Melanie Lynskey says even when ‘starving herself’ she was too heavy for Hollywood


Actress Melanie Lynskey has clarified comments in a recent interview in which she recalls being told she was “not beautiful” on the set of Coyote Ugly.

Costume designers were “very disappointed” when they saw her, Lynskey, 45, told The Hollywood Reporter, recalling having to wear “a lot of [shapewear] Spanx”.

“It was ridiculous,” she said.

However, Lynskey posted a series of messages on Twitter this morning (NZ time) to clear up confusion over the statement.

“My answer was kind of a jumble – I had experiences with makeup artists offering to help my face look better but that did not happen on Coyote Ugly”, Lysnkey explained.

”Sorry for any confusion I may have caused- if I ever talk about a bad experience I’ve had I’m pretty careful about people not being able to identify who did those things as I am not in the business of publicly shaming people.”

”I’ll talk about my experience without including that.”

The Emmy-nominated New Zealand actress made the comments during a joint interview with her Yellowjackets co-stars Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci and Tawny Cypress during which they discussed how Hollywood had changed since the 90s, when all four began their careers, and how they saw the shift in the actresses who played the younger versions of their co-stars in the psychological drama.

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Here are some of Lynskey’s most notable quotes:

Melanie Lynskey in her Emmy-nominated turn in Yellowjackets.


Melanie Lynskey in her Emmy-nominated turn in Yellowjackets.

On playing “quirky or offbeat” characters:

“I remember I got cast in a movie when I was like 21, and the description of the character before I auditioned was ‘Blah, blah, blah, the beautiful girl who sits next to him in school.’ Then, at the table read, it had been changed to ‘Blah, blah, blah, cute and quirky.’ I was like, ‘You don’t need to change it. Just keep it …’ They’re like, ‘We better change this description or people will be like, wrong actress.’ So, sometimes it feels … I don’t know. I never liked that word, ‘quirky.’

On body image in the industry:

“I played the best friend from Jersey [in Coyote Ugly]. But the scrutiny that was on [star] Piper [Perabo], who’s one of the coolest, smartest women, just the way people were talking about her body, talking about her appearance, focusing on what she was eating. 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] 4 (NZ 8). 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.’ 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.’

“In your early 20s, so much of it is about beauty, and how people respond to you, and do people want to f… 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.”

Melanie Lynskey says she felt “very protective” of her younger co-stars, but “they’re fine”.


Melanie Lynskey says she felt “very protective” of her younger co-stars, but “they’re fine”.

On feeling protective of the younger Yellowjackets actresses:

“I feel very protective. At the beginning of production, I sent them all an email, and I just was like, ‘Whatever you need, if you need a voice, if you need someone to go to the producers for you, whatever you need,’ and they were kind of like, ‘Cool. Thanks.’ They’re fine.”

On living with regrets:

“I think people without regrets are narcissists. I think they’re lying to themselves.”

On the overturning of Roe v Wade:

“There seems to be this general lack of compassion and empathy that’s just growing and growing. There’s so much hatred, and people are unable to look at another person’s life and go, ‘Oh, you know, that’s an untenable situation,’ or even, ‘That’s a difficult situation.’

“There’s no grace given to anybody else. There’s no empathy. You don’t get to make decisions for somebody else. You don’t know what’s right for them.”