Calista Flockhart says the anorexia rumors that swirled around her during the heyday of Ally McBeal cast a pall over her experience on the show.
“I loved working on Ally McBeal, and it just made it sour,” the actress tells the New York Times in a wide-ranging profile. “I was very sleep-deprived and I was depressed about it. I did think that it was going to ruin my career. 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.
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“I had days where I was really hurt and embarrassed and infuriated,” she adds. “I was lucky that I had to work. I just put my head down. I always felt like, ‘Calista, you’re a good person, you’re not mean to anybody,’ and I’m confident in that.”
Flockhart believes if Ally had premiered in this decade vs. the ’90s such chatter would trigger a backlash. “I don’t think that would ever happen today,” she muses. “They call it body-shaming now. 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.”
For the record, the Brothers & Sisters vet insists, “I honestly have never been in a situation where I have to watch my weight. My mom is 4-11 now, and she weighed 93 pounds when she was married. Talk about a little tiny elf. I just have small bones, and I just am lucky.”
Flockhart — who returns to the small screen next week in FX’s star-packed limited series Feud: Capote vs. the Swans — also addressed speculation about an Ally McBeal revival, telling the Times, “I would definitely consider it.”
Earlier this month, Flockhart briefly reunited with Ally co-stars Peter MacNicol, Greg Germann and Gil Bellows at the Emmys. Before presenting the trophy for best lead actor in a drama series, Flockhart danced to Barry White in an on-stage mockup of Ally’s infamous unisex bathroom. A bearded MacNicol then joined her from a bathroom stall, followed by Germann and Bellows (watch it here).
“I loved working with Peter, Gil and Greg,” Flockhart told the crowd, adding: “And I still do.”
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