Surprise, surprise, casting women in Hollywood really is as messed up as everyone thinks it is. This weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, Chris Rock and J.J. Abrams sat down for a wide-ranging discussion that touched on casting, specifically Abrams’s choice of Jennifer Garner for Alias.
Abrams revealed that there was some hesitation from a network exec when he pushed to cast Garner as super-spy Sydney Bristow. “She [Garner] had actually been on Felicity and my wife had said, “You’ve got to write something for her, she’s got such a spark,’” Abrams shared. “And I wrote Alias thinking about her but I didn’t quite know. Then I finished it and she came in and was amazing. And I remember someone at the network was like … ‘Is she hot enough?’”
It’s astounding enough that someone would look at Jennifer Garner and think, “Meh?,” but Chris Rock responded with something even more surprising: “I once … I’m not going to say the woman’s name but an executive at a film company that probably weighs, I don’t know, 165, 180 pounds was like, ‘Hmm … Kerry Washington’s getting a little big.’ Like what are you talking about?”
If people are criticizing Jennifer Garner and Kerry Washington’s looks, there’s really no hope for the rest of us.