When you think of the TV show "Alias," the first person who probably comes to mind is Jennifer Garner. The role was a career-defining one for the actress, and now, it's hard to imagine anyone else in her place.
But according to J.J. Abrams, who created the show, TV execs weren't initially sold on casting Garner as international spy Sydney Bristow. And the reason? They weren't sure if she was "hot enough." (SMDH.)
During a conversation with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival (part of the festival's ongoing Director Series), Abrams explained what happened after the actress came in to read for the part.
"I wrote 'Alias' thinking about her," he said. "I finished it, she came in, was amazing. And I remember someone at the network was like, 'I don't know, is she hot enough?"
Abrams boiled down the hesitation to "second-guessing," saying, "everyone's always afraid at networks."
Of course, Garner went on to get the role, which basically transformed her career from small-time TV actor to Hollywood film starlet. And despite the doubters, Abrams always knew Garner was the only woman for his show.
"Jen was so great, and she did everything," he said. "And it was incredible doing the pilot, I remember watching her kind of find this strength in herself. It was just so cool to see, and she just did a spectacular job."
Earlier this month, Charlize Theron tried to explain that "pretty people" actually have a hard time finding "meaty" roles. Her words (which she's since clarified) garnered instant backlash.
"Princess Diaries" star Heather Matarazzo found the quotes especially frustrating, and shared an anecdote of her own in a blog post titled "What The F**k is F**kable?"
In the post, the actress described being pushed out of a lead role because producers thought she wasn't "fuckable."
"I can still feel the pain, shame, and humiliation that came over me in that moment," she wrote, adding, "You don’t really know what moments are going to help shape who you are going to become. I didn’t know then just how damaging those words would be. Three words. 'You’re not fuckable.'"