Minnie Driver: producer said I wasn’t ‘hot enough’ for ‘Good Will Hunting’

Minnie Driver seen at the ABC studios
It’s been almost 19 years since Good Will Hunting came out, which is hard to believe considering how much we still hear about it. I just rewatched it a few weeks ago with my son, and we’ve since noticed countless references to GWH in pop culture. The film is iconic, and it wouldn’t be the same without Minnie Driver. However Minnie almost lost out on the role of Skylar because a producer didn’t think she was “hot enough,” as she told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and director Gus Van Sant advocated for her and the rest is history. Minnie is currently promoting her role on the new ABC sitcom Speechless, which is doing well with critics and in the ratings.

Driver was asked what the rudest thing anyone in the industry had ever said to her (without naming names).

“The producer did not think I was hot enough to be in that film and did not want me in the film,” Driver said.

“… I really owe Matt Damon and Ben Affleck … [They] fought very hard for me to play that role and I am grateful to them to this day,” Driver said.

Driver said the comments didn’t really bother her because “‘hotness’ is a perception, and it’s really a point of view, and this dude was no picnic to look at.”

[From Variety]

That’s typical and disgusting. Minnie is lovely but some douchebro in power wanted his personal definition of “hot” to fill a role instead of considering what the part required. I’m glad she’s talking about it, and that other actresses are talking about this issue too. We’re hearing so much worse recently as well, particularly from women of color who have been passed up for parts.

We’ve talked about the recent live reading of Good Will Hunting at NYU, which was organized by John Krasinski and featured surprise appearances by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in their original roles. Krasinski was the narrator and Emily Blunt read Skylar. I wonder if anyone reached out to Driver for that or if there are still hard feelings between her and Damon. The fact that Driver dumped Damon by proxy on Oprah used to the worst thing you could say about him – until he whitesplained diversity to Effie Brown on Project Greenlight.

Driver also opened up in another interview, on Sirius XM, about being sexually assaulted when she was just 17 in Greece. A man at a club tried to get her to dance with him, she said no, and then he pulled her by the hair. When she tried to kick him to get him away from her he punched her in the face. The cops came and told her that if she just would have played along and danced with her assailant that it wouldn’t have happened. She got grabbed and punched out by a guy and yet the cops told her it was her fault. She also said that every woman she knows has a story of being sexually assaulted and/or groped. Sadly that seems to be true.

On WWHL, Minnie explained that the Trump Tapes helped her realize that now was the time to share her experience. She said, in part, “It’s important to talk about it, now has never been a better time to speak up and for young women to feel like they have a voice and … nobody gets to grab you by anything unless you want them to.

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Celebrites On 'Good Morning America' In NYC

Hammer Museum Gala LA

photos credit: WENN and FameFlynet

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84 Responses to “Minnie Driver: producer said I wasn’t ‘hot enough’ for ‘Good Will Hunting’”

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  1. ana says:

    I always found her to be beautiful so I am glad she let that slide.

  2. M says:

    I’ll bet it was Harvey Weinstein.

  3. JustJen says:

    I don’t know why, but that first picture of her looks really weird. Like she had a bunch of work done, but in the others it doesn’t. She’s right, most women have experienced that and while it used to scare me, now that I’m older it just ticks me off.

    • uninspired username says:

      That pic is odd to me too.

      • the_blonde_one says:

        The left lower side of her face in that pic looks ‘silly-puttied’, stretched? smooshed? puffed from within? like she just came from the dentist and got that side’s wisdom teeth pulled. it’s definitely disconcerting.

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      She’s always had a really odd face that sometimes looks super puffy. It’s the way she’s looked since she was a teen. It’s part of her charm to me, she doesn’t look like everyone else.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      Agree. Maybe too much/recent ‘tox in that pic. No expression in her upper face.

      • Livealot says:

        No she has the same thing I have. A “swollen jaw”. I too was asked if I had my wisdom teeth pulled. Fat removal from cheeks gets rid of it. Good for her I guess for still being successful.

      • Sarah says:

        I saw it too. The bottom of the face looks abnormally wide. Don’t what makes her look like that as she looks good in the other pics.

  4. Jo says:

    I’m probably going against everything this article stands for, but am I the only one who thought Minnie’s jaw was Photoshopped in the header picture?

  5. paolanqar says:

    If anything, her character in GWH was supposed to be smart not hot. she is beautiful by the way.

