Melanie Lynskey says she was body shamed on set of Coyote Ugly

The actor says she received “really intense feedback about my physicality, my body” on the set of the 2000 film

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Thursday 04 August 2022 18:14 BST
Related: Yellowjackets is ‘extreme at the expense of a meaningful story’

Melanie Lynskey has spoken candidly about the body shaming she’s faced in her career and revealed she felt pressured to lose weight while filming Coyote Ugly.

Lynskey, 44, who played the character Gloria in the 2000 movie, opened up about the “ridiculous” pressure placed on her and costar Piper Perabo to look a certain way while filming during a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Lynskey recalled that all of the actresses had a “regimen they had to go on” and that she received “really intense feedback” about her appearance from those on set.

“All the girls had this regimen they had to go on. It was ridiculous. I was already starving myself and as thin as I could possibly be for this body, and I was still a [size] four,” Lynskey said. “That was already people putting a lot of Spanx on me in wardrobe fittings and being very disappointed when they saw me, the costume designer being like: ‘Nobody told me there would be girls like you.’”

According to the New Zealand-born actor, in addition to comments about her “physicality” and her “body,” she was also subjected to body shaming by makeup artists working on set, who she said told her they would help her out by contouring her jawline.

“Really intense feedback about my physicality, my body, people doing my makeup and being like: ‘I’m just going to help you out by giving you a bit more of a jawline and stuff.’ Just the feedback was constantly like: ‘You’re not beautiful. You’re not beautiful,’” the Candy actor recalled.

Lynskey also claimed that these body shaming experiences were common in her early 20s.

“In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people respond to you, and do people want to f**k you? Do people think you’re their best friend? Even the best friend thing, I started to be like: ‘I don’t want to do that too many times,’” she said.

After opening up about her experience on the set of Coyote Ugly, Lynskey took to Twitter to clarify that she had not been referring to the costume designer who is credited for the film, but rather one who left and was replaced.

“I see this has become a headline so please let me clarify some things! The costume designer who initially worked on Coyote Ugly left for some reason, and a lovely kind woman named Marlene Stewart took over and she was AWESOME. The first person was mean, the person credited was not,” she said, adding that she wanted to clarify because she was nervous people would Google the film’s costume designer and “think that Marlene was not nice when she was just the greatest”.

She also clarified that her experiences with makeup artists offering to “help [her] face look better” did not happen on Coyote Ugly, but rather on other film sets. “The hair and makeup team were amazing and so kind and among the best I’ve ever worked with,” she said of those who worked on the 2000 film.

This is not the first time that the Yellowjackets star has opened up about her experiences with body shaming. Lynskey previously alleged that she was also subjected to criticism about her body while filming the now-acclaimed Showtime series.

Lynskey told Rolling Stone in January that a member of the Yellowjackets production team asked her what she planned to do about her body and suggested the producers hire her a trainer.

“They were asking me: ‘What do you plan to do? I’m sure the producers will get you a trainer. They’d love to help you with this,’” she said. At the time, Lynskey said her co-stars stepped in to defend her, with Lewis reportedly writing a letter to the show’s producers on her behalf.

While speaking to the outlet, Lynskey also noted that it was important to her that her character Shauna avoids commenting negatively about her body in the show.

“It was really important to me for [Shauna] to not ever comment on my body, to not have me putting a dress on and being like: ‘I wish I looked a bit better,’” she said. “I did find it important that this character is just comfortable and sexual and not thinking or talking about it, because I want women to be able to to watch it and be like: ‘Wow, she looks like me and nobody’s saying she’s the fat one.’ That representation is important.”

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