Minnie Driver spoke about the “devastating” experience of hearing a producer on “Good Will Hunting” say she was “not sexy” enough for the role she played in the movie ― you know, the one that earned her an Oscar nomination.
“When a producer — a man or woman or nonbinary person — distills an actor down to what they perceive as their sexiness, it’s so dismissive of that person,” Driver said in an interview with “The Cut” published last week.
“To be told at 26 that you’re not sexy when you maybe just got over all your teenage angst, and started to think, you know, Maybe in the right light and the right shoes and the right dress, I’m all right,” was “devastating,” she said.
“I certainly had insecurities growing up,” she explained. “That I was not gorgeous. I was not super pretty. The idea that that was the currency I was then meant to pursue, and I was meant to try and find ways of making myself prettier. I thank God that I didn’t do a ton of stuff that I could have then gone and done. … It could have been way more damaging than it was.”
While Hollywood might be in a slightly different place than when the beloved 1997 film hit theaters, Driver said that certain things haven’t changed.
“There are still just times when people are like ‘she’s too old’ or ‘she’s too tall,’” she said.
Driver has talked about the hurtful comments before, while answering a question on “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen in 2016. Cohen asked Driver to name the rudest thing anyone has ever said to her.
“The producer of ‘Good Will Hunting’ did not think I was hot enough to be in that film and did not want me in the film,” Driver said, sharing that co-stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and director Gus Van Sant “fought very hard for me to play that role and I’m grateful to them until this day.”
“Wow, and was that not the role you got the Oscar nomination for?” Cohen asked.
“Yeah, but not for being hot,” Driver answered.