    • Bettyrose says:

      That was my reaction too. Her character was supposed to be smart. Attractive too, obviously. Her first scene involves a couple of guys trying to impress her, but she’s a bookish girl with a sweet face. Minnie Driver was perfect.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yup. Apparently “hot” is a requirement for a Harvard medical student.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Sorry, but why would a ‘hot’ smart student at Harvard be interested in a dumpy smart brawler played by Matt Damon? If Driver were any hotter, the movie would not have been realistic. Damon and his tombstone teeth do not attract hot successful women.

  6. Donna Martin says:

    I have never liked her work in that movie. I thought she was miscast but I enjoyed her on will and grace

    • Annetommy says:

      She was great in Grosse Point Blank with John Cusack. I think she has an unusual but lovely look, but presumably she wasn’t generic enough for whichever gorgeous hunk of manhood felt she wasn’t hawt.

  7. Locke Lamora says:

    What happened between her and Damon? I was 4 when that movie came out, so I didn’t even know they were together.

    • manda says:

      I was in college when that came out (thanks for making me feel super duper old!), and had no idea there was bad blood between them either. I sort of remember them dating but never knew about this oprah break up story. Going to have to google but later because no time to fall into a gossip black hole right now! Must get to work!!

    • doofus says:

      he essentially dumped her on TV, while being interviewed by Oprah.

      I think he said something to the effect of “no, that’s over now” and she was like “news to me!”

      • Bettyrose says:

        In the real world, she’d be so out of Damon’s league. But in bizarro Hollywood land, he’s the powerful one so he calls the shots.

    • Aila says:

      Oprah asked Matt Damon on her show if he had a girlfriend and he said no. I guess he didn’t bother to tell Minnie.

    • Jane says:

      The story is false and they broke up before the show. Minnie admitted it years later.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Yes. I heard that too. It’s still hurtful to have it aired on national T.V. and maybe she was hoping to get back together, but to be fair to Matt Damon, she did say later that they broke up before he guested on the show.

  8. OTHER RENEE says:

    Still have the sads that her last series, “About a Boy” was canceled. I really liked that show.

  9. Mike says:

    Saying that the movie would not be the same. Without Driver is not much of a compliment. Of course it would be different if she was not in it. She would not be in it. I do not know if the movie would suffer for her absence or not. She was kind of a plot device as opposed to a main character.mshe was really good though. I enjoyed her telling the dirty joke to Hunting’s friends in the bar.

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      I like her but I have to agree. Her character was very thinly drawn and honestly didn’t really stand out to me.

  10. Mikeyangel says:

    Love her! She is so beautiful. Love GWH. God I miss Robin Williams, he was the best part of GWH.

  11. FF says:

    Okay… but she’s admitted she lied about Matt Damon dumping her on Oprah, right?

    • paranormalgirl says:

      not to my knowledge

    • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

      I’m pretty sure she did, I remember reading it on here in the comments–years ago.

      • FF says:

        @VirgiliaCoriolanus

        I know. I’m pretty sure I read it on a non-gossip site interview. Did I imagine it?

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I know Laura Dern admitted she lied about being dumped for Angelina Jolie, but I can’t find anything about Minnie Driver saying she fabricated the Damon breakup story.

    • Jane says:

      Yes, she admitted it in a magazine a few years later.

    • Katie says:

      She did. Basically, he’d broken up with her weeks before the Oprah interview, but she hadn’t accepted it, so when she saw it on TV she freaked out a bit and wanted to get back at him for dumping her. Honestly, between that and the some of her other relationships she comes off a bit crazy.

  12. Bobo says:

    Not every single person is going to find one actress beautiful. I don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape if one person doesn’t find them extremely attractive.

    • Brittney B. says:

      …maybe because the whole entertainment industry (which has a big effect on society, too) revolves around a few powerful white men’s very narrow definition of hotness?

      Maybe because that “one person” is a powerful gatekeeper who gets to decide that half the population only has value as sex objects, and then makes sure our movies and shows only reflect this reality?

      Maybe because women have been objectified by two-dimensional parts and expected to meet irrelevant physical ideals because of exactly this mentality (“the actress just has to be hot to me”) forever, while male actors aren’t expected to be sexually attractive to the people in charge in order to get/keep their jobs?

      • Bobo says:

        Maybe… that’s how it is, then why get into the entertainment industry to begin with? As far as I knew, the entertainment industry finds Minnie attractive?

