Are you kidding? Many Hollywood actors are short of stature, so to speak. Currentt stars less than the so-called median height of 5ft, 10in are Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman. Those two come to mind right away. Al Pacino has played a tough guy most of his acting career. Didn't matter that he was "short." It's not a big trick to look tall for the camera. One way is to shoot with a short lens.(no pun intended) With a short focal length lense of, say 20mm, everyone compresses in the frame. Locate the camera either high or low, if you're using a normal lens. Go for closeups with a long (focal length) lens.
Regarding short actors in earlier movies, some very talented notables were Allan Ladd and Mickey Rooney.
There were and are now a great many women actors, who are around 5ft 2 or less. Can you name a few?
Therefore, whoever wrote this story should have done some research!