Today in mind-blowing stories of Hollywood's finest actresses encountering sexism on the job, we have Emmy Rossum. (On Sunday, it was Alison Brie's shirtless Entourage audition; Tuesday was Elizabeth Banks' "you should get a boob job" agent meeting. Keep up, people!) The Shameless star revealed during The Hollywood Reporter's annual Comedy Actress Roundtable — also featuring Kathryn Hahn, Issa Rae, Pamela Adlon, and Minnie Driver — that a director interested in casting her for a big movie wanted Rossum to skip the audition and come into his office... wearing a bikini.
"I've never been in a situation where somebody asked me to do something really obviously physical in exchange for [a job], like a pay-to-play kind of situation," the 30-year-old told THR when the women were discussing sexual harassment and misogyny in the industry. "But even as recently as a year ago, my agent called me and was like, 'I'm so embarrassed to make this call, but there's a big movie and they're going to offer it to you. They really love your work on [Shameless]." The sickening catch? "'But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There's no audition. That's all you have to do,'" her agent told her.
Rossum explained to her stunned colleagues and THR what the hell was going through this creep's head. "He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question. And I actually had this moment like, 'Well, how good is the part?' For a second, I was like, "Would I do it? Send me the script. Maybe the character is in a bikini in the movie.'" Spoiler alert: her character did not appear in a bikini in the movie. By Rossum's estimate, the director was telling her, "'We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is.'" She added, "Are you fucking kidding me? Last time I checked, I'm not a fucking model."
And, as the accomplished actress points out, this happened to somebody with years in the business (and a slew of blockbuster titles under her belt). "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."