Rosie Perez revealed that a former agent once told her to get a nose job to further her career because she wouldn’t look Black.
IndieWire reports that Perez talked about the shocking moment in her Variety cover story interview. She said that the agent said a nose job would land her more roles.
“I don’t want her to be canceled, but she told me that if I dyed my hair blond and got a nose job, ‘I can get you more jobs, because you’re not Black,'” said the Afro-Latina actress. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. Like, thank you, fired.”
Perez said that after she fired her agent, she “had nobody” and “no money.” But she found a friend in Jennifer Grey on the set of HBO film Criminal Justice.
“Jennifer and I clicked instantly. I haven’t seen that woman in ages, but I just think she’s phenomenal,” she said. “She’s like, ‘I cannot believe how racist this industry is.’ She picks up the phone and calls Jane Berliner at CAA and says, ‘You need to represent this actress.'” Berliner landed Perez two of her biggest roles in White Men Can’t Jump (a role originally written as a white woman), and Fearless, another role written for non-Latina actress (Perez said the character was Asian in real life).
Perez said how there is still not enough being done to further representation in the industry, saying, “It’s just not enough. And when we do get our stories told, we have some executive who knows nothing about how we are as a people. And then they’re like, ‘Can you spice it up a little bit?’ You want to punch these people in the face. And then if it’s too real, they’re, ‘Could you pull it back, because we don’t want the audience to feel offended.’ And people are getting sick of it. I think that’s the reason why Everything Everywhere All at Once was such a big winner.”