In an interview, natural redhead Rupert Grint said, “There are plenty of blond- and dark-haired actors. Gingers stand out, so they should be hired.”
He raises a good point.
With the unfortunate reality being that members of Gingerkind are not seen too often in Hollywood, the few roles that gingers do acquire tend to follow stereotypical characters.
Quite often, you see a red-haired actor cast in a movie who is depicted as ‘The Geek’. Take Napoleon Dynamite, for example. Or Fregley in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Michelle in American Pie, and even Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitch in Modern Family, who has a bit of a nerdy streak in him.
But why do gingers fall into these stereotypes? Is it the pale skin? The freckles? The need for reapplication of SPF 50 every hour during summer? What about us that screams “nerd”?!
We could flip the stereotype on its head when we look at red-haired women in particular.
Aside from ‘The Geek’, ginger girls have traditionally fallen into ‘The Dumb’ category. These are occasionally portrayed as the ditzy princess type, like Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club, Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, and Ginger in Gilligan’s Island.
The Sexy One
With the connotations of redheads following adjectives such as ‘promiscuous’, ‘feisty’, ‘adventurous’ and, ahem, ‘crazy in bed’, ‘The Sexy One’ isn’t such a hard stereotype for gingers to earn for themselves.
Quite frankly, there are too many myths claiming redheads are evil. So it’s not surprising that red hair is thought as ‘bad’ when there are sayings flying around such as “Redheaded women are either violent or false, and usually are both”.
Even Anne of Green Gables knew how bad she had it: “You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair.”
The good news is, we can see a positive change ahead. With rising stars in Hollywood with ginger hair, and more and more dyeing redheads appearing, Hollywood shows that it’s embracing the new wave of copper-tops with open arms, and letting them explore many complicated roles, as they should!