Actresses seem like they’re perfect humans on screen, when in reality they vary in shape and size. The camera and special effects can make anyone look a certain way, whether big or small, short or tall. Movies are magic and help actresses transform.
The women people see on screen don’t look quite the same in real life as they do when they’re all made up for roles. While these actresses are sometimes very short, the heels they wear on the red carpet can make up for it.
Likewise, actresses that are very tall can seem like they’re small in stature on camera, when in reality they tower above everyone else. It doesn’t help when directors cast extremely tall actors and extras to surround said actress. They play tricks on the viewers.
It can be hard to guess how tall an actress is. While they often seem larger than life when shown on giant movie theater screens, they are all sized like everyday people. Regardless of their height, each of these women hold a special place in audience’s hearts.
Here are the 9 Actresses You Never Knew Where Short (And 6 Who Are Incredibly Tall).
15. Short: Anna Kendrick – 5’2″
Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick is funny, loud, and charismatic. Her personality is so large that many people don’t realize she’s super short. The actress stands at a mere five feet and two inches.
Her small height hasn’t stopped her career from growing. She got her start in the Twilight films in which she played Jessica. She’s been in many movies since then, including Into the Woods, End of Watch, and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. In 2016, she published a memoir called Scrappy Little Nobody.
The actress is well-aware of how short she is and makes jokes about being so loud with such a small frame. While she used to be insecure about her height, she’s learned to embrace it and walks with confidence.
14. Tall: Uma Thurman – 5’11”
Uma Thurman has been impressing audiences with her acting skills since she first appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction in 1994. Her height is also quite impressive. The actress is five feet and eleven inches tall.
As a young girl, Thurman was teased for her appearance. She was extremely tall, awkward, and had large feet. Since the birth of her daughter, she has also suffered from body dysmorphic disorder, believing herself to be overweight and in need of fixing. While she is extremely self-conscious, she encourages women to embrace themselves as they age.
The actress now has a career spanning decades to prove that her acting skills, height, and appearance are loved by audiences everywhere. Fans can witness Thurman’s towering height on Broadway in the political drama The Parisian Woman.
13. Short: Reese Witherspoon – 5’1″
Reese Witherspoon has come a long way since playing Elle Woods in Legally Blonde. She’s always been considered an American sweetheart. People often don’t realize only stands at five-feet and one inch.
Audiences have been too focused on her career to notice her height. She’s been in successful films such as Sweet Home Alabama, Walk The Line, and Wild. Most recently, she was in the HBO show Big Little Lies, earning her two Emmy nominations. There been a lot of speculation over whether or not the show will have a sequel, so audiences could possibly see Witherspoon reprise her role as Madeline.
Witherspoon is one of Hollywood’s most petite stars, but her daughter, Ava, isn’t quite as tiny. Although she looks enough like her mom to be mistaken for her at the Emmys, the eighteen year old is taller.
12. Tall: Blake Lively – 5’10”
Many people don’t realize that actress Blake Lively is very tall. Her husband, Ryan Reynolds stands at six-feet and two inches, making her look short at five-feet and ten inches.
Lively is known for her role as Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl. She’s also starred in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Age of Adaline, and The Shallows. She’s currently filming a movie called A Simple Favor and has been cast in The Rhythm Section.
She’s admitted that in high school she was unusually tall and not very confident in herself. Lively said it could be hard to find a man that was tall enough, especially because she loves to wear heels. Looking at her now, you would never know she was once insecure about her height.
11. Short: Hayden Panettiere – 5’1″
Hayden Panettiere is known for roles in the sci-fi show Heroes and the drama Nashville. Her television success makes it easy to overlook her height. She’s only five-feet and one inch tall.
She’s also seen success in movies. Her film debut was in A Bug’s Life, in which she voiced Dot. Panettiere has also been in Racing Stripes and Bring It On: All or Nothing. She has also received two Golden Globe nominations for playing Juliette Barnes on Nashville.
While the actress is very short, her partner Wladimir Klitschko is six-feet and six-inches tall. Apparently, when they met, she told him he was huge and he told her she was tiny. Everyone will have to wait and see how tall their daughter, Kaya, will be.
10. Tall: Brooke Shields – 6’0″
Brooke Shields has been a famous model and actress since the 1970s. She first received recognition at age 12 for her role in Pretty Baby. For a model, it’s not unusual to be tall. Shields is exceptionally tall, standing at six-feet.
Shields starred in many dramas throughout the 1980’s, including The Blue Lagoon and Endless Love. She took a small break from modeling and acting to go to college. She began acting again in the 1990s. She was in the sitcom Suddenly Susan, and made appearances in That 70’s Show and Lipstick Jungle.
The actress and model has been considered a sex symbol for decades. While she’s always had a beautiful appearance, as she gets older, she isn’t as concerned with the way she looks. Regardless of her height or weight, she’s embraced the way she looks.
9. Short: Jada Pinkett Smith – 5’1″
Jada Pinkett Smith has been entertaining audiences since the 1990s. On camera, it’s hard to tell how tall she is. The actress is only five-feet and one inch tall. Put her next to her husband Will Smith, who is six-feet and two inches, and you can see how short she is. Her son Jaden is taller than her, but her daughter Willow is around the same height.
Pinkett Smith has been a part of many well-known films, including The Nutty Professor, Scream 2, and Madagascar. He career covers many different genres, from horror to comedy. She is also a singer/songwriter for the band Wicked Wisdom.
