Not big enough for ‘Mike & Molly,’ right fit for ‘GCB’
- Last Updated: 12:26 AM, March 31, 2012
- Posted: 11:10 PM, March 29, 2012
Jennifer Aspen claims she was too fat for TV.
The star of ABC’s new dramedy “GCB” ballooned more than 30 pounds after a horrific car accident in 2010 — and says the excess weight made it impossible to find work.
“I had to sell my house because I wasn’t working — because I was so big,” she tells The Post. “It’s weird. You still have your talent, but if you are chubby in this business, it really is a stigma.”
Aspen — who recently appeared as Kendra Giardi on “Glee” — says she was in so much pain after being rear-ended in her Toyota Prius that she was unable to exercise for months.
“I was moving around like a senior citizen,” she says. “I didn’t have any concept of food and calories and since I wasn’t moving a lot, I put on a ton of weight.”
But not enough, apparently, to score the most sought-after plus-size role on TV.
“I read for the ‘Mike and Molly’ part that Melissa McCarthy got, and I wasn’t big enough for that!” the Virginia-born actress recalls. “I told [creator] Chuck Lorre, ‘I will start eating burritos tonight for this part!’ It was a tough situation.”
“I can tell you that going through all that: No job. Nobody wants to see you. Too chubby, but not quite fat enough to be the fat girl . . . I was getting really envious of these great African-American actresses,” she says.
“They can totally be full-figured, but, for some reason, it just doesn’t work as well for white chicks.”
By the time scripts for “GCB” — a sort of southern spin on “Desperate Housewives” — crossed her desk, Aspen had succeeded in returning to her pre-accident physique, mostly through water aerobics and sensible eating.
The show — based on Kim Gatlin’s book “Good Christian Bitches” — follows the lives and dramas of six church-going women in Texas — and has already caused an uproar over its portrayal of Christianity.
“I don’t think [the show is] anti-Christian at all,” Aspen insists. “I think it is just great characters. Some of them are not perfect in God’s image. But most people aren’t.”
Though Aspen, 38, originally had her eye on the role of Carlene (which went to Kristin Chenoweth), producers wanted her for Sharon Peacham — a former high-school beauty queen who is now battling the bulge.
“Sharon is a chubby girl, and I didn’t want to lose out [on the role] because I was not chubby enough,” Aspen says.
So, she proceeded to binge her way through Dallas to bulk up.
“I was not gonna lose this part of a lifetime because I wasn’t big enough,” Aspen says. “So, I decided to start eating. Nobody asked me to do it. [But] I kept thinking if I am watching this show, and I saw a girl my size playing the chubby role, I would be pissed off!”
Aspen says she was only able to pack on about 10 pounds in time to film the pilot episode. The rest of her figure was filled out with excess clothing, padding and makeup.
She quickly lost the excess weight again while waiting to hear if the show would make it on the air.
“My doctor says [the up and down] is not good for me,” Aspen admits.
Luckily, her husband, actor David O’Donnell, doesn’t seem to mind.
“He likes my boobs when I am heavier!” she says.