Salma Hayek, the star of the Miramax-produced Frida, broke her silence about the alleged abuses she suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, a man she’s calling “her monster” in a devastatingly vivid New York Times article.
Her story makes clear how male abuses of power in Hollywood aren’t actually just about sex, but also about gatekeeping prestige filmmaking from women — especially those of color.
According to her account, Weinstein warned her that “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,” when Hayek denied his relentless sexual advances. But he didn’t stop there. She also claims that he demanded she add a lesbian sex scene — a clear attempt to humiliate and degrade her, undermining the artistry of her film while effectively sabotaging his own financial investment out of pure spite.
Hayek described Weinstein’s “brainwashing” that, even to this day, makes her doubt her value in the industry, and which kept her quiet — until now. “I felt that by now nobody would care about my pain — maybe this was an effect of the many times I was told, especially by Harvey, that I was nobody,” she wrote. Because, “In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body.”
Having started as a Mexican telenovela star, working with Weinstein represented a chance at a big break in the United States, she says, and to express herself as an artist in the daring ways she dreamed of.
She’d long identified with Frida Kahlo, and “it became my mission to portray the life of this extraordinary artist and to show my native Mexico in a way that combated stereotypes.”
But then the Weinstein reality hit. Hayek writes that at every opportunity, he tried to set her up for failure, constantly humiliating her during production, and disparaging her performance (which she later won an Oscar for). She remained defiant, insisting on staying true to Frida’s trademark unibrow. But, “he told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal,” and, because she wouldn’t comply to making the film “sexier,” that he wanted to shut down the film, “because no one would want to see me in that role.”
Still, Hayek persisted. Every other hurdle he put in her way as both an actress and producer on the film backfired. Except, that is, for one. She says Weinstein made it clear that he would only allow her to finish the movie if she agreed to full-frontal nudity in a sex scene with another woman.
Hayek’s description of that day on set is horrifying:
“My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short and I began to cry and cry, unable to stop, as if I were throwing up tears,” she wrote. “My mind understood that I had to do it, but my body wouldn’t stop crying and convulsing. At that point, I started throwing up while a set frozen still waited to shoot. I had to take a tranquilizer, which eventually stopped the crying but made the vomiting worse. As you can imagine, this was not sexy, but it was the only way I could get through the scene.”
Hayek sharing her story marks yet another woman who bravely has come forward and shared the truth about their own experiences dealing with abusive behavior.
Read Hayek’s full account over at The New York Times.
Lady Gaga wins her first Oscar for ‘Shallow’
Lady Gaga won her first Oscar at the 91st Annual Academy Awards.
“Lady Gaga is an Academy Award winner, folks.
The best song of the year, “Shallow” from A Star Is Born, earned Lady Gaga an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday night, marking the first time the music legend has earned an Oscar. She shared the honor with co-writers Mark Daniel Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt.
I mean, come on, listen to this:
“I worked hard for a long time and it’s not about winning, but what’s about is not giving up,” Lady Gaga said in her acceptance speech. “If you have a dream, fight for it.”
Lady Gaga is also up for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in A Star Is Born, the first person to ever be nominated for both awards on the same night. Earlier in February, Lady Gaga was nominated for four Grammys for the song “Shallow” and won two.
A Star Is Born was up for eight awards in total at the Oscars, and the award for Best Original Song was the film’s first of the night.
Lady Gaga received her first and only other Oscar nomination in 2016 for the song, “Til It Happens to You,” for the documentary The Hunting Ground.”
Bradley Cooper shares how he altered his voice for ‘A Star Is Born’
“Of all the enchanting things about A Star is Born, one of the most mesmerising has to be Bradley Cooper’s distinctly low voice that he manages to maintain throughout the movie.
Well, Cooper let Stephen Colbert in on his secret for how he trained his voice to plummet to new vocal depths. Turns out he drew inspiration from his co-star Sam Elliott.
“One of the things, I knew I wanted to lower my voice. But I didn’t want to make him too country,” said Cooper. “Sam Elliott is from Sacramento but his mother was from Texas, so he has this accent that you can’t quite place. But it’s so wonderfully iconic.”
Cooper says in order to achieve the Elliott-esque low voice, he’d do a warmup using a tagline. But for the first six months, he could only do it while hunched over.
“I would go to sleep and my throat would hurt and I thought, well this is never gonna happen. That was what I was most terrified of, was his voice,” Cooper said. “I always had this warmup line which was a line from an interview [Elliott] did at Sundance which I played him when he came over to my house.”
Cooper performed his warmup in the video above using the tagline: “this part here is about as good as it gets for me”.
Goodness me, someone give that man an Oscar.”
What happened when M. Night Shyamalan told his dad he got into film school
“M. Night Shyamalan’s dad is so proud of his son these days that he apparently pays for everything — even gum — with a credit card — just so people will see his last name.
But it wasn’t always that way. Back when a young M. Night Shyamalan first broke the news of his showbiz career plans to his family — who are all doctors — his father wasn’t exactly impressed.
“My dad was watching a hockey game and I said, ‘Dad I applied to NYU film school, I got in as a scholarship, and I’m gonna go’, and he didn’t even look at me,” Shyamalan tells Stephen Colbert in the clip above. “He just kept watching the game.”
Still, at least it all worked out in the end.”
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