Casting Couch Nightmares: What Does It Take to Make It in Hollywood?
2011-08-14 0:00

By Hollie McKay | foxnews.com

Related: Degenerates in Hollywood

The casting couch -- trading sexual favors for a role, representation or anything that will help an aspiring performer take that next step to stardom -- is alive and well in Hollywood.

Megan Fox told British GQ that she was “heartbroken” over the number of legendary Hollywood directors that had tried to bed her since she found fame.

Gwyneth Paltrow recently told Elle Magazine that when she was just starting out it was suggested that a business meeting be finished in the bedroom.

Lisa Rinna claimed she missed out on a role in a prominent television series because she refused to give a producer “a quickie.”

And in an interview with People magazine several years ago, Charlize Theron divulged that in her modeling days, she was invited to a well-known director’s home for a casting call, only when she arrived he was in his pajamas mixing drinks.

“I’m very much aware of certain talent representatives and producers who leverage their ability to help launch careers into getting laid by ‘green’ talent,” Alec Shankman, former Los Angeles talent agent and founder of the online casting agency GotCast.com, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “I think, and hope, that many girls are made aware of the situation soon after getting into L.A. But when I was an agent, I made it a specific point to talk to each girl about certain situations to avoid, and in some instances, certain people.”

Veteran acting coach Mirren Lee said more often than not those “certain people” are the not-so established industry folk that prey on inexperienced, naďve actresses.

“The ‘casting couch’ is alive and well. Stories still come out about shonky casting people. Often these things happen with people that aren’t that high up or professional – all the vanity/amateur/short film projects people do,” she said. “People who are so desperate for fame, adoration, and money are gullible and that is the key to how the shonks work.”

In Lee’s own acting days more than thirty years ago, auditions were taking place in all sorts of odd places – often in one’s apartment – and at the tender age of 16, she didn’t realize this in itself was a red flag.

“I showed up at this one audition, a guy answers the door and takes me to the bedroom and demands I do certain things to him. I was very naďve, and just told him straight I couldn’t possibly do that,” Lee recalled. “The guy must have thought I was endearing, because when I asked to go he said I couldn’t yet because there was another girl in the living room with his business partner. That was one of many, but I’m actually one of the lucky ones – nothing bad happened to me.”

Yet the passage of time certainly doesn’t seem to have killed off the plague.

“I had one client who was lured away by a larger agency, the new agent took her out to celebrate and ‘made a move’ on her that very night. She was smart enough to resist and put him back in check, but I found out later about others who were not as fortunate,” Shankman said. “I also know of a former agent at another agency who would have clients stay at his house while they ‘got settled’ – although that never seemed to end well.”

According to one performer we talked to, who recently had enough of the industry and left, despite a lengthy and successful career, some predators just won’t take no for an answer.

“There’s an agent at one of the top five agencies in town who emails me often and begs for naked pictures of me,” she said. “And he tells me, the slu**ier, the better.”

But be warned, even if one does concede, it still doesn’t guarantee the gig or the coveted contract.

“I went for an audition to sing in an opera variety show and on arrival I stood by the piano to sing my piece. The 'director' asked me to move around the room and sing it again. I did. He then said, 'you will need to interact with the audience, I want you to sing it again and work around me, rub yourself up against my chair,’” the songstress told us. “Wanting the job I did as requested – not a comfortable or natural way to perform an aria. With the pianist in the room, it was a very demoralizing experience – and I didn’t get the gig.”

And given the nature of the entertainment arena, it isn’t just the ladies of Tinseltown that have to deal with this type of dilemma.

“[A male talent agent] massively came on to me – telling me how amazing I was, how I was going to be the next ‘star,’ and then the next thing you know he had his hands on my legs and rubbing my back and telling me I was to stay in his hotel room,” a 23-year-old aspiring male actor, who met with a high-profile agent at a Los Angeles restaurant after moving to the city just a few weeks ago, revealed. “I told him no, and that I was going home. He got really angry and forceful and insisted I was staying there, so I just got up and left.”

Needless to say, there was no offer for representation.
Nonetheless, Shankman assured us that there are still plenty of flowers among the weeds in the biz – and although the predators will probably never disappear, the most important thing is educating young talent on the issue.

“As long as they are smart enough to realize that success isn’t driven by the ‘casting couch’ the problem will hopefully continue to diminish over time,” he said. “There are some incredible executives throughout Hollywood who are not looking to take advantage, but rather to nurture.”

Source: foxnews.com



Related: Degenerates in Hollywood



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Increased tax subsidies for politically correct media
2015-03-29 22:08
On Dec 9 last year I translated a random snapshot of the biggest newspaper in Sweden. The headlines alone spoke for themselves. It was, simply put, an orgy of political correctness, obvious attempts at emotional manipulation and general national self-loathing. In other words, a typical Swedish newspaper on any given day. As more and more readers are waking up to the ...
When obeying the law and supporting yourself is racist
2015-03-29 22:56
There is a huge scandal in the municipality of Älmhult in Sweden. It has been revealed that there is a letter that may have been sent from the municipality offices to newly arrived immigrants informing them that the law applies to them and that they’re expected to eventually go off the dole and start pulling their own weight in society. In ...
New political weapon: Threat to unleash immigrant invasion
2015-03-29 22:05
Youtube description: Threatening to bombard a country with illegal immigrants has become quite the bargaining chip in political quarrels, as Polly Boiko explains. Source: youtube.com/RT Editors Note: Notice how the argument is twisted around at the end of the report. The word "Bogeyman" is used. This is a common allusion to a mythical creature. What is mythical about replacement immigration into Europe? ...
Facebook completes first drone flight above UK, Mark Zuckerberg confirms
2015-03-28 3:15
Solar powered drones which provide internet access to rural and remote areas have been trialled in UK for first time by Facebook. They “have a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 but will weigh less than a car”, according to the social network's chief Mark Zuckerberg. The drones, developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta which Facebook bought last March, will beam down laser-guided ...
300 Young English Girls (and a few Boys) Groomed and Assaulted by Oxfordshire "Gangs," Report Finds
2015-03-28 2:04
Editor's note: This story is a few days old now but the echoes of Rotherham just keeps coming. A few weeks ago there was Halifax, now Britain proudly can add Oxfordshire to their line up of diversity success stories. Below is the story from the telegraph: Serious case review finds failings by police and social services as it identifies hundreds of victims A ...
More News »