Calista Flockhart is reflecting on the intense focus on her weight during her “Ally McBeal” days.
The actor told The New York Times in a candid interview on Friday that she doesn’t believe the scrutiny she faced “would ever happen today.”
“They call it body-shaming now,” she said. “I haven’t thought about it in a long time, but it’s really not OK to accuse someone of having a disease that a lot of people struggle with.”
“It wasn’t the case, and there was nothing I could do to convince anybody or get out of it,” Flockhart said of the rumors and speculation. “If I had worn a big padded bra, they probably would never have been able to target me in that way. I look back at pictures, and I’m the same then as I am now, and nobody says a word now.”
Calista Flockhart at the premiere of "Feud: Capote vs. The Swans" held at MoMA on Jan. 23 in New York City.
“I was an easy target, I guess. It was painful, it was complicated. I loved working on ‘Ally McBeal,’ and it just made it sour,” she explained of how deeply the outside chatter got to her.
“I was very sleep-deprived and I was depressed about it. I did think that it was going to ruin my career,” Flockhart added. “I didn’t think anybody would ever hire me again, because they would just assume I had anorexia, and that would be the end of that.”
Flockhart did eventually take time away from Hollywood, but not because of the rumors concerning her weight. She left to raise her son, Liam, who is now in his early 20s.
She is returning to the small screen on Jan. 31, when she takes on the role of Lee Radziwill in “Feud: Capote vs. the Swans.” And, hopefully, there will be no return to body-shaming in the tabloids.
“I have a lot of distance and perspective, and I’m still incredulous,” Flockhart told the Times. “I cannot believe that I was scrutinized and pursued like that. It was intense and it was unfair.”
If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org for support.