Elisha Cuthbert struggles with being ‘stereotyped’ as a sex symbol

Elisha Cuthbert opens up about the challenges of being stereotyped as a sex symbol early in her career. (Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Elisha Cuthbert’s role as a former porn star in 2004 The girl next door cemented her reputation as a sex symbol. Now, nearly two decades later, the actress says society still pressures her to live up to that title.

“There was this pressure of, like, maybe the fashion world or whatever seeing me as a certain thing when it was really a character,” she told Paris Hilton on Monday’s episode of her podcast. This is Paris, of the attention that came after the film’s release.

Even today, she says it’s rare that they don’t mention the fact that she was once named the “most beautiful woman on TV” by men’s publications such as Maxim and FHM in the mid-2000s.

“It ends up going on the resume somehow, and it’s just, what does that mean? It’s not really a reflection of myself as an artist,” the 24 the alum explained. “But on the other hand… if that’s what they see and they liked it, too, I’m fine with that. that, but I kept falling back on that stereotype. Now I’ve learned to embrace it.”

Although her role in The girl next door “struck a chord with a lot of people”, is not something she dwells on in her daily life.

“I’m definitely not trying to keep up with it,” Cuthbert, 39, said. “I would go crazy if I felt I had to, every time I showed up [to an event], I looked like her. To me it’s not even me, it’s this character. So it seems so strange to be responding to a character I played when I was 21.”

“For me, developing this character was like such an exploration and it felt like such a deep dive,” he explained. “I didn’t feel like they understood me [by the public], because I felt like I had developed that character. I didn’t come to the film like that. That was my development for that character, so I felt like it was lost.”

Given the impact her role had at the time, Cuthbert says fans refuse to let her age.

“The comments are so weird. It’s like, ‘Oh, you look older!’ I definitely do. That’s the way the world works,” she said. “I’ll be on social media and I’ll see a comment like, ‘Oh, why are you so big now?’ Because I am! Because I’m just bigger than I was. I’m like, I don’t know what you’re comparing it too. You know what I mean? There’s this weird feeling, like, people don’t want to to see actors or musicians age in any way. So it’s kind of weird.”

Cuthbert has previously been open about how she’s dealt with the pressure of being labeled a sex symbol.

“It’s not like I won an Olympic medal,” he said in an August 2022 podcast interview Broad Ideas with Rachel Bilson. “It was just a list that some random magazine decided to create. When someone reads my resume, these things show up. They don’t really mean anything to me as a person or to my career.”

Many of these images are still circulating, he explained.

“That’s what I have to explain to my kids,” she said of her daughter, 4, and son, nine months. “That weird, weird outfit and the hair extensions. And you know what’s so crazy? I don’t even know how accurate any of these pictures are even as far as, like, airbrushing… I was in my 20s. I didn’t look bad, but i looked that? I don’t even know if the fantasy is real.”

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