Actress Milana Vayntrub, most known for her role in a series of popular AT&T commercials where she plays a character named Lily, came to additional prominence last year after sharing her experience playing the popular character and what dealing with that is like online. You might think playing a well-known commercial character is a simple gig, but for AT&T’s Lily actress, it was anything but. She said then that trolls on the Internet targeted her “milkies” and made other disparaging body comments, effectively harassing her online. Now, she says she was surprised by the controversy and reveals how it has impacted her entire career.
In an interview ahead of her new movie Werewolves Within, Milana Vayntrub touched on her viral moment online, revealing she found what happened to be “surprising” after she admitted to dealing with body shaming. She said the support” and “the controversy” were both shocks to her, also recalling:
I wasn't upset because people shared their opinions on my appearance, but I said something because just by showing up to do my job, I received unwanted sexual and violent comments about my body and what people want to do to it.
Milana Vayntrub has had a lot of big appearances outside of her AT&T ads, ranging from stints on This is Us and Silicon Valley to a new role in the flick Werewolves Within, but she does say she feels she has to factor in a whole lot more before taking on a role since the body-shaming incidents gained a life of their own online. In the full interview over at Insider, she mentioned the whole ordeal has had an impact on her choices: What gigs she should take and which she feels she needs to pass on due to how it often becomes a conversation about how the internet treats her.
Of course I take into account how much skin I'm showing and whether I have a violent scene or a sexual scene, or honestly, whether I'm showing my feet or not, because it becomes a conversation about the way that I'm treated online. I'm unfortunately always thinking about it.
While Milana Vayntrub is still doing AT&T ads, you may have noticed them looking different in recent months. (In fact, AT&T itself is looking different in recent months.) Instead of the camera shots being focused on her body, she’s often sitting behind a desk or wearing blazers that cover more of her figure. She previously said she directs ads now and has decided this has to be the way Lily moves forward if the character will continue to be a focal point in the ads. You can see a more recent commercial below.
Milana Vayntrub is still active on social media, but she's been open and honest in the past about the types of comments she's gotten on the interwebs from the people who follow her on Instagram and elsewhere. It's easy to see why there's been a struggle for the TV, film and commercial actress.
These days, a lot of the stuff she posts is more focused on her career than anything personal -- like the trailer for Werewolves Within. Perusing the comments, she still gets a lot of "you are beautiful"-type thoughts from strangers, but that doesn't appear to have put her off social media completely, though she would not be the first celebrity to choose to leave social media due to the actions of others. For now, catch her in Werewolves Within, on VOD and in limited theaters now.