Bella Ramsey Says Her Appearance Was Criticized In One Of Her ‘Very First’ Auditions

The "Last of Us" star said a director once told her she didn't have "the Hollywood look."
Bella Ramsey at the Critics' Choice Awards in January.
Bella Ramsey at the Critics' Choice Awards in January.
Phillip Faraone/GA via Getty Images

Bella Ramsey is proving to be unapologetically herself.

Over the weekend, Twitter user @sourkettle posted a brief clip of the “Last of Us” star explaining that a director criticized her physical appearance during one of her very first auditions.

“The director really liked me, but I didn’t get the part because I didn’t have the ‘Hollywood look,’” Ramsey says in the brief snippet, using air quotes to emphasize the end of her statement. “And that’s something I’ve always found very interesting.”

Ramsey, now 19, never clarifies how old she was when she was given this note. Her first credit on IMDb is a short film in 2017 called “Elefthería,” which means Ramsey was likely a young teen or preteen when this happened.

Ramsey’s brief quote stems from a 2022 interview she gave to Kevin McCarthy — an entertainment reporter for “Good Day DC” and co-host of the “ReelBlend” podcast — when the actor was promoting her film “Catherine Called Birdy.”

McCarthy published more from the interview on TikTok on Friday. In the clip, he asks both Ramsey and “Birdy” director Lena Dunham if there was anything they were asked to change about themselves when they first started their acting careers.

That’s when Ramsey tells McCarthy about the “Hollywood look” critique she received and expands on it.

“I think I’m pleased now that I don’t have [the Hollywood look],” she says.


Bella Ramsey & Lena Dunham open about what they were told to change about themselves when getting into this business. #bellaramsey #lenadunham #catherinecalledbirdy #thelastofus

♬ original sound - kevinmccarthytv

“Isn’t it wild how people will say stuff like that?” Dunham piggybacked, naming specific things she was asked to change about her looks when she was starting out, including how she should “have her teeth done.”

“Oh, same!” Ramsey concurs.

“Then there’s people on social media all the time who tell you to change,” Dunham continues.

“Oh, sure,” Ramsey agrees.

Ramsey has been open about how comments on social media have affected her in the past. She told GQ in February that when she was initially cast as Ellie in “The Last of Us,” she read some people’s hateful comments online about how she didn’t resemble the character from the video games from which the HBO drama is adapted.

Ramsey told the magazine that “everyone” seemed fixated on her “square head” online, and although the comments were hurtful, she couldn’t stop what GQ described as “doom-scrolling.”

“You’re looking for a comment that’s more painful than the last one,” she told the magazine. “I’d kid myself that I was doing it in jest.”

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