Throughout Hollywood's history, plus-size actors have been boxed into roles where they are the sidekick, the outcast, or the butt of a joke, and never the leading man or lady. Mean Girls and Looking star Danny Franzese has plenty to say on the matter and what needs to change throughout the entertainment industry in order to create positive, meaningful, and less stereotypical casting for plus-size actors. Danny also speaks with us about his recent partnership with Big Fig, a mattress company with products "designed literally from the ground up for the sleeper with a bigger figure," where he is part of the company's Collective, an advisory board comprised of plus-size individuals from underrepresented communities.
"I’ve done some of their ads and been a spokesperson and a proponent for what it is that they do. I have never in my life seen a brand or organization so dedicated to people with a bigger figure and what that means, not just as far as the size of the mattress or the durability, but how people feel about the ads and everything. More companies should do the work they’re doing."
When asked what the call-to-action was to Hollywood and the entertainment and media industry, Franzese shared, "we need to keep telling our own stories, and directors need to think outside the box and make the world look [onscreen] as colorful as it is. I feel that way not only about people of size, but all kinds of diversity. We should see each other and see other people and see what’s out there."
Reflecting on his career so far and what he hopes to leave behind, Danny had this to say: "When I realized that fame isn’t the important thing, it’s more [about] legacy. What changes people’s lives? What is a part I can portray that will make people do things? My advocacy with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation came out of a show that I did, and my work with Big Fig, these are things that I’m involved in for the betterment of the community, for all the sides of me [growing up] that needed something."
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