Disgraced Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein is doubling down on his claim that he in no way sabotaged the careers of Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd — despite directors saying otherwise.
“The Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson alleged last week that in the late ’90s, Miramax urged him not to cast Sorvino or Judd in the eventual blockbuster because they were “a nightmare to work with.”
“Bad Santa” director Terry Zwigoff also claimed he was interested in casting Sorvino, but that Weinstein would hang up the phone every time he mentioned her name.
Both Sorvino and Judd have accused Weinstein of making an unwanted sexual advance.
In a new statement to Deadline, a representative for Weinstein disputed Jackson’s claim, and insisted New Line, not Miramax, was in charge of casting for “The Lord of the Rings.”
He also denied blacklisting Judd, as he cast her in “Frida” and “Crossing Over,” and added that he actually wanted her to play the role in “Good Will Hunting” that eventually went to Minnie Driver.
Weinstein denied blacklisting the actresses, and said he actually wanted Ashley Judd in “Good Will Hunting.”
“Miramax had flown Ashley to New York for casting discussions and to meet the production team for “Good Will Hunting.” While Ashely was the top choice for Miramax and Mr. Weinstein, the role went to Minnie Driver, who was the star and director’s preference. Minnie did a brilliant job and he believes Ashely would have as well,” the statement read.
As for Sorvino, the statement explains that they did work together, on Guillermo Del Toro’s “Mimic,” and implies that Weinstein would not attempt to derail her career because she was, at the time, dating Quentin Tarantino, one of the company’s most high-profile directors.
“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,” the statement read
Weinstein also appeared to place blame on Jackson for not casting the actresses, as he was “so powerful” he could do whatever he wanted.
In a statement released last week, Weinstein denied blacklisting claims, again citing the fact that he continued to give work to both Judd and to Sorvino’s husband, Christopher Backus.