This Story About Gemma Arterton Being Bullied to Lose Weight Is Seriously Appalling

Producers would get a personal trainer to film her in the gym to prove she was working out.

Recently, Gemma Arterton's revealed one of the more horrifying stories we've ever heard about an actress being pressured to lose weight by those in power in the film industry.

The actress described the whole experience as "traumatic," and it's not difficult to see why.

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Arterton explained that in the early days of her career, she was told that she had to lose weight for a film role and so the crew flew a personal trainer out to Morocco – where they were shooting – to ensure she actually lost the weight they were asking her to shed.

She explained that, beyond being babysat by a personal trainer, they also went (shockingly) as far as to film her in the gym, so that the producers could check she was actually putting in what they deemed to be enough hours in the exercise room.

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"There was one film when we were in Morocco and a couple of weeks passed and they literally were like, 'We need a personal trainer–stat,'" she said as she spoke on The Guilty Feminist (opens in new tab) podcast. "And they flew someone out overnight that gave up their whole life to be with me and be my personal trainer. You know when it's like that–is it that f*cking bad that I need an emergency…it was as if they were on speed dial."

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Arterton said the experience was "so traumatic at the time" and it did not end there.

"They'd measure me and they'd call up the personal trainer at like nine at night going 'Is she in the gym. And if she isn't, why isn't she in the gym?' And then they'd get me in the gym and film me in the gym so they'd know I was there."

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The bullying didn't stop there, with Arterton recalling a time she was told she couldn't even eat some dried apricots.

"There was one day when I went to get some snacks and I got some dried apricots. And the man went, this big fat, obese producer went: 'I hope you're not going to eat that'."

It is not the first time the actress has spoken out about the way she was bullied to lose weight in her career. She told GQ in 2010: "Unless you're really famous and successful, then they're going to bully you into going to the gym. It's a side of the industry that I find uncomfortable."

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Seriously appalling—do better Hollywood.

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Amy de Klerk
Amy de Klerk

Amy de Klerk is Harper’s Bazaar’s digital fashion editor. She covers everything from the latest style news to trend and shopping features, red-carpet fashion and designer profiles, as well as being responsible for styling celebrity and fashion shoots for the site. Amy acquired her love of all things fashion and her knack for digital while working at publications including The and Look magazine.