Gemma Arterton has revealed that she was once forced to lose weight for a role by Hollywood producers, who flew out a personal trainer to work with her on location and filmed her at the gym to prove that she was exercising.
Speaking to the Guilty Feminist podcast in June, the British actor described the experience, which occurred while she was filming in Morocco, as “traumatic”.
“There was one film that I was on and we were out in Morocco and a couple of weeks went past and they literally were like, ‘we need a personal trainer – stat,’” she said. “And they flew someone out overnight that gave up their whole life to be with me and be my personal trainer.”
“You know when it’s like – ‘Is it that fucking bad that I need an emergency [it was as if they were] on speed dial – get that trainer out here now’”.
Arterton also said that producers would measure her and comment on her food intake. “They’d measure me and they’d call up the personal trainer at like nine at night going: ‘Is she in the gym? And if she isn’t, why isn’t she in the gym?’
“And there was one day when I went to get some snacks, they have like snacks on set, and I went to get some apricots, some dried apricots and the man went, this big, fat, obese producer went: ‘I hope you’re not going to eat that.’ I said ‘Do you know what? I’m going to eat about all 20, then I’m going to go home and eat all the stuff in the mini bar and then I’m going to vomit it all up,’” she said.
While Arterton did not disclose the name of the film in question, she has previously spoken about having been forced to lose weight by the producers of the blockbuster Prince of Persia. “When I got that part they really tried to transform me. They sent me to a personal trainer, wanted to get my teeth done, hair extensions, make me look like somebody else,” she told the Daily Mail in 2010.
Arterton has long been a vocal critic of the treatment of female actors in Hollywood. Speaking to the Observer’s Eva Wiseman last year, the actor said that her reputation for speaking out may have resulted in her not getting film roles.
“It’s easier to conform and shut up. That’s the way it’s always been with women. Easier than putting yourself out there and having an opinion, to which someone might retaliate. I’m sure there are people who don’t want to work with me because they think I’m difficult – ‘one of those feminist girls’ – but to be honest with you I don’t want to work with them. And that’s fine,” she said.
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