February 9, 2017


Debra Messing Says Director Stopped Filming Because Her Nose Was 'Ruining' the Movie

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Stories of sexism in Hollywood are sadly all-too-common, but Debra Messing has revealed a new one that is shocking while also feeling all too pertinent in today's political landscape. 

Speaking at the Makers conference, Messing shared about her experiences with director Alfonso Arau on the 1995 flick A Walk in the Clouds, her first film. During a love scene with co-star Keanu Reeves—an already uncomfortable situation, mind you—Messing revealed that Arau interrupted filming to criticize the rising star's appearance: 

"We started filming and the very famous director screamed 'Cut!' and said, 'How quickly can we get a plastic surgeon in here? Her nose is ruining my movie.' I'd studied in London and I was so well-equipped with skill sets, and then to walk on set and have that happen—I was reduced to an un-Hollywood nose."

It wasn't the only abuse Messing had at the hands of Arau either. The Will & Grace star added that she was pressured into agreeing to an on-the-spot, unplanned nude scene. The director peeped at the star under a sheet that covered her naked body and, per Messing, "dropped the sheet on top of me like a used Kleenex, then walked away without a word." Debra said the move was a "power play" used to "demean me, strip me of my pride, my power."

It's inexcusable and sad to imagine how many more Hollywood power players have pulled gross stunts just like these. 

Watch leading EDM stars explain the genre's lack of female representation in this Fuse report: