- Theo Wargo/Getty Image
- James Corden says “chubby” actors never get cast in romantic lead roles in films because of the idea that “no one ever finds you attractive.”
- The actor and TV host says the world of entertainment perpetuates a myth that larger people don’t fall in love.
- “Fat” actors are usually cast as the funny friend, Corden says.
James Corden has spoken out about how he believes “chubby” actors don’t get cast in romantic lead roles in films because of the idea that “no one ever finds you attractive.”
The actor and TV host was speaking to fellow actor David Tennant on the latter’s podcast, “David Tennant Does a Podcast With.”
Corden, 40, said that “fat” actors are usually cast as the funny friend of someone who is “attractive,” and “never really fall in love” or have sex in a film.
“The Late Late Show” host discussed his acting breakthrough when performing in Alan Bennett’s play, “The History Boys,” in 2004.
When the play got made into a film, the producers were looking for two young men aged around 21 and 22 to play the lead roles, and Corden and two of his castmates from the play got asked to audition.
- Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
But while Corden’s castmates were sent the full scripts to audition for the lead roles, Corden was asked to go for a much smaller role.
“I got sent just two pages to play a newsagent at the start of this film,” he said. “It really, really felt like people were going, ‘We think you’re quite good. It’s just because of what you look like.’
“If you’re big … It’s a funny world, entertainment, if you’re big.
“If you only watch television or films, if an alien came back and they had to take a reading on planet Earth by just watching films and TV, they would imagine that if you are chubby or fat or big, you never really fall in love, you never have sex, certainly no one really ever finds you attractive.
“You’ll be good friends with people who are attractive. You’ll often be a really great sense of comfort to them, and perhaps you’ll chip in with the odd joke every now and then.
“As you get older you’ll probably be a judge in something or you’ll be dropping off a television to a handsome person in a sitcom. And that’s really how it can feel.”
Corden said it felt like the world of entertainment was like a banquet table where there wasn’t a seat for him, so he decided to try and make things happen by himself.
This isn’t the first time Corden has discussed the issue of how larger people are portrayed in films and TV. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 2016, he said: “I could never understand, when I watch romantic comedies, the notion that for some reason unattractive or heavy people don’t fall in love.
“If they do, it’s in some odd, kooky, roundabout way – and it’s not.”
Corden’s beliefs are backed up by research too.
A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that in prime-time television shows, “overweight and obese females were less likely to be considered attractive, to interact with romantic partners, or to display physical affection.
“Overweight and obese males were less likely to interact with romantic partners and friends or to talk about dating and were more likely to be shown eating.”
The researchers also found that these representations fuel discrimination amongst the public.