An anonymous London-based actress is tweeting every misogynistic casting breakdown that comes her way. Earlier this week, Indy100 sat down with ‘MISS L’ to explore an issue which, despite decades of campaigns and debate, seems as bad now as it ever has been.
What is the most common casting call you get, as a female actor?
“As a woman, casting calls are nearly always centred around how you look.
So often, I see casting calls where the male character is described by the job they do and their personality whereas the female character is all about how attractive they are.
I’ve seen casting calls that have explicitly asked for women to be the eye candy for the production, they’ve actually used that phrase.”
Have you been in any strange situations as a result of a casting call?
“I did once have to do an audition in a bikini where I had to run up and down a church hall for a solid 15 minutes so the production team could see how my body moved.
I turned up to one to be lead down into the director’s very dark basement for the audition, that was pretty terrifying.”
Here are a few examples:
Like the “strong female” character (has there ever been a “strong male” casting call?)
“This person will be a funny and warm person, but also a stereotypical women [sic]. So they will be all girly and scared of diffrnt things [sic].”
“Requirements for the main actress: beautiful and confident smile good body shape size S or XS size”
This “feminist” role:
“Prefer an actor who is not thin! It’s a great role for a feminist!”
And don’t forget:
“Large breasts are somewhat essential”
So how can female actors actually succeed in such a sexist industry?
“It’s incredibly difficult when you’re starting out as you just want to work and you don’t want to be viewed as difficult but it’s about going with your instincts because, if something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a reason for that.”