Today in shudder-worthy news: “Shameless
” star Emmy Rossum
revealed her experience with sexual harassment during the audition process. In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, Rossum recalled a call she received from her agent about a year ago. “There’s a big movie and they’re going to offer it to you,” her agent told her. “They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There’s no audition. That’s all you have to do.”
“He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question,” Rossum continued. “‘We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is.’ Are you fucking kidding me? Last time I checked, I’m not a fucking model.”
Hollywood is infamous for its treatment of young and inexperienced actresses, but Rossum’s story illustrates how actresses further along in their career are also subjected to sexual harassment. She’s a well-known actress with two decades of experience — and still a powerful man in the business felt confident enough to try to exploit her like this.
“I feel like we’re all vulnerable to it,” Rossum admitted at the roundtable. “If somebody with my years in the business would think, ‘Well, I wonder if it’s worth it,’ then what would a girl who doesn’t have my success do? She would do it.”
Rossum wasn’t the only one to talk about a nausea-inducing casting couch story this week. During her press tour for the upcoming Jenji Kohan
series “G.L.O.W.” Alison Brie
shared her experience auditioning for “Entourage.” According to Entertainment Weekly, Brie was also asked to come in scantily clad. “Early in my career, I auditioned for three lines on an episode of ‘Entourage’ that I had to go on in a bikini!” she said. “Or like shorts and the tiniest shorts. And they were like, ‘Okay, can you take your top off now?’” Brie clarified that she was wearing her bikini under her top, but the rest of the story is still more than enough to creep us out.
In December Rossum made headlines when she demanded a raise for the eighth season of Showtime’s dramedy “Shameless
.” She sought pay parity with co-star William H. Macy
and came out of negotiations victorious. Rossum’s credits include “The Phantom of the Opera
” and “Beautiful Creatures.” She’s directed episodes of TNT’s “Animal Kingdom
” as well as an ep of “Shameless
Head over to THR to read Rossum’s entire roundtable discussion with fellow comedy actresses Kathryn Hahn
, America Ferrera
, Minnie Driver
, Pamela Adlon
, and Issa Rae
Wtf of the Day: Emmy Rossum
Was Asked to Wear a Bikini Instead of Audition for a Role was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.