Melanie Lynskey Perfectly Responded to the Criticism of Her Body, and Her Colleagues Defended Her Too

Melanie Lynskey is an actress from New Zealand. She became famous by playing very prominent roles in movies and series. So, in 2021, she portrayed Shauna in Yellowjackets and recently got a part in The Last of Us. After appearing on the latter, she had to deal with body shaming and gain the courage to respond to the haters.

She got a role in The Last of Us that wasn’t in the game.

In January 2023, an adaptation of the adventure game The Last of Us premiered on TV screens, and Melanie got a guest role. Unlike the other characters, the one she played, Kathleen, was not in the original game. She was created specifically for the series. Lynskey was able to portray a cool-headed resistance leader on the screen, for which she received praise from the critics, who called her “excellent... thoroughly effective.”

However, not everyone was pleased with the choice of actress for this role. The winner of the first season of America’s Next Top Model, Adrianne Curry, tweeted that Lynskey’s physique was not suitable for that character. The model wrote, “Her body says life of luxury... not post-apocalyptic warlord. Where is Linda Hamilton when you need her?” and posted her statement with a photo of Melanie in a brown dress and a colorful coat.

Melanie gave a clever retort to the model that criticized her body.

Like many of her characters, Lynskey didn’t stay silent and responded to Adrianne’s tweet. Melanie said that the image the model had attached to her post was a photo of her from InStyle magazine and not a screenshot from The Last Of Us series. Additionally, Lynskey pointed out that she portrays a character who carefully planned and executed the overthrow of a rival organization. “I am supposed to be SMART. I don’t need to be muscly,” she said.

“I understand that some people are mad that I’m not the typical casting for this role. That’s thrilling to me. Other than the moments after action is called, when you feel like you’re actually in someone else’s body, the most exciting part of my job is subverting expectations.”

Her husband helped her deal with the haters.

Melanie’s husband, Jason Ritter, immediately came to her defense after the tweet was posted. “You... you could have just... not tweeted it. But you did, and people are upset with what you said,” he replied to the model in his post. One of their fans commented in response that Jason is “a wonderful partner and husband.”

Ritter has been supporting his wife on social media for many years. In January 2022, the actress had already shared a now-deleted tweet about the “remarks” she had received about her body. The next day, Jason retweeted it and strongly spoke out against body shaming. By the way, Adrianne Curry, the model who criticized Melanie this time, also deleted her tweet after the backlash on social media.

The actress has already dealt with body shaming.

In 2022, the actress didn’t only get tweets criticizing her body but also had some of her Yellowjackets colleagues speak poorly about her. A member of the production staff hinted that she needed to lose weight. They asked Melanie what she was planning to do and even told her the producers would help her find a trainer.

Gilbert Flores/Broadimage/Broad Image/East News

Lynskey made this incident public, and her co-stars — Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, and Juliette Lewis — immediately came to her defense, with Lewis even writing a letter to the show’s producers. Later, Melanie commented that she didn’t want to go on a diet for the series. Her idea was for the character to look like a real woman, not a Hollywood celebrity.

“I did find it important that this character is just comfortable because I want women to be able to watch it and be like, ’Wow, she looks like me and nobody’s saying she’s the fat one.’ That representation is important.”

Melanie walked a long path to accept her body.

© WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo, Invision/Invision/East News

Before learning to stand her ground, Melanie fought low self-esteem and eating disorders for 10 years. She said there were years when “I was losing my mind trying to conform to something that was not physically possible for me.” Her eating disorders led to serious health problems. She lost some of her hair and suffered from emotional stress. But even though she weighed 127 lbs, she “would still be shamed in wardrobe fittings for not being sample size.”

Jordan Strauss/Invision/East News

To become self-confident, Melanie had to do some serious work. At first, she declined all the offers for the stereotypical roles of women with extra weight. She says, “There was a lot of stuff I used to get offered as an actress like the fat friend, that kind of thing, and I just reject it so intensely.” Finally, she realized she liked portraying the characters with realistic bodies, and the support of her fans motivates her to stay on the right path.

“I was like, ’I just need to look the way I’m supposed to look and have faith that people are going to want to put someone in a film or on a show who looks like this.’ I did have to truly become comfortable with myself because you can’t fake it.”
Preview photo credit The Last of Us / HBO Max and co-producers, Gilbert Flores/Broadimage/Broad Image/East News
Cheery/Beauty/Melanie Lynskey Perfectly Responded to the Criticism of Her Body, and Her Colleagues Defended Her Too
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