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Three Quick Questions: Lindsay Hollister

Lindsay Hollister is an actor whose work includes appearances on Scrubs and My Name is Earl, but is perhaps best known for her role on the Fox show Boston Public. Lindsay took the time to answer three admittedly semi-loaded questions recently. Quick ones, too.

BFB: What's your feeling on TV and movie roles for fat women that don't portray them in a positive light?

Lindsay: Well, that's a loaded question! I have some very strong opinions on the subject, obviously! For one, it affects me as an actor because I'm constantly torn between wanting to work and not wanting to perpetuate the myth of fat people. That we are lazy, sad, pathetic, etc. kind of people. Second, it affects me as a fat woman who has to watch these programs that portray fat people in a negative light. I am fat but also happen to be a successful, well dressed, outgoing woman who has been in a loving relationship for three years. Somehow, Hollywood fails to put that on screen and instead continues to write stereotypical roles for fat women. It's an injustice to say the least, mostly due to the fact that the majority of Americans are overweight and deserve to see some real representation of their lives on the big (or small) screen.

Why don't we see more genuine fat women out there - versus, say, a thin woman in a fat suit?

They are out there, they just aren't getting cast. And when a role comes along for a "large woman", they tend to cast a size 10. That is considered fat in Hollywood. I also consider it safe.

What challenges have you faced in your career due to your size?

I am definitely bigger than a size 10 and have lost out on several big parts because I've been too fat to play the "fat woman". Don't get me wrong, I am grateful. My career began because of my size (playing an overweight student on Boston Public), and I've been able to play some amazing roles because I am a character actress.

But I've also hit a lot of walls because compared to the average size of an actress in Hollywood (size 0/2), I'm gigantic! It's a double edge sword and I think that networks/producers just don't want to take the chance on me. Like casting me as a love interest for example. Again, they play it safe with an actress who is a size 10 or 12. It's frustrating because I don't understand why they wouldn't want to shake it up a little bit. Make a statement. I think people would watch. And love it!

Thanks again, Lindsay!

12-Year-Old Has Liposuction | NY Times on Fat Studies

wallflower November 15th, 2006 | Link | I love her, I'm always
I love her, I'm always excited to see her guest star in a show, even when that show goes down stereotype lane. She had a really great character on Days of Our Lives for a while, but since I don't follow Days I don't know what happened. I hope she gets more work, especially work that doesn't just cast her in the narrow range of roles for fat people.
chartreuse November 16th, 2006 | Link | What a great interview! It's
What a great interview! It's so refreshing to see an actor who is not apologetic about her size.
vargas November 19th, 2006 | Link | I think she was on the first
I think she was on the first season of Nip/Tuck too. It wasn't exactly a flattering role but you could see that she had a lot of talent. I would love to see her cast as a love interest.
cynorita November 22nd, 2006 | Link | Nice interview. It is always
Nice interview. It is always a treat to see Lindsay on the screen.
DeeLeigh November 25th, 2006 | Link | Whatever kind of body you
Whatever kind of body you have is your instrument. Big bodies do what you want them to, just like smaller bodies do. I read your profile, and you're average-sized; not particularly big, so you might think that it feels different having a bigger body than it does having a smaller body; that it is somehow harder to manage. It's not as big a difference as you may think. The key is in knowing how to use the body you have, not in creating some kind of "perfect," sculpted, 0% fat machine. When I was your age I wore a size 18/20, rode my bike to school and back, 3 miles each way. I was in the marching band (a squad leader, actually) and was good at gymnastics (I could do cartwheels and flips, no problem). In my twenties, I got into dance. Actually, at 37, I'm still around the same size I used to be and just as active. I don't think that I feel much different than an average sized person. My body is a little more grounded; I've always had flat feet, and I'm not a good distance runner, although I can sprint pretty well. I don't jump very high or very far, but I'm a lot stronger than average for a woman. Fat people are not just thin people with dead weight added on. We're not necessarily unfit or out of touch with our bodies. We just have a different type of build. If you don't think that larger people can use their bodies in beautiful and masterful ways, then you should look at Alexandra Beller's site, especially the last 1/3 of this video clip. [Paul's note: this comment and the two following refer to a deleted comment.]
DeeLeigh November 25th, 2006 | Link | (the first clip)
(the first clip)
DeeLeigh November 25th, 2006 | Link | And, now that I'm thinking
And, now that I'm thinking about it, how on earth do the very thin actresses who aren't eating properly handle the physical demands of the profession?
vargas December 1st, 2006 | Link | Cocaine and speed.
Cocaine and speed.
paul December 1st, 2006 | Link | C'mon, inappropriate.
C'mon, inappropriate.
Margot December 11th, 2006 | Link | I don't find fat suits do be
I don't find fat suits do be insulting, same as a prosthetic nose of hair color change.

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