Elisha Cuthbert Pushes Back Against Her Risque Reputation In Hollywood

Elisha Cuthbert's first leading role in a studio film was as an ex-porn star in the raunchy teen comedy "The Girl Next Door" in 2004. Initially, the "Love Actually" actor had misgivings about taking on the salacious role. "When I first read it, I had my apprehensions about it. It was just like, what are we going to do with this?" Cuthbert told IGN in 2004. Eventually, she decided to sign on after speaking with the director, and believing the material would rise above the typical sex comedy tropes of the time. Even while shooting, Cuthbert had difficulty keeping her composure during the more provocative scenes. "The porn stuff was really uncomfortable too because I had to put myself in that environment and that cultural situation," she told the Daily Freeman in 2004.

The "24" actor's rise to fame also coincided with a time in Hollywood when actors and celebrities were heavily featured in "Hot 100" lists in men's magazines. While Cuthbert appeared on many of those lists, she never bought into the hype. "Looking back on it now [I think] it was because the show was popular. I never thought it was because 'Oh I really was the fifth hottest woman in the world,'" Cuthbert said on "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight" in 2011. 

Cuthbert also posed for several titillating photoshoots for magazines early in her career but later revealed that it was not always her choice.

Why Elisha Cuthbert disliked men's magazine lists

Elisha Cuthbert's rise in fame coincided with the height of popularity for men's magazines such as Maxim and FHM, featuring Hollywood stars posing scantily clad. In hindsight, the "Happy Endings" star was not fond of that era. "I definitely was around for that time period. It's kind of a bummer that I was," she told the Daily Beast on April 19 when asked about being featured in "Hot 100"-style lists and photospreads. However, Cuthbert added that "everyone was subjected to it" throughout the 2000s. "It was a part of the culture of magazines, and I remember feeling like I didn't have much of a choice, because millions of people were buying these magazines," she said.

When Cuthbert was cast as the lead in "The Girl Next Door," she felt pressure to appear in racy photoshoots to promote the film. "Yeah, it was definitely a push from the studios," she continued. Cuthbert admitted that some of the shoots were more tasteful than others, but that the magazine shoots did her a disservice. "It wasn't a true representation of me as an artist, that's for sure. It was one facet," the actor added.

This was not Cuthbert's first time mentioning her dislike for men's magazines that focused on listing the "hottest" actors. "I don't check," she told Women's Health in 2009 when asked about "Hot 100" lists. "I mean, I don't need to know that Joe in his basement in Nebraska prefers Jessica Alba."