You may have seen Melissa Bergland in the 2nd Avenue series “Winners & Losers” (from Seven Networks). She plays the character of plus-sized ‘Jenny Gross’ with her cherry-red hair and cat-eye glasses. Born in Adelaide, Australia, she has come a long way from down under but nonetheless, Bergland says she will not be shamed into getting thin as her star rises in Hollywood.
Bergland was signed to major management outfit Untitled Entertainment back in 2013. This L.A. based company represents superstars such as Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Swank, Daniel Day-Lewis, Naomi Watts, Jared Leto, Penelope Cruz and Simon Baker. That signing saw Bergland score the leading role in the feature film, RELATIVE HAPPINESS, which will be showing in the Philippines this December.
Movie industry bible, The Hollywood Reporter, said Bergland is “the next Rebel Wilson”. And like Rebel, who recently made a pact with actress Melissa McCarthy not to lose weight, the redhead has admitted her unique look is all part of the package.
'I don't look like Scarlett Johansson or Charlize Theron', she told the Daily Telegraph. 'It is everything about me and [my Winners & Losers character] Jenny, being weird and funny looking that makes her really lovable and people respond to her really well.'
Bergland just won’t buy into Hollywood’s thin ideals, even though her career seems to be Hollywood-bound. Melissa is determined to not let anyone or anything pressure her to lose weight. She told Sydney Confidential:
“I have, in the past, been shamed, and shamed myself into destructive behavior to keep other people happy, but I’ve decided to put my happiness first. There is nothing about me that is planned or contrived because I don’t care anymore. It’s too tiring to try and be someone else all the time. I guess I’m just getting to an age where idiosyncrasies are now commonplace and no one really minds how you go about your business. It’s refreshing because high school was exhausting, trying to keep up with the cool kids.”
"I've got a fabulous job because of how I look, not despite it. Everyone gets a bit bullied when you're overweight, but people equate it with being unhealthy, which is not right." says the size-16 actress in an interview with WHO magazine.
In RELATIVE HAPPINESS, Bergland plays 30-year old Lexie Ivy, owner of Ivy’s Bed & Breakfast. Desperately in need of a date to her sister’s wedding, in comes Adrian, a handsome and charming guest who seems to take an interest in her. Lexie thinks all her problems are solved, but she misreads the situation and is soon reeling, believing her romantic dream has slipped away, maybe forever. Lexie then needs to open her heart and eyes to see that love may be a lot closer than she thought.
Based on the book by Lesley Crewe, RELATIVE HAPPINESS is a feel-good romantic comedy, with bits of drama peppered here and there. The feature is rated PG by the MTRCB, and shows in select cinemas starting December 9.