The Hollywood Reporter's annual Emmy Roundtable is always super fun; we get to see some of our favorite actresses be funny and honest and like each other – and be predominantly in their 40s – whilest sitting in a semi-circle. This year's batch is Connie Britton (Nashville), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Kate Mara (House of Cards), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Monica Potter (Parenthood) and Kerry Washington (Scandal), and the set had some great things to say about women in Hollywood.
Monica Potter lost a role because of post-baby weight:
"I had my Spanx on and looked like a damn sausage, but I went in and thought I did a really good job. I got home and get the call from my agents. I'm like, 'I did good, right?' And they say, 'You did great. The problem is you're just …' 'I'm too fat.' 'Yeah, we're just going to wait a little bit.' I said, 'I already told you this!' The weight thing is a crappy thing in this town, you know? So I just ate some Cheez Whiz."
Which Elisabeth Moss sympathized with, discussing having to be in a fat suit during the first season of Mad Men:
"You spend your whole career thinking that you have to be one way. Then I got this amazing job and had to pretend to gain 50 pounds? We all have this perception of what we're supposed to look like. But that's what's so great about all these women here today: We're all completely different-looking, you know? We're all beautiful, but real women."
And Connie Britton agreed:
"It's our responsibility to play these full-fledged women, and to play women who look like people we actually see in life. It's more interesting, and I think audiences appreciate it, too."
Kerry Washington has been told she's not right for a character because she's too "ethnic":
"People have artistic license … that's what casting is: fitting the right look to the right character. Whereas you could maybe lose some weight, there's not really anything I can do, nor would I want to, about being black."
Anna Gunn convinced Breaking Bad writers to give her more to do when her character was pregnant and just sitting at home:
"I said, 'Well, you know, people still do things when they're pregnant.' So we came up with something for her to do at home, which ultimately fell by the wayside, but that made it more understandable for me. It was important for me, and Vince respected that."
Also: Kerry Washington used to be a substitute teacher but she had to stop doing it because her students recognized her from Save the Last Dance and would make jokes about how, "Chenille is substituting!"