One of the stranger things David Harbour encountered in Hollywood was when he was body-shamed while auditioning for The Blob in one of the “Wolverine” films — he says a director actually told him he was too fat for the role.
“I auditioned for one of the ‘Wolverine’ movies and I bumped into one of the casting directors on the lot, and she was really sweet and she was like — I’m never in town, I’m always in New York — ‘oh my god, David Harbour, you’re in town! I have the perfect role for you,’” he recalled in a recent interview with TheWrap. “I was like, ‘great, I need to work, what do you got?’ She’s like ‘THE BLOB!’”
He continued, “‘The Blob?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like an X-Men, he’s like big, fat and controls gravity’ and I was like ‘Okay, wow, that’s flattering.’ And she was like, ‘no, no, it’s not that you’re fat, it’s just that we need a big guy to wear the suit.’
Harbour went in to read for the part and at the end of the audition decided to jokingly pick up his shirt and squeeze his belly saying, “I got your Blob right here!” — but the joke actually did more harm than good in the end.
“I just made a stupid joke and then they called me and the director, we met at like a hotel, and he was like, ‘David, look, you’re wonderful, we really think you’re just a great actor, we’re just concerned… we’re really concerned,’” he explained. “I was like, ‘Why, what’s your concern? I’m good to go. I’m available, let’s do this!’ And they were like, ‘no, it’s just, you lifted up your shirt and we saw the… we’re just a little worried about your health.’”
“I was like, ‘Wait a minute, dude, pause for one second,’” he added. “‘You are telling me I’m too fat to play The Blob? That’s awesome, I have to get the f— back to New York.’ That’s my audition — so I didn’t get The Blob.”
Kevin Durand played the character in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Many actresses have appalling stories of body-shaming, but as recent actors’ accounts go, it happens to men, too.
On Tuesday, Sam Claflin said he can identify with stories he’s read from actresses who say they have been body shamed on set.
“I remember doing one job when they literally made me pull my shirt up and were grabbing my fat and going ‘you need to lose a bit of weight’. This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat,” he said.
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Celebrities that have spoken out about body shaming include Chrissy Metz, Amy Schumer, Daisy Ridley, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Emma Stone. Even Vin Diesel fell victim to the shaming: After photos surfaced of Diesel with a “softer” physique than fans are used to, the actor said, “I do think it’s wrong to body shame. Trolls on the Internet — there are all kinds of atrocities they commit on the Internet.”
Harbour will next star in the second season of “Stranger Things,” which just wrapped filming in Atlanta, Georgia. He will also star in “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen,” which is expected to begin production in the fall.