Mira Sorvino was one of the many famous women to speak out about her alleged awful experience with Harvey Weinstein after his alleged terrible behavior was exposed back in October. Mira told The New Yorker that Harvey repeatedly attempted to pursue her while promoting Mighty Aphrodite in 1995 (Mighty Aphrodite was distributed by Miramax). Mira believed that telling Harvey “No” so many times is the reason why her career went from hot to lukewarm. Harvey responded by saying that there were “never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Well, Harvey might have been lying when he claimed there was no retaliation taken. Directors Peter Jackson and Terry Zwigoff both claim that Harvey actively encouraged them not to work with Mira Sorvino. Harvey allegedly pushing someone out of the spotlight? Where have I heard that one before.
Peter Jackson recently spoke about Harvey and Bob Weinstein to New Zealand’s Stuff, in which he describes the Weinstein brothers as “second-rate Mafia bullies” who allegedly orchestrated a “smear campaign” against Mira Sorvino and fellow Harvey-accuser Ashley Judd. Peter says he met with the Weinsteins in the late 90s to pitch the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films to Miramax. Peter expressed interest in casting Mira and Ashley in LotR. He alleges that Miramax then told him that both Mira and Ashley were a “nightmare” to work with, and that he should “avoid them at all costs.” Peter has since questioned Miramax’s motives.
“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us – but in hindsight, I realize 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 – and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”
Eventually, LotR went to New Line Cinema. Peter says Harvey and Bob weren’t the type of guys he wanted to work with ever again, so he actively chose not to. Peter’s 1994 film Heavenly Creatures was distributed by Miramax, but Peter says the company’s only involvement was distribution.
Ashley and Mira have both commented on Peter’s claims, with Ashley kind of confirming his story.
Peter & Fran had me in – showed me all the creative, the boards, costumes, everything. They asked which if the two roles I preferred, and then I abruptly never heard from hem again. I appreciate the truth coming out. Thank you, Peter. https://t.co/iXKuK6Xqtx
— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) December 15, 2017
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. I’m just heartsick https://t.co/ljK9NqICbm
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 15, 2017
Now onto Terry Zwigoff’s story. The Hollywood Reporter notes that on Friday, Terry hopped on Twitter and backed up Peter Jackson’s theory of a possible Mira Sorvino smear campaign with an allegation of his own. Terry says he considered casting Mira Sorvino in his 2003 film Bad Santa, which was being made by Dimension, an division of The Weinstein Company. I assume he wanted her for the role of the horny-for-Santa bartender Sue, and not Bad Santa (although that would have been all kinds of great too).
Every time he brought up Mira’s name over the phone, Terry got a dial-tone. So Terry never hired Mira Sorvino, and he’s sorry about that.
I was interested in casting Mira Sorvino in BAD SANTA, but every time I mentioned her over the phone to the Weinsteins, I'd hear a CLICK. What type of person just hangs up on you like that?! I guess we all know what type of person now. I'm really sorry Mira. https://t.co/9U0PsL2yS5
— Terry Zwigoff (@realzwigoff) December 16, 2017
Mira thanked Terry for his apology.
Thank you Terry
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) December 18, 2017
A spokesperson for Harvey released a statement on Saturday slapping back at Peter’s accusations, and once again denying he was guilty of pumping the breaks on Mira Sorvino’s career.
“As Peter Jackson explained in his own statement, Bob and Harvey Weinstein had nothing to do with Lord of the Rings. If Ashley Judd said she was in conversations with Mr. Jackson and reviewed sketches, it was under New Line, which had casting authority, not Miramax. Miramax never provided sketches to anyone.
At the time in question, no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network.
After the success of Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was so powerful he could have cast anyone he wanted in The Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film. Mr. Weinstein continues to admire Mr. Jackson for his creative genius, but he firmly denies these accusations.”
The Hollywood Reporter says that a rep for Harvey Weinstein didn’t respond for a comment regarding Terry Zwigoff’s allegations.
This news has me pissed. How dare Harvey allegedly push Mira Sorvino away from leading roles, and thus deny us a possible sequel to one of the greatest films ever made, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. And I’m also pissed at myself for ever believing Mira Sorvino was a casualty of the urban legend-y Best Supporting Actress curse. Mira won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1995 (for Mighty Aphrodite), a win that some believe cursed her into obscurity. I’m starting to think the only “curse” here was Harvey Weinstein cursing Mira Sorvino’s name whenever she was suggested for a role.