Gemma Arterton isn’t the first actress to be bullied into the gym, but it’s still gross

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  • She recalls 'big, fat, obsese producers' banning her from eating dried apricots. Yes, really.

    Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

    Absolutely no one is surprised that actresses in Hollywood are victims of the gender pay gap. It came to light this week that all fourteen men on the highest paid actors list receive a far more generous annual income than the highest paid actress, Emma Stone. Considering the gender pay gap is lurking everywhere from the White House, to Google to the BBC, it wasn’t all that shocking.

    In the same vein, news about actresses being forced into gruelling gym regimes, restrictive diets and humiliating body-shaming auditions is, depressingly, equally as unsurprising. From Kate Beckinsale to Emmy Rossum, stories about what goes on behind the scenes of our favourite films have been coming thick and fast, and while we might not be as shocked anymore it doesn’t make them any less disgusting.

    Adding to the canon of sexist Tinseltown tales is Gemma Arteton. In a recent interview with The Guilty Feminist podcast, the actress spoke about how she was bullied into the gym at the start of her career.

    There was one film when we were in Morocco and a couple of weeks passed and they literally were like, “We need a personal trainer – stat.” And they flew someone out overnight that gave up their whole life to be with me and be my personal trainer,’ she said.

    Gemma Arteton

    Credit: James Gourley/REX

    ‘You know when it’s like that – is it that fucking bad that I need an emergency…it was as if they were on speed dial.’

    Admitting that the experience was traumatic, Gemma continued: ‘They’d measure me and they’d call up the personal trainer at like nine at night going, “Is she in the gym. And if she isn’t, why isn’t she in the gym?” And then they’d get me in the gym and film me in the gym so they’d know I was there.’

    And it didn’t stop there. Gemma was also shamed for eating dried apricots. Dried apricots.

    ‘There was one day when I went to get some snacks and I got some dried apricots,’ she recalls. ‘And the man went, this big fat, obese producer went: “I hope you’re not going to eat that.”‘

    Gemma has previously spoken out against the industries obsession with women’s bodies, telling GQ in 2011: ‘Unless you’re really famous and successful, then they’re going to bully you into going to the gym. It’s a side of the industry that I find uncomfortable.’

    Sounds like la-la land has a lot of work to do when it comes to how they treat women in the industry – and if not now, when?

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