Spike Lee: Why Actors Are F*cked Up

Photo by madelineyoki click image for credit page.

Hollywood has done something in plain sight and everyone is eating it up.

All seemed right in the world.

For years and years film and TV have moved farther and farther away from the actor to the pretty face, and sometimes the pretty face actor. Special effects and Photoshopping (aka post-production work) have helped to improve the look of men and women alike. Things not there magically appeared and vice versa.

There does appear to be a shift in some parts of the industry where talent is taking precedence over looks.


What a baffling concept.  This is a exactly what the average, everyday actor should be paying particular attention to because it means you absolutely don’t have to try to fit into a mold.

Enough is enough.

  • The surgeries, they need to stop.
  • The people selecting actors, they need to focus on talent.
  • The actors, they need to be true to themselves.

Spike Lee was interviewed recently and had this to say on actors in general…

“You’re out there buck-naked and that is hard. The reason why actors are f—ed up; can you imagine having a job where someone is, ‘No, no, no. Your butt’s too big. Your heads to big. You’re too skinny. Your nose is too big?’”

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/spike-lee-why-i-havent-207371

He doesn’t mean to say that actors are not wearing any clothes. He’s saying something very insightful. Actors are revealing who they are, their fears, their dreams, their desires, etc. to complete strangers and they’re being told that they don’t look like Woman A or Guy B or that they aren’t, yep I’m going there…, perfect looking.

Of course actors don’t look like they’ve been Photoshopped… They’re human beings with flaws, just like the audience!

This is important. Why?

  • Relatability – Nobody is perfect. Nobody. Why pretend that everyone is nearly all the time?
  • Social impact – Who would you want your son or daughter to see overcoming challenges?
  • Variety – Look around you… Exactly.

If you’re an actor, please, please remember that you are who you are because of everything that has happened in your life and you are amazing just the way you are. Consider this, the odds of you being born are practically 0%. Read “The Chances of You Existing

Sure, there are times when a cosmetic change is necessary (due to pain, etc.) but please do not let the glitz of Hollwood change you just because of a look that is “in” for what could be a year or 5 or 10.

Spike Lee’s quote stood out to me and I find it important to bring what he said to the entertainment community at large. Of course, a living healthy lifestyle is a related topic to image though I should extend the idea via another blog.

Have you…

  • been told to change the way you look?
  • felt that you need to change something about yourself to fit into a look?
  • contributed to this image issue, intentionally or unintentionally?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and have a discussion on the topic.


  1. Great post. I’m definitely guilty of beating myself up for not looking this way or that. And it is totally something I need to stop.

  2. It’s hard to keep it from getting under the skin. Being told on a regular basis to look this way or that way by any number of people can be debilitating.

    Be the awesome person that you are! “No day but today.” /Rent =D

  3. Great post Gary. This issue is the reason I only worked on stage for many years– it was more validating at a time when I was developing as an artist and didn’t want to wind up with an eating disorder or worse. I’m short, curvy and an ethnic “other” that CD’s often didnt know what to do with. I starting writing my own stuff, said to he’ll with all of ’em & found my footing.

    Now thoroughly convinced of my own worth, 12 years of marriage, 3 kids & expecting a 4th, all under my belt; I’ve stepped into the indie film world & have been finding great success– has the industry changed, not so much, but I have. My biggest take away? Confidence is sexy 😉

  4. You said it! “Confidence is sexy ;)”

    So what if you/I don’t look exactly like the standard face that has been seen on the screen. As actors take chances by simply going to castings it is equally important for producers, directors, and casting directors to take chances as well.

    The general public likes looking at pretty things as well as seeing their face on the screen. Recently a study was published that babies (at around 3 months old!) want to be around faces that look like them. Wild.

    Study: Three-month-olds, but not newborns, prefer own-race faces

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