Image Source: Getty / Gisela Schober
In a candid interview with the Los Angeles Times published April 6, Emily Ratajkowski reflected on the treatment of women in Hollywood and her personal experiences with misogyny during her time in the industry. While Ratajkowski is primarily known for her modeling prowess, she’s spent nearly two decades pursuing a career in acting. As of 2019, however, her screen time has come to a standstill. In the interview, Ratajkowski shed light on why she’s essentially chosen to quit acting: it’s in large part due to Hollywood executives’ failure to treat her like a human being.
“I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I’m an artist performing and this is my outlet,'” she said of her attempts to establish herself as a serious actor. “I felt like a piece of meat who people were judging, saying, ‘Does she have anything else other than her [breasts]?'”
In 2014, Ratajkowski secured a breakout role as Andie, Nick’s (Ben Affleck) mistress, in “Gone Girl,” after which she and her team worked to prove she was a “serious actress with longevity.” Leading up to her “Gone Girl” appearance, Ratajkowski secured smaller roles in films and TV series like “iCarly” on Nickelodeon.
After these early roles, she was cast in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video. In her 2022 book of essays, “My Body,” she alleged that Thicke groped her while on the video set. “Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind,” the excerpt reads. “I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke. He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses. My head turned to the darkness beyond the set.”
In 2020, tired of making herself “digestible to powerful men in Hollywood,” Ratajkowski decided to fire her acting agent, commercial rep, and manager. “I didn’t trust them,” she told the LA Times. “I was like, ‘I can handle receiving phone calls. I’m gonna make these decisions. None of you have my best interest at heart. And you all hate women.'”
Most recently, she played Elyse alongside Theo James in the 2019 crime drama “Lying and Stealing.” In 2022, she also made an appearance as herself on comedian Ziwe Fumudoh’s late-night talk show, “Ziwe.” Her last audition was for “Triangle of Sadness,” but the role she was vying for ultimately went to the late Charlbi Dean Kriek.
In an additional excerpt from her book, Ratajkowski recounted feeling unsafe and outraged while attending a WME party with her now ex-husband Sebastian Bear-McClard. “I thought about the way that [Bear-McClard] had glided through the room, a room full of men who only two years before had been kissing Harvey Weinstein’s ring and encouraging their young female clients to take meetings with him in hotel rooms,” she wrote. “I hated that my husband was at all connected to these men.”
Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, she built on that theme: “And maybe that’s why right now I’m not really interested in men’s POVs. Because they were lies. And I don’t mean infidelity. This is a f*cked up world. Like, Hollywood is f*cked up. And it’s dark,” she told the outlet. “Obviously, it would be nice to be with somebody who’s in the industry or understands it, but I don’t think I can. That was what that essay was about . . . I had a hard time even being at a party like that. But then having a part of me that was so connected to it was even harder.” Since her divorce, Ratajkowski had been romantically linked to Pete Davidson, Eric André, and Harry Styles.
While her decision to step back from acting was a long time coming, Ratajkowski continues to leave her mark in other ways. A proud mom of one with a thriving modeling career, it looks like she’s doing just fine on her own.