The film industry can be a mean, tough and unforgiving place. And Debra Messing has had her fair share of it. At this week’s MAKERS conference, which took place in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the actress shared with fellow women in Hollywood some of her experiences in the industry. During her talk, she recalled an incident that happened very early in her career that would leave any woman in tears.
According to Vulture, the actress said that in the set of 1995’s “A Walk in the Clouds,” which was her first movie, director Alfonso Arau interrupted the filming of a scene to make a really inappropriate comment about her 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,’” Messing said, recalling how shocking this was for her.
She added, “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.”
Per Messing, the incident occurred while she was filming a love scene with Keanu Reeves. A situation that was already uncomfortable for the actress got even worse when, according to her, Arau made her film a nude scene that had not been planned. She said the director looked at her body naked underneath the covers, and then “dropped the sheet on top of me like a used Kleenex, then walked away without a word.” In Messing’s words, this move by the director was a “power play” intended to “demean me, strip me of my pride, my power.”