6 items from 2017
It’s the perfect summer day in western North Carolina -- sunny, breezy and warm with blues skies reflecting against the lake and stretching for miles over rolling green meadows -- and entering the grounds of the country club, a giant “Kellerman’s Lodge” sign greets you from the golf course. Couples in starched, pastel outfits sit in rocking chairs on the porch waiting on cues from the director, while a dance coach run moves on the practice log that hovers twelve inches above the ground. The set of ABC’s highly anticipated Dirty Dancing musical reimagining -- starring Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin as Baby and Colt Prattes as Johnny Castle -- is the fancy summer camp experience of your dreams and the cast has bonded tightly just like kids at the end of the season.
It’s understandable how close they’ve come -- besides being stuck in a remote mountain paradise for weeks »
Those Havana Nights were not a good experience for Romola Garai.
The 34-year-old actress recalls working on the 2004 prequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, revealing that it opened her eyes to sexism in the movie industry.
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During an interview with U.K.'s The Guardian, Garai says a female producer on the film pointed to the then 17-year-old actress' legs on set and said, "'This isn’t good enough.'"
"It screwed me up for years," Garai says. "Not only did it completely change how I felt about my body, but I felt like I’d failed because I hadn’t fought back."
"I felt complicit, because I didn’t say no," she adds. "I signed off on Photoshopped images and felt terrible for perpetrating this… lie."
Even so, it did shape how she feels about misogyny today.
Watch: Mila Kunis Pens Essay on Gender Equality, Says She's 'Done' »
“It was a cesspit of horrific misogyny,” Garai, 34, who played the female lead in the 2004 prequel to the original Dirty Dancing, tells The Observer of the environment on-set.
There, Garai says a female producer pointed at the then 17-year-old actress’ thighs and said, “This isn’t good enough.” According to Garai, producers also flew in a dietitian from Puerto Rico who would weigh her each day to ensure that she was underweight throughout filming.
“It screwed me up for years, »
- Julie Mazziotta
Romola Garai is a two-time Golden Globe nominated actress, but she has a less than favorable opinion of Hollywood. “I did a bit of modeling when I was a teenager and, even then, nobody asked me to lose weight. It’s different with film, because it’s not about weight, it’s about control,” she observed in a recent interview with The Guardian. “It’s an industry with a clear agenda of ensuring women’s relationships with their reflection on screen make them feel inadequate.”
The candid conversation touches on Garai’s experience filming her first studio film in Hollywood, 2004’s “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.” Just 17 years old at the time, Garai was forced to stand in her underwear while a female producer appraised her body. She pointed at the teen’s thighs and told her, “This isn’t good enough.” The actress was “weighed in and out every day, with a dietician flown to Puerto Rico to make sure she stayed underweight,” the source writes. “It screwed me up for years,” Garai revealed. “Not only did it completely change how I felt about my body, but I felt like I’d failed because I hadn’t fought back. I felt complicit, because I didn’t say no. I signed off on Photoshopped images and felt terrible for perpetrating this… lie.”
What a nightmare. Many actresses have spoken out about the pressure to lose weight or maintain a low weight in Hollywood, but they rarely elaborate on the gory details. What happened to Garai is horrifying, and unfortunately probably not all that uncommon. It’s no wonder she “never went back to Hollywood again.”
“Someone said the only thing that was convincing in the whole film was the look of pure misery in my eyes,” Garai said of “Havana Nights.” But the experience was something of a blessing in disguise. “It was my feminist epiphany,” she said.
Quote of the Day: Romola Garai Explains How Hollywood Makes Women Feel Inadequate was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Romola Garai reveals the brutal misogyny and body-shaming on the set of the critically panned “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”. Garai, 17 at the time, starred as Katey Miller in the 2004 prequel to the 1987 hit dance drama starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. The movie was a critical flop, but no critic’s words could […] »
- Shakiel Mahjouri
Here at Et, we love an anniversary -- whether it’s the 20th anniversary of Scream or Clueless, 10 years in the life of The Hills or the magical time making No Doubt’s Magic Kingdom 20 years later. And as we settle in 2017, it’s time to look ahead at all those upcoming moments that will have you saying, “I remember when…”
Here’s a brief look at our favorite TV and film milestones of 2017:
While fans are crying over Mandy Moore’s Golden Globe-nominated performance on NBC’s hit new series This Is Us, it was just 15 years ago that they cried over her performance in the weepy adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ book about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a rebellious classmate.
6 items from 2017
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