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Kristen Bell Says She Wasn’t Pretty Enough to be Pretty or Weird Enough to be Weird When She Started Acting

One of the reasons The Breakfast Club was so popular is that the characters were all the main archetypes used as shorthand for characters in movies and television and the movie was them breaking down why they’re actually fully-realized human beings and not just stereotypes while in Saturday detention.

In a Vanity Fair interview, Kristen Bell says she had trouble getting roles early in her career because, basically, casting directors didn’t think she was hot enough to be Molly Ringwald or weird enough to be Ally Sheedy.

Here’s the relevant bits, via Page Six:

“I would get feedback from an audition: ‘Well, you’re not pretty enough to play the pretty girl, but you’re not quirky enough or weird enough to play the weird girl,’” said Bell of her beginnings in show business.

“I was like ‘OK so does that just mean I can’t be an actor? What does that mean?’ That’s what I was getting feedback on in every single audition.”

First of all, I used to watch Veronica Mars, Kristen’s always been pretty hot. But Bell says that Hollywood has changed since the 80s.

“It’s not the ’80s where you have to have the popular girl and then the nerd who gets the guy. It’s not that anymore and I’m really grateful for that,” Bell said. “It opens up a lot of opportunities for everyone to play and pretend, which is the most fun part.”

Honestly… I disagree. Did you watch Booksmart? Same basic character archetypes and arcs as any John Hughes movie, except the nerd gets the hot girl and the surface-level white feminists are supposed to be wise and inspiring instead of shrill and annoying.

Obviously Bell did make it and she’s most famously played more fully realized characters. Veronica Mars was, like Bell said, not really the hot girl or the nerd, and Eleanor Shellstrop from The Good Place was likewise complex and layered, but mostly in contrast to other characters who were essentially one-note until the very last episodes.

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