Uzo Aduba was pressured to ditch her gap-toothed smile in order to further her Hollywood career.
The 39-year-old actress, best known for playing Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren on Netflix show Orange Is the New Black, recalled the story in an interview with The Guardian.
Uzo revealed she was on the receiving end of a disparaging comment from a woman who was vying to be her agent, who asked if she was going to have work done to close her distinctive tooth gap.
“She’s like, ‘So what are we doing about that gap? Are we keeping it?’," she explained. "As if we both had gaps, and we’re braiding our hair at a slumber party, trying to figure out if we’re going to call Tim tonight and ask him to the dance!”
Uzo went on the share that she declined to work with the agent and vowed not to bend to the pressure to conform to industry beauty standards.
“This business is so liquid,” she continued. “To be shapeshifting, it’s like trying to catch the wind. You’re never gonna do it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, she compared her experience with being judged on her appearance with that of her character in the critically-acclaimed FX drama Mrs. America.
Uzo plays African-American congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, the first black candidate - and woman - to seek presidency in the series and she discussed the similarities in the obstacles they faced on their respective career paths.
“Growing up I had a very solid, clear sense of self, in terms of ‘I can do anything, anything is possible.’ And then I stepped into the world and was met with a very different idea about who (society) thinks I am versus who I believe myself to be," she shared.
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