      • Brittney B. says:

        Yeah, let’s just accept that “that’s how it is”, and leave all our on-screen representation to privileged men. If we have any acting talent or passion for film or television, well then, we’d better not act on it unless we’re male or we fit a very narrow standard of beauty. Great idea.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      He doesn’t have to find her beautiful, no one is saying that. But he tried to keep her out of a job she got because he didn’t find her beautiful. Now, that’s problematic.

  13. shannon says:

    She’s def. doesn’t fit the Hollywood mold, but I’ve always thought she was attractive, esp. in Circle of Friends. Not sure why she felt she had to lose all that weight because she is way too skinny (bring the hate). It does look like she’s been messing with her face now, or maybe she’s just too bony.

    I think she found out Matt Damon was dating Winona Ryder on Oprah. Apparently, he hadn’t mentioned to Minnie that they had broken up beforehand.

    • Luca76 says:

      I loved Circle of Friends both the book and the movie!!! I always think of that role whenever I see her and I specifically went to see GWH because of Minnie Driver. But just a note she gained weight for that role and I do think she’s naturally thin. So yeah you’re body shaming her and that ain’t cool.

    • LAK says:

      She gained weight for CIRCLE OF FRIENDS. I can’t remember if she did it of her own volition or the producers asked her.

    • manda says:

      loved her in that role! “I look like the prow of a ship!” Funny and sweet and such a great story. I heart maeve binchy stories!

    • holly hobby says:

      I will always love her for Circle of Friends. She and Chris O’Donnell!

      Apparently Mr. Darcy was in it too.

      • Kori says:

        He was! As the big a@@hole though. It was the first thing I re enter seeing him in abd couldn’t believe when he was such a perfect Darcy because I hated him in COF.

  14. Grant says:

    She kind of got the last laugh because she got an Oscar nod for the role so obviously critics and audiences felt different.

  15. LR says:

    I’m not sure I find this offensive. As an actor you’re just auditioning for a role and as a producer you’re putting an entire assembly of characters together to essentially build a story. Some people are more attractive then others (not to be confused with their self worth or value) and it usually has to do with symmetrics. She has a very unique face which could easily be a distraction. No one owed her the roll because she’s a female or because she’s more or less pretty then the others who auditioned. Maybe I’m over simplifying things but I don’t really see the problem in a producer saying she might not be right for the part because of her looks. She’s an actor, that’s totally par for the course of auditioning.

    • Kaya says:

      She’s an actor, not a sex object. If the role does not require the actress to be conventionally ‘hot’, no one has the right to keep her from getting that job. That producer attempted to represent only those women on screen whom HE found attractive. That is disgusting.

      The acting profession shouldn’t be run by narrow ideas of what real human beings look like. It should be used to tell stories and ideas, not shove awful sexist tropes down our throats.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      I feel the same as LR. A director, writer, or producer has a right to have an image of what they want their characters to look like and how they want them portrayed. We all get upset when a beloved book is made into a movie and we feel characters were miscast. Why is this any different?

      And as far as attraction and bias in Hollywood goes, it goes both ways. The only reason she got the part is because Matt Damon was attracted to her. They hooked up immediately, so his thinking she was beautiful is what got her that part.

  16. paranormalgirl says:

    I freaking LOVE “Speechless.”

  17. Sasha says:

    So we are going to object to people not finding a woman we like “hot” but at the same time we call a pregnant woman we don’t like “knocked up” (see Janet Jackson post, for example)?
    After this it is really hard to take any political positions regarding women on this site seriously.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Right. Because painting every woman at celebitchy with a broad brush is perfectly logical.

      • Sasha says:

        I think we have to treat every woman with respect, if we want the same for ourselves.
        Otherwise the arguments falls into the same category as Kim K. saying that she has no problem with calling women b*es.

  18. stinky says:

    She stood out so much to me in GWH and I loved her! I thought she was the best part – I liked the movie overall as well… I ALWAYS remember her in the curio shop when she puts on the crazy glasses, grabs & shakes some maracas, and shouts “Bring me another Mai-tai !!!”
    … and their fight scene, in her dorm-room… she was very sweet & tender. I don’t know how one couldn’t appreciate her performance – it was so genuine.

  19. Darlene says:

    Who remembers a year or two ago when she was papped while in a bikini – looking fit and awesome – on vacation. They tore her apart and she was devastated and confused. Again, she looked amazing.

  20. dana says:

    She didn’t name names, but let’s take a guess.

