13 Times Actors Didn't Sugarcoat What It's Really Like To Be An Actor In Hollywood And All The Rejection That Comes With It
1. Heather Matarazzo
Heather got her big break in the 1995 coming-of-age movie Welcome to the Dollhouse, and later starred in other big projects like The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries.
“I've taken the disappointments, the rejections, etc. and asserted that rejection is a realignment. I've always BELIEVED in the universe, but today something broke. I feel pushed aside 30 years and I'm tired of fighting to survive."
In a previous interview with the Guardian, Heather also revealed that she considered suicide in 2009 after a series of failed auditions.
2. Mena Massoud
Mena earned role of the century when he landed the lead in Aladdin - the 2019 live-action adaptation of the 1992 Disney classic. But despite starring in a film that grossed over $1 billion at the box office , Mena revealed that he had a hard time booking auditions after the film's release.
"It's wild for a lot of people. People have these ideas in their heads. It's like, I'm sitting here and I'm like, 'Okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition?' I don't expect you to say this is Batman. But can I just come into the room? can you just give me a chance So it's not always what you think it is."
Since then, Mena has starred alongside Nina Dobrev in notable projects like Run This Town and the Netflix rom-com Royal Treatment, starring Laura Marano. Mena also landed a starring role in the Hulu series, which was canceled after one season.
3. Katherine Heigl
Katherine ruled the early '00s with hit films like Knocked Up, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. Not to mention she starred in one of the most talked about medical dramas in television history: . But after speaking out against her projects -- "a bit sexist" and dropping out of the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama contest (for ) at the 2008 Emmys, "I didn't feel like I got that this season material was given to justify an Emmy nomination" — things got a little messy for her in Hollywood.
"What is your definition of difficult? Someone with an opinion you don't like? Now I'm 42 and this shit pisses me off. At the time, I was just quickly told to shut up. The more I said I'm sorry, the more they wanted it," Heigl continued. "The more frightened and anxious I was about doing something wrong, the more I seemed like I really had done something terribly wrong."
She noted that her family and friends were "scared" for her after seeing how the blacklist was taking a toll on her mental health. Katherine is currently available on Netflix and released a psychological thriller titled last year.
4. Sara Weisglas
You probably know Sara from Mary Goes Round, her stint on Degrassi: The Next Generation and Degrassi: Next Class, and her recent Netflix debut in the 2021 dramedy series. But despite her past success, Sara, who has been in the industry since she was 6, is still very familiar with the unpredictability of Hollywood.
"No, I was unemployed and felt like an ass. You have to be so grateful in the moments when it hurts and you're told no. Rejection sucks, I'm still dealing with it. But the rejections make the good times so much better."
Sara is currently filming Season 2 of Ginny & Georgia.
George Pimentel/Getty Images
The Office cemented itself in television history with its ridiculous characters and even more goofy storylines, and none of that would have happened without John as Jim Halpert. But before landing this career-changing role, John strongly considered giving up his dream of acting.
"I was like, 'Well, I'm out,'" John said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. ",That's awful. It's so scary. That's the worst. And she said, "You know, it's September. Just wait. Just wait until the end of the year. Don't give up yet." I told her to come and get me... and three weeks later I got The Office."
Thank god for the parents! Since then, John has enjoyed a successful career in Hollywood, starring in projects such as Jack Ryan, It's Complicated, Something Borrowed and .
6.Deborah Ann Woll
Deborah has starred in projects like Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You and Escape Room, as well as hit shows like True Blood and Daredevil. When Netflix surprisingly decided to cancel in 2018, Deborah struggled to find work for over a year, and it made her question her self-worth.
"When I'm not acting, I'm not sure who I am. And since it's been so long since I've really gotten around to it, I'm struggling a bit with how to maintain my self-esteem, my sense of my own worth. I haven't had an acting job since then and it was really hard for me. So I was struggling with that even before COVID turned the world upside down.
Deborah starred in the 2021 film Ida Red alongside Melissa Leo and Josh Hartnett.
Paul Archuleta / FilmMagie
Liz's claim to fame came in 2010 when she landed the iconic role of Jade West on Nickelodeon's Victorious. After the show ended in 2013, she thought offers would come pouring in left and right, but instead, Liz played the waiting game in her great-grandmother's basement.
"Cut to me in my basement playing The Sims for 18 hours. I dont lie. Cut to my great grandmother of 98 saying, 'She needs to go out and get drunk and maybe have a one night stand. because it kills us.'"
Liz is currently starring in The CW's Dynasty reboot. It has just been announced that the current fifth season of the series will be the last.
There was a time when you couldn't go to a movie theater and not see Brendan's face on a poster. He has starred in hit franchises like The Mummy and Journey to the Center of the Earth, as well as fan favorites like , , and . But even a man at the top can go through tough times.
"The phone stops ringing in your career and you wonder why," Brendan told GQ. "There are many reasons, but was that one of them? I think it was." And that's why, he says, he finally disappeared for a while: "I bought into the pressures that come with the hopes and goals that come with a professional life that shapes and shapes, is led and managed. I wasn't there, I didn't feel like I belonged."
Brendan has since regained his confidence and has bounced back into roles that mean something to him. He starred in HBO Max's Doom Patrol, Line of Descent and . He will also be part of the upcoming release of .
9. Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is an industry veteran with a rap paper full of box office hits and cult classics, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Thelma & Louise to and .
"You get so punished in this business," Susan said. "When people say, 'Do you think you lost your job because of your politics?' I say, 'No, you're losing your job because you're getting old and fat!' That's where they write you off in Hollywood. There's the inevitability of physical decay. It really forces you to think, what is beauty and what survives?"
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