Bella Ramsey Almost Didn’t Get Cast For This Gross Reason

Today, at only 19, Bella Ramsey has emerged as one of the biggest names in television, having starred in the juggernaut series Game of Thrones and the highly lauded adaptation of The Last of Us. But, in an all-too-common story for queer actors in Hollywood, the path to get there was strewn with gatekeepers determined to weed out actors who do not fit the mold.

In a recently resurfaced interview clip (via Twitter user @sourkettle), the young actor discusses a rejection note they once received from a director. Despite being impressed with Ramsey’s acting, the director thought that their appearance did not fit some preconceived notion of Hollywood beauty.

“I was told in one of my first auditions ever—the director really liked me, but I didn’t get the part because I didn’t have ‘the Hollywood look,’” they recalled. “That’s something that I’ve always found very interesting.” It is interesting, given how high Ramsey’s star has risen in the time since an adult director decided to criticize the “look” of a literal child.

The conversation was part of a promotional clip for Ramsey’s 2022 film Catherine Called Birdy. Ramsey and Lena Dunham were jointly interviewed by film journalist Kevin McCarthy for Good Day DC and ReelBend podcast.


Bella Ramsey & Lena Dunham open about what they were told to change about themselves when getting into this business. #bellaramsey #lenadunham #catherinecalledbirdy #thelastofus

♬ original sound – kevinmccarthytv

In a longer clip posted to McCarthy’s TikTok, Ramsey continued, “I think I’m pleased now that I don’t have [the Hollywood look].”

“No, you don’t want ‘the Hollywood look,’” Dunham agreed.

Ramsey also said that people used to tell them they needed to go to a good drama school to be successful. “Eh, no. Not for me,” they said. Both actors also shared the experience of casting agents criticizing their teeth.

Fans quickly had Ramsey’s back as the clip went viral, noting how ridiculous that same director must feel now for passing on a once in a lifetime talent.

Hollywood look or no, Ramsey has helped to turn a video game adaptation—historically, one of the hardest genres to translate well into film—into a critical darling through their portrayal of beloved character Ellie. Ramsey will return as Ellie in the confirmed second season, and they have already teased how much they are looking forward to the upcoming lesbian romance.

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