Meghan Markle opened up about her time on Deal or No Deal while interviewing Paris Hilton for the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, explaining that while she was thankful to be able to pay the bills as an actress, the job took a serious toll on her self-esteem.
In the episode, the Duchess discusses her brief stint as a “briefcase girl” on the game show in 2006, admitting that she found there was “little substance” to the TV gig. “I had also studied international relations in college, and there were times I was on set at Deal or No Deal and thinking back to my time working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina in Buenos Aires and being in the motorcade with the security of treasury at the time and being valued specifically for my brain,” she explained. “Here, I was being valued for something quite the opposite.”
The former Suits star explained that she and all the models she worked with were given spray tan vouchers every week and made to line up at various stations before tapings to get their lashes done, extensions put in, and bras padded. Meghan said, “There was a very cookie-cutter idea of precisely what we should look like. It was solely about beauty—and not necessarily about brains. When I look back at that time, I’ll never forget this one detail: Moments before we’d get on stage, there was a woman who ran the show and she’d be there backstage, and I can still hear her. She couldn’t properly pronounce my last name at the time and I knew who she was talking to because she’d go, ‘Markle, suck it in! Markle, suck it in!’”
Eventually, she was able to quit that job and go on to bigger and better things. And while she will always be “thankful” for that opportunity, what she is not thankful for is how it made her feel, “which was not smart. And by the way, I was surrounded by smart women on that stage with me, but that wasn’t the focus of why we were there. I would end up leaving with this pit in my stomach knowing that I was so much more than what was being objectified on the stage. I didn’t like being forced to be all looks and little substance, and that’s how it felt for me at the time—being reduced to this specific archetype: the word ‘bimbo.’”
During her conversation with Hilton, the heiress also revealed that when she was cast opposite Nicole Richie on the reality show The Simple Life, the producers told her to play the character of “the rich, dumb blonde,” a trope that began to bleed into her real life as well. “I almost got like stuck and lost in the character where I, at some points, it was like the lines got blurred or I, it’s like, I forgot who I was,” Hilton explained. “And I don’t know, makes me sad because I used to be such a free spirit, and I was just so like, I don’t know, just like, not so closed off.”
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