Here’s a story I heard last night from an actress friend.
She was in the beginning of her career, already done a few parts in prime-time television shows and looking for more.
Her female agent called her one day about casting for a movie. It includes some nudity she said. My friend wasn’t against nudity if the story requires it, but she asked to see the script.
They won’t send the script, she was told, only the pages.
When she got those, she realized the character has no lines, just walking around nude and interacting for a second with the lead. She told her agent that she doesn’t want to go to the casting session. It’s gratuitous nudity and has nothing to do with being an actress.
The female agent was mad. It’s an opening for features, she told her, and the casting director is a famous one. “just go to the session to meet the casting director” she said.
That was a good reason to go, but my friend declined. She was (and still is) young and beautiful, that’s not where she wants her career to go.
The agent wasn’t happy. In fact, she was furious saying that what will hurt her career the most is not her acting ability but her ego. You have a great body, why not show it?
A few days later the agent called again. “Ok, they want you so much that they will give up the casting session. Just go and meet with the director/producer.”
“Where?” My friend asked
“In a secret location that will be revealed only after approval.”
That sounded weird. “Why?”
“He’s a famous director, an Oscar winner. Why are you being so difficult? I got you a meeting with a big director and you’re asking too many questions.”
“I just don’t understand” my friend insisted. “There’s nothing to this part. It’s a part for an extra, not an actress. So why do I have to go and audition for the director?”
“Because he’s famous and wants to see how comfortable you are naked.”
The agent put tremendous pressure on her to go. Berated her for asking questions, for being so difficult. “Just go and meet James Toback, for crying out loud!” She said.
My friend, following her gut feeling, declined.
Later, when pilot season came along she got very few calls for auditions. When she inquired why she was told it is because she is difficult and not cooperating. Her career stalled for a while until she left that agency.
Another example of women helping women?