Zwigoff admitted he was interested in offering her a role in the 2003 festive comedy, but was met with resistance by the disgraced producer. (Source: Kathy Hutchins – s_bukley – Shutterstock)
Terry Zwigoff has claimed Harvey Weinstein blocked him from casting Mira Sorvino in ‘Bad Santa’.
The 68-year-old filmmaker has apologized to the 50-year-old actress after admitting he was interested in offering her a role in the 2003 festive comedy, but was met with resistance by the disgraced producer.
He tweeted: “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.(sic)”
Terry’s admission came after Sir Peter Jackson revealed he had also been pressured by the movie mogul not to cast Mira or Ashley Judd – who are among dozens of actresses to have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct – in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ film series because of their “difficult” behavior.
He said: “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. 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.”
Representatives for Weinstein later hit back, insisting he had nothing to do with the casting of the movie, as by the time actors were hired, Miramax had lost the project to New Line.
They also pointed out that both actresses were subsequently cast in or considered for other Weinstein movies.
Peter then responded and maintained it was because of Weinstein’s comments he ruled the two actresses out from the project.
He said in a statement: “Aspects of Harvey’s denial are insincere. He is basically saying that ‘this blacklisting couldn’t be true because New Line cast the movie’. That’s a deflection from the truth.
“In the 18 months we developed the ‘Lord of the Rings’ at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives.
“Amongst the many names raised, Fran [Walsh] and I expressed our enthusiasm for Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. In fact we met with Ashley and discussed two possible roles with her. After this meeting we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had “bad experiences” with these particular actresses in the past.
“This type of comment is not unusual – it can happen with any studio on any film, when different actor’s names come up in conversation – but once you hear negative feedback about somebody, you don’t forget it.
“The movies changed hands from Miramax to New Line before casting actually got underway – but because we had been warned off Ashley and Mira by Miramax, and we were naive enough to assume we’d been told the truth, Fran and I did not raise their names in New Line casting conversations.”
Both Mira and Ashley have thanked Peter for speaking out to explain why they were snubbed.
Mira tweeted: “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.”
And Ashley wrote: “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 them again. I appreciate the truth coming out. Thank you, Peter.”
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