    Male producers on Good Will Hunting:

    Lawrence Bender … producer
    Jonathan Gordon … executive producer
    Chris Moore … co-producer
    Scott Mosier … co-executive producer
    Kevin Smith … co-executive producer
    Bob Weinstein … executive producer
    Harvey Weinstein … executive producer

  21. Alexi says:

    What has she done to her face?????? One more bad unnecessary plastic surgery gone awry. She has a bravo housewives look now. Big time.

  22. Nancy says:

    She’s not beautiful, but she is attractive and was perfect in the role. The producer was probably Trump’s second cousin. I wonder if any man was denied a role because he wasn’t hot enough. The times they are a changing. Well actually they haven’t changed a bit.

  23. Roller74 says:

    WOW! If that first picture represents what she looks like now, yikes!! Pump the brakes trucker, your plastic surgery big rig is outta control!!

    • Riley says:

      I was just about to post the same thing! She looks like she did 10 times the normal amount of fillers, where her face is going to explode!

  24. AuntSass says:

    She was brilliant on Will & Grace. Some of her best work. Love her.

  25. Teri says:

    I am NO Trump fan and find what he said and did disgusting but I also find the fact that Hillary used a blame the victim defense when she represented a man who raped a 12 year old. She said the 12 year old was out looking for an older man…and Hillary basically admitted the guy was guilty when years later she said he passed a polygraph and laughed about how that ruined her faith in polygraphs.
    This is the worst election cycle in years! I’m going to have to choose the lesser of two evils.

    • Kath says:

      You should educate yourself on the US justice system, how it works, and what a PUBLIC DEFENDER is, because your comment makes you look incredibly ignorant.

      Public defenders are REQUIRED to defend rapists, murderers and the scum of the earth. It is their job and a cornerstone of the adversarial US system. Defenders cannot pick and choose their clients – they are appointed to them – and they are required by law to represent these people to the best of their ability. It does not make them complicit in their crimes, FFS.

      Just about all the things you mention here (Hillary “laughed”, Hillary “admitted” etc.) are complete fiction and have been appearing on various right-wing-nut-job websites.

      I am not American, but I am appalled that someone who DOES have the right to vote in this election doesn’t seem to have a basic understanding of how their own country operates.

    • Veronica says:

      Public defenders are required to cover cases by law rather than pick and choose their defense. Alleged murderers and rapists are still human beings and therefore have a right to proper representation. Having to defend them can be gross when they’re guilty, but it’s their JOB to argue the case in defense of the client. Be glad you live in a country where you have a right to argue your case in the presence of a jury. Our system has its myriad of flaws, but there are far worse possibilities out there.

      (As for the tapes, I have not personally listened to them, but my mother actually bothered to do so and stated that Clinton’s role is *completely* misrepresented by Trump and the media. To the point where she was actually legitimately angry that the story isn’t being better vetted. Hillary isn’t laughing in the tapes – the attorney she’s speaking to is, and they’re discussing how poorly organized and incompetent the court system was in regards to how the evidence was handled. Snopes.com actually has a pretty good run down of what is and isn’t going on in that discussion.)

      • Veronica says:

        Having reread the examination of the case – let me correct my own statement, Rodham does laugh at a few points but more in response to the ridiculous circumstances regarding the evidence that would normally work in favor of the victim but didn’t here. Additionally, the argument that the victim was purposefully provocative came from OTHER professionals on the case (psychiatrists, etc.), which meant that she legally had to pursue that avenue by means of having the victim undergo her own psychiatric evaluation.

        The victim blames Hillary Clinton simply because she was the defense attorney – she was a victim who watched her attacker serve less than a year of his five years sentence after a judge cut four years off. Her grief and anger are entirely understandable in this regard, and I’m not going to drag her for needing somebody to blame – but I’m not the victim, so I can be objective enough to not hold a case Clinton never wanted in the first place against her.

  26. Bridget says:

    Because God forbid a woman be interesting instead of barbie doll hot.

  27. Jayna says:

    He did not dump her on Oprah. She let that stay out there for a long time. They had broken up a couple of weeks before, I think. The specifics are out on the internet.

  28. Jayna says:

    I think Minnie looks great. She looks younger than she is.

  29. Kori says:

    My hubby had a huge crush on her even when she put on weight for Circle of Friends. I think she’s still on his list.

  30. emma says:

    “Harvey Weinstein, who was one of the producers, did not want me at all: I wasn’t sexy enough, I wasn’t cute enough and I wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow enough; but luckily he backed down.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/starsandstories/9115510/Minnie-Driver-I-was-young-and-I-fell-for-Matt-Damon.html