She currently appears in the television show Gotham, in which she plays the villain Fish Mooney. It’s easy to forget her tiny frame when she plays such a ruthless, intimidating character.
8. Short: Eva Longoria – 5’2″
Eva Longoria has been named one of Hollywood’s most beautiful women by multiple publications, including People magazine. The actress holds contracts with multiple beauty companies and is always asked for beauty advice. It’s easy for people to forget that she only stand at five-feet and two-inches tall, especially when she’s always in heels.
Longoria was first recognized for her role on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, but she is best known for starring on Desperate Housewives. She’s also been in movies like For Greater Glory and Over Her Dead Body. Additionally, she has been a part of many different advertising campaigns.
7. Tall: Nicole Kidman – 5’11”
Nicole Kidman is a successful actress who has won an Academy Award and an Emmy. She’s been in popular films like Batman Forever and Moulin Rouge! as well as on award-winning television shows. She also happens to be extremely tall, standing at five-feet and eleven-inches.
She got her start in a 1983 film called Bush Christmas. She’s mostly starred in films, but she found recent success in the HBO miniseries Big Little Lies, for which she received two Emmys. One was for Outstanding Lead Actress, and the other for Outstanding Limited Series as a producer.
Her height is most noticeable when she’s standing next to her husband, country singer Keith Urban. He is five-feet and eight-inches tall, but looks tiny next to Kidman, especially when she’s in heels on the red carpet. She doesn’t let her height bother her, though. She’s said she’s learned to own and it stand tall.
6. Short: Ellen Page – 5’1″
Ellen Page began her career with Canadian television shows, but now she stars in successful films like Inception and X-men. While on camera she may seem to be of average height, the actress is only five-feet and one-inch tall.
Page’s breakthrough role was as the main character in the film Juno. The role earned her multiple award nominations. She’s also known for her role in Hard Candy and the recently released psychological horror film Flatliners.
The actress is well-aware she is short and has even made fun of her own height. She’s in a Funny or Die skit called “Tiny Detectives” in which she and actress Kate Mara are too short to see anything to help solve a case. It’s a spoof of the HBO show True Detective. She’s a great sport about her height.
5. Tall: Jane Lynch – 6’0″
Jane Lynch has never been shy about her height. She said her mother was tall as well, and always taught her to stand tall. The six-foot tall actress doesn’t mind towering over people and walks with confidence.
She is most famous for playing Sue Sylvester on Glee. The character was aggressive, sarcastic, and loved dominating those around her. Being a tall woman, Lynch was perfect for the role. Her performance earned her multiple awards, including an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and and People’s Choice Award.
Lynch has also appeared on shows like iCarly, Two and a Half Men, and Weeds. Her movie career includes comedies like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Talladege Nights. She also hosts an NBC game show called Hollywood Game Night.
4. Short: Kristen Bell – 5’1″
Kristen Bell is only five-feet and one inch tall. Her breakout role was in the comedy film Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She starred alongside Jason Segel, who is six-feet and four-inches. Anyone would look short next to him, but Bell is extra tiny.
Her first major role was in the television show Veronica Mars. Since then, she has appeared in many different movies. When In Rome, Couples Retreat, and Bad Moms are just a few. She also voiced Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen, and will reprise the role in Frozen 2.
Her husband, actor Dax Shepard, stands at six-feet and two-inches. While movie magic may make Bell look like she’s taller, when she stands next to Shepard it’s easy to see how tiny the actress really is.
3. Short: Vanessa Hudgens – 5’1″
Vanessa Hudgens is most well-known for her performance as Gabriella in the High School Musical films. Her role in the musicals led her to a record deal, and she went on to be a singer as well. With all of her success, it’s easy to overlook her height. She’s five-feet and one inch tall.
Since her Disney days, she’s appeared in many films, including Spring Breakers, Beastly, and Sucker Punch. She’s also stepped into theater a little, performing in the Broadway show Gigi and Grease: Live.
Hudgens is currently dating actor Austin Butler, who is six-feet tall. While on her own, especially in high heels, it can be hard to gauge how tall Hudgens is. However, when she stands next to Butler, it’s clear that she is much shorter than people realized.
2. Tall: Sigourney Weaver – 6’0″
Sigourney Weaver is one of those actresses who seems to have been around forever. While she’s had quite a successful career, she revealed that at times, her height kept her from getting certain roles. The actress is six-feet tall.
She is grateful she got her role in Alien, because previous directors had passed on her because of her height. Weaver has said she was always too tall to play a love interest or girlfriend. No one wanted a six-foot tall woman to tower over male actors.
Clearly, that didn’t hold Weaver back. Since her role as Ripley in Alien she has appeared in countless films, including Ghostbusters, Avatar, and The Ice Storm. As someone who was once told they were too tall for Hollywood, she sure has proved everyone wrong.
1. Short: Chandra Wilson – 5’0″
Chandra Wilson is known for her role on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. Her performance has earned her four Emmy Nominations for Best Supporting Actress. When people aren’t busy focusing on her character, Dr. Miranda Bailey, saving lives, they may be noticing that the actress is very short. She’s only five-feet tall.
Before her Grey’s success, she was in a few movies. Her first appearance on film was in the 1993 film Philadelphia. She’s had many smaller television roles on shows like The Sopranos, Law and Order: SVU, and Sex and the City.
Miranda Bailey may be shorter than the other doctors on the show, but it doesn’t keep her from telling them what to do. Her tough, no-nonsense attitude certainly makes up for her small height.
Can you think of any other incredibly tall or short actresses who we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comment section!
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