The Good Place's Jameela Jamil was dubbed "too ethnic" to make it in America
The Good Place star Jameela Jamil has said she was told she was “too old, too ethnic and too fat” to launch a career in the US.
The former BBC Radio 1 presenter told BBC Radio 5 live: “I was literally starting again and I was actively discouraged by everyone in England.
“Everyone said I was being mad, throwing away an eight-year career, and that I was too old – I was only 29 – too ethnic, and too fat to come over to Los Angeles.”
Jameela explained: “I lied in my audition. I said I’d mostly done theatre because it’s harder to track down.
“Technically it’s not a lie because when I was 6 I played Oliver’s mother in my school play. I was creative with the truth.”
She also said she “had to learn how to act from [co-star] Ted Danson” because she didn’t have time to get an acting coach. “I’m not De Niro, but I’m getting there,” she continued.
In the same interview, Jameela discussed the #MeToo movement and the whole equal pay issue, where she said of her co-stars: “There is a pay gap between Ted Danson and Kristen Bell – but he was in Cheers, he is a national treasure.
“It’s not just about gender, that’s about what you bring to the table.”
She added: “But when there’s a man and woman of the same age, with the same level of experience in any industry – it blows my mind we are still treated as second-rate citizens and I think it is changing, slowly but surely.”
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