Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

James Corden says 'chubby' actors are being excluded from romantic film and TV roles

The actor claimed the message seems to be that, 'if you are big, you never really fall in love'

James Corden has announced he and Ruth Jones have written a new script for 'Gavin and Stacey'. AP 
James Corden has announced he and Ruth Jones have written a new script for 'Gavin and Stacey'. AP 

James Corden has said that “chubby” actors are routinely being excluded from romantic roles in films and on television, claiming that the message seems to be: “Certainly no-one really finds you attractive.”

Speaking to the actor David Tennant on David Tennant Does a Podcast With, Corden said: “If an alien came back and they had to take a reading on planet Earth by just watching films or TV, they would imagine that if you are chubby or fat or big, you never really fall in love, you never have sex.

“Certainly no-one really ever finds you attractive. You will be good friends with people who are attractive and often will be a great sense of comfort to them and perhaps chip in with the odd joke every now and again … As you get older, you’ll probably be a judge in something or you’ll be dropping off a television to a handsome person in a sitcom.”

Corden, who hosts The Late Late Show on CBS, also recalled how, as a teenager acting in the hit play The History Boys, he often felt overlooked. While other cast members would regularly receive film scripts, Corden said he was only being offered bit-part roles, something he assumed was because of his appearance.

“And now I was in this play, which was the play to see,” he explained. “And I was in this play with seven other boys who were at a similar age and a similar place in our careers … Pretty much every day, three or four of these boys would come in with this massive film script under their arm.”

On one occasion, Corden and two other cast members were offered parts in the “the hottest script”. “They both got sent the script [for the lead roles] and I got sent just two pages to play a newsagent at the start of this film,” he said. “I really felt like people were going, ‘We think you’re quite good. It’s just because of what you look like.’

“It felt like, if the world of entertainment was a big banquet table, people are like, ‘There isn’t a seat for you here.’ I was like, ‘If that's not going to happen then I’m going to try to make something happen for myself.’”

Corden went on to co-write and star in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey and has since landed roles in major films, including One Chance, The Lady in the Van and Ocean’s 8. He was also the voice of Peter Rabbit in last year’s animation.

This is not the first time Corden has spoken out about the representation of larger actors on screen. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2016, he said: “I could never understand, when I watch romantic comedies the notion that for some reason unattractive or heavy people don’t fall in love. If they do, it’s in some odd, kooky, roundabout way – and it’s not. It’s exactly the same.”

Updated: April 2, 2019 01:34 PM