"Would it be easier if you looked like Robert Redford?"
Female actors in Hollywood are routinely criticized by the press, producers and fans on social media for their appearances. It must be incredibly daunting to undergo constant scrutiny just to do your job and express yourself through your art.
For the most part, men have it a lot easier in Hollywood, where the superficial importance of looks is a less critical to their success. That double standard is why a recent interaction between actor Adam Driver and journalist Chris Wallace is so interesting.
It’s a rare moment when a member of the press is critical of a man’s looks to his face. But Driver handles the situation with grace and humor.
Driver appeared on a recent episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” to promote his new film “Ferrari,” where he plays Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the iconic car brand. During the interview, Wallace compliments Driver by saying he is often compared to iconic stars such as Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino.
“Those are the actors that made me want to be an actor, you know, so that’s a nice comparison,” Driver said while adding that he avoids listening to compliments or negative comments about his career.
“The New Yorker also called me a ‘horse face,’ so I don’t — I take it with a grain of salt,” Driver said. “I remember reading one reviewer [who wrote]: ‘His agent probably doesn’t know whether to put him in a movie or the Kentucky Derby.’ So I take it, you know, if you believe the good thing, then you have to believe the bad thing. So I try to not absorb anything.”
Wallace then affirmed the insult with his next question.
“You don’t look like the typical movie star,” Wallace noted before asking if it was a “help” or a “hindrance” to his career. “A hindrance in only breaking mirrors wherever I go and having a misshapen outsized body that I can’t fit through doorways, or most clothes or fit into most cars,” the actor joked. “Apart from that, it’s good.”
After Driver’s response, Wallace kept to the same line of questioning, asking him if he thought his career would be easier if he looked like “All the President’s Men” and “The Natural” star Robert Redford. He drove the point home even further by putting up an image of Redford on the screen, juxtaposed with Driver. “It would just be different,” Driver said. “Who doesn’t want to look like Robert Redford? I’ve accepted this is how I look.”
The exchange went viral on X, where people praised Diver for his thoughtful and funny responses to a series of questions many saw as inappropriate.
"would you have a better career if you didn't have a horse face and instead looked like Robert Redford?"— luca (@LucaGuadagnegro) December 2, 2023
the way they pulled up a live side-by-side image is not just shady journalism that is diabolical. pic.twitter.com/kNy1WNDG3f
Imagine getting to interview an astounding actor like Driver and squandering your time by insulting his looks— Michael McDevitt (@MikeMcDTweets) December 1, 2023
This is both hilariously rude and also a reminder that many straight men deeply misunderstand what women find attractive— eastriverpearl (@eastriverpearl) December 2, 2023
God, so rude. Especially right after he mentioned those mean comments.— Jennifer (@Jennifer3573301) December 1, 2023
Driver handled that REAAAALLY well. Very impressed no notes— Aureus I guess (@ImAureus) December 1, 2023
There are many good reasons for people to feel angry over the way Wallace badgered Driver into talking about his looks. But the positive takeaway from the interview should be that Driver was proud to say that he has “accepted” how he looks, regardless of the amount of ink wasted by others who comment on his appearance.