Former WILL + Grace star Debra Messing missed out on film and TV roles when she was a struggling young actress - because she looked like a clown.
The actress took make-up tips from friends she had in the theatre and realised her "leading lady" looks were a little offputting to casting directors.
Messing recalls, "When I first got out of graduate school I was auditioning for TV pilots for the first time in New York and going on tape and waiting for the offer to come in because I thought I was doing so great.
"I would never get the job and I didn't understand what was happening. I asked my agent to call the casting director to find out what was happening.
"The word that got back from L.A. was, 'She's wearing so much make-up that she looks like kabuki...' I didn't know about natural looks and close-ups.
"I thought, 'I'm not pretty enough to go with that light makeup. It's literally entering another planet. I was on the planet of just doing my acting and my hair was a frizz ball and I looked like Bozo the Clown.
"I didn't know how to do my make-up and I was wearing Birkenstocks. It did not occur to me to colour my hair or tweeze my eyebrows or anything.