Emmy Rossum got real about gender inequality in Hollywood, opening up about one particularly frustrating experience with a director she faced about a year ago.
During The Hollywood Reporter’s Comedy Actress Roundtable, where she was joined by Pamela Adlon, Minnie Driver, Kathryn Hahn and Issa Rae, the “Shameless” star explained, “ ... as recently as a year ago, my agent called me and was like, ‘I’m so embarrassed to make this call, but there’s a big movie and they’re going to offer it to you. They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There’s no audition. That’s all you have to do.’”
When Adlon pointed out that we see Rossum’s body “all the time” thanks to her role as Fiona on “Shameless,” the actress responded, “He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question.”
Rossum went on, explaining that she debated whether or not she should go for the role. She requested her agent send her the script. “Maybe the character is in a bikini in the movie,” she thought.
But alas, the character was “not in a bikini in the movie,” nor was she naked in any scene.
“’We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is.’ Are you f**king kidding me? Last time I checked, I’m not a f**king model,” Rossum remarked.
Rossum doesn’t have a problem with nudity, but she does “have a problem about people’s heads being f**king bashed in and children watching that.”
“I don’t have any problem with children seeing a woman topless. I just don’t,” she added.
Of course, the actress has been open about gender inequality in Hollywood for quite some time, most notably when she demanded equal pay to her “Shameless” costar, William H. Macy. Rossum successfully negotiated her pay raise, thanks in part to Macy, who she said “supported me the most.”
“To have the man counterpart on my show be like, ‘Yes, she does deserve this and more’ was so validating. And after it became public, it was a quick resolution,” she said.
For her, it’s all about “asking for what you deserve.”
To read more from the roundtable, head over to The Hollywood Reporter.