“It was very important to me to never play the fat friend or whatever, which is a role that kept coming to me over and over” – Melanie Lynskey
One of the common traits of characters in Stephen King’s novels is possessing some kind of sixth sense. On Castle Rock, a television series based on the Maine town that features prominently in King’s works. On the series, actress Melanie Lynskey portrays Molly Strand, who possesses mind-reading and empathic abilities. It’s a role that Lynskey can really find depth in, and she tells Vulture about the challenges she faced earlier in her career.
Lynskey says that she sees much more interesting opportunities as an actress now than she did at the beginning of her career. She explains, “I’ve been doing it for 25 years. That’s a depressing sentence. But yeah, I do think it is different. I started out in the ’90s and there was such a prescribed look for women. There were ingenues and character actresses and everybody was very concerned with what box you are going to fit into, and it really freaked me out and upset me. I was always like, ‘I’m a character actress, I guess. It sounds like the most interesting of all the options.’ And then people were like, ‘Well, don’t say that! Then you won’t get to play the lead!’ It was so bizarre, and now it does feel different.”
On top of that, Lynskey says that she had a tough agent who wasn’t afraid to tell her how hard the road was going to be for her. She recalls, “I also had a very old-school agent when I started out, who had been around for a long time and really believed in telling it like it was. So I believed it was going to be difficult for me for my whole life, because of what I look like. She was nice about it. She’d just seen a lot.”
Lynskey’s solution? Be tougher. She continues, “It pisses me off, too, but I also was like, ‘Fuck that!’ I just decided I was never going to take a part if somebody said something derogatory about my body or my face or anything like that. It was very important to me to never play the fat friend or whatever, which is a role that kept coming to me over and over — even when I was anorexic, basically. I just was like, ‘How do I sidestep this thing that people are trying to put me in?'”