Brie Larson on Sexism She Has Faced in Auditions

“There were many times that I would go into auditions and a casting director would say, ‘It’s really great. Really love what you’re doing, but we’d love you to come back with a jean miniskirt and high heels.” – Brie Larson

Actress Brie Larson may be able to call herself an Oscar winner since last Sunday evening, but like any other actor trying to make a living she has faced the trials and tribulations of acting — including, unfortunately, sexism.

Moments after winning her Oscar, Larson talked in the pressroom about uncomfortable auditions she faced early career. She recalled, “There were many times that I would go into auditions and a casting director would say, ‘It’s really great. Really love what you’re doing, but we’d love you to come back with a jean miniskirt and high heels.” She then added that it became a dilemma for her because although she wanted the role, “There’s no reason for me to show up in a jean miniskirt and heels other than the fact that he wanted to create some fantasy… It always made me feel terrible, because they were asking me to wear a jean miniskirt and heels to be sexy, but a jean miniskirt and heels does not make me feel sexy. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

Instead of letting uncomfortable situations like that chase her out of the industry, Larson took those uncomfortable feelings as an opportunity to learn how to be confident (and perhaps also influence her performance in Room, in which she portrays a victim of kidnapping and sexual abuse). She explained, “Learning, for me, what it took to feel confident and strong and take what these people were trying to get to exude out of me, comes from a personal place. And trying to represent in film women that I know, women that I understand, complicated women, women that are inside of me — that became my mission.”

Now that Larson is an Oscar-winning actress, it’s unlikely she’ll face such a degrading audition again. Of course, being an award-winner shouldn’t be the only way to avoid that — it shouldn’t be happening at all.

via Refinery 29