After a decades-long reign of terror, were still learning the full extent of Harvey Weinsteins damage. As sexual harassment and assault victims of the ousted producer continue to come out, other, more nuanced forms of abuse and intimidation have also begun to surface. These stories often relate back to sexual misconduct, whether its Weinstein torturing an actress for refusing his sexual demands, or bullying employees into silence and complicity.
On Wednesday, Salma Hayek published a brutal account of Weinsteins retaliation campaign against her. Enraged by Hayeks sexual rejection, Weinstein flexed his power where he could maintain, more or less, total control: the set of 2002s Frida. When he wasnt threatening to shut down the film altogether, Hayek says that Weinstein exhibited his famous temper and made punishing demands, including a sex scene with co-star Ashley Judd. In addition to putting the project in serious danger, the producer allegedly belittled Hayeks performance and dismissed her casts work, deeming the eventual Oscar winner not good enough for a theatrical release. He transformed Hayeks career triumph into a personal hell.
Although Weinstein didnt succeed in sabotaging Frida, hes long been rumored to have the power to make or break an actresss career. The promise of superstardom was often a component of his now-infamous hotel room meetings with young women. But this wasnt just a lineas Weinstein could elevate an actress, he could also tear her down.
Because of Weinsteins immense power and influence in the entertainment industry, its no wonder that so many women feared saying no to him. In Ronan Farrows late October New Yorker expos, he named Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette as actresses who suspected that, after they rejected Weinsteins advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them. Sorvino told the New Yorker that Weinstein pressured her sexually while they were working together, recalling, He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around.
In a subsequent guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, Sorvino wrote, People say there are lists out there, that Harvey had a blacklist not only of people he was allegedly investigating but also of people who weren’t supposed to be hired sent to casting people and agencies. I know women with whom I’ve talked since who felt that their careers were derailed. I’ve heard stories about calls being made to their agencies saying that they were drug addicts when they didn’t touch drugs. She added that, while she couldnt say for certain if her career had been derailed by Weinstein as an act of retaliation, I felt if I had accepted Harvey’s advances, I would have continued to make movies with them, and they were the people winning the Oscars for that decade. I was not offered any movie roles past 1996.
Sorvinos suspicions are far from paranoid. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson told Stuff this week that he believes the Weinstein-led Miramax fed him false information about accusers Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. Jackson, speaking on Weinstein for the first time, explained that these conversations took place during the early stages of development for Lord of the Rings, when he was pitching the films to Miramax. After the director expressed his interest in casting Sorvino and Judd, I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998. While Jackson had no reason to question what these guys were telling us at the time, In hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing.
I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women. Jackson continued. And as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”
Jackson said that while he has no direct experience or knowledge of the sexual allegations against Weinstein, he had long ago decided not to work with him. He elaborated, My experience, when Miramax controlled the Lord of the Rings [before New Line took over production of the film], was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies. They weren’t the type of guys I wanted to work withso I haventMovie making is much more fun when you work with nice people.
He added, I vaguely remember bumping into him [Weinstein] at some award show or premiere at the time of their release, but it’s been 20 years since my last interaction of any substance with Harvey Weinstein.”
Ashley Judd responded to Jacksons interview on Twitter, writing, I remember this well. Sorvino also shared the story, with a tragic caption: Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. Im just heartsick.
Judy Garland lives again, in the form of Rene Zellweger in ‘Judy’: Photo
Rene Zellweger in 2017
Renée Zellweger is practically unrecognizable in her latest film role… but she does bear a striking resemblance to somebody else.
Pathé UK has released the first official photo from Judy, which stars Zellweger as silver screen legend Judy Garland.
#JUDY starts principal photography in London today, starring Academy Award winner, Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland!#judygarland #reneezellweger #london #thetalkofthetown #jessiebuckley #finnwittrock #michaelgambon #rupertgoold #pathe #calamityfilms #bbcfilms #ingenious pic.twitter.com/VJAnMRuzKV
— Judy (@JudyGarlandFilm) March 19, 2018
The film takes place in the late 1960s, as Garland arrives in London for a series of concerts. By this point, Garland is well into her 40s and her memorable turn in The Wizard of Oz is nearly thirty years behind her.
But even as she prepares to face crowds of adoring fans, she’s still battling the demons left behind by her troubled childhood in Hollywood.
Judy, which started shooting Monday, also stars Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, and Michael Gambon. Rupert Goold (True Story) directs from a script by Tom Edge (Lovesick). Some of Garland’s most beloved songs will be featured in the movie, including “Over the Rainbow.”
Madonna to direct movie based on life of ballerina Michaela DePrince
MGM announces the singer will direct Taking Flight, the story of DePrinces journey from war orphan in Sierra Leone to world-class ballerina
Madonna is to return to the movies after a seven-year absence to direct Taking Flight, a feature film based on the life of Michaela DePrince, a war orphan from Sierra Leone who became a leading ballerina.
Michaelas journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity, Madonna said. We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone, and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honoured to bring her story to life.
‘Black Panther’ Hits $1 Billion Mark In Worldwide Box Office Numbers
“Black Panther” has surpassed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, challenging industry norms about films with black casts.
The Marvel blockbuster passed the major benchmark on Friday, Forbes reports.
The film is now the United States’ ninth highest-grossing film of all time, and had the second-largest four-day domestic opening weekend. “Black Panther” brought in $242 million in the U.S. over Presidents Day weekend, behind the $288 million “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” made when it opened in 2015.
The international success of “Black Panther” has challenged the myth that films with predominately black casts don’t sell and it helps unravel “unwritten Hollywood rules,” Jeff Bock, a senior analyst at entertainment research firm Exhibitor Relations, told The New York Times.
“I think about it like a wall crumbling,” Bock said. “In terms of ‘Black Panther,’ no studio can say again, ’Oh, black movies don’t travel, overseas interest will be minimal.’”
Stars of the film, including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira, have spoken out about the importance of representation in the movie. “Black Panther,” which is set in the fictional country of Wakanda, shows the possibilities of an African society untouched by colonialism and gender inequity.
“I think there’s a thirst for these images,” Boseman told NBC. “There’s a real thirst for black superheroes.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed this week that a “Black Panther” sequel is in the works. Feige told Entertainment Weekly that there was “nothing specific to reveal” about the next movie but added that “we absolutely will do that.”
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