Peter Jackson: Weinstein blacklisted Ashley Judd & Mira Sorvino
Photo: Mira Sorvino at the 1995 Oscars.
