris Traeger, he proved them wrong.

Emma Thompson

British actress Emma Thompson has been very outspoken about Hollywood’s unrealistic beauty standards. The star has proudly claimed she will never have cosmetic surgery. In fact, she sees our obsession with plastic surgery as a collective illness.


During her career, Emma was repeatedly told by male executives that she wasn’t “pretty enough.” She has said she has “never conformed to the shape or look of someone they might want to see naked.” Oh well, at least she has two Oscars!

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