Christina Hendricks received plenty of critical acclaim for her role as head secretary Joan in “Mad Men,” but as she revealed in an interview with The Guardian, all anyone wanted to ask her about was her body.
The actor’s physical appearance has been a popular topic of discussion for years. The New York Times got in trouble in 2010 for its comments on a red carpet picture of Hendricks, citing a stylist warning that you shouldn’t “put a big girl in a big dress.” “Boy, do you think anyone in the entertainment industry comes out unscathed and not objectified?” Hendricks asked The Guardian. “I don’t know one musician or one model or one actor who has escaped that. I have had moments –- not on ‘Mad Men;’ on other things –- where people have tried to take advantage of me, use my body in a way I wasn’t comfortable with, persuade me or coerce me or professionally shame me: ‘If you took your work seriously, you would do this…'”
She also described how her appearance led to her being pigeonholed as an actor. “Early on in my career, I would get auditions and I would call my manager and say: ‘I would never cast me in this –- she’s a cheerleader, she’s a bimbo. Can I audition for the other one, the weird doctor?’ And they’d be like: ‘No, they saw your picture,'” Hendricks recalled. “And I started realizing that people didn’t see the weird, goofy me that I saw.”
Despite Mad Men's critical acclaim, Christina Hendricks was "only asked about her bra"
In her interview with The Guardian, Christina Hendricks also addressed the sexist press she received during her time on “Mad Men.”
At first, according to the “Good Girls” star, only the male members of the cast were celebrated for their performances — and when Hendricks started to get attention, it just seemed to be about her body and her character’s costumes. “There certainly was a time when we were very critically acclaimed, and getting a lot of attention for our very good work and our very hard work, and everyone just wanted to ask me about my bra again,” the actor shared, quipping, “There are only two sentences to say about a bra.”
Despite her negative experiences with the press, Hendricks insisted that she still appreciated the opportunity to play Joan throughout “Mad Men” and create such an iconic character. “It may eclipse anything I ever did. And, if it does, it was a good one and I’m proud of it,” she stated, adding that she “got to bring who I was as a woman” in the role. “I think I learned some of how to be a woman from Joan. No one would give a s**t about me if it wasn’t for that show,” the actor asserted. “I’d still be doing good work, but no one would have found me. If that’s the best thing I ever do, it was pretty good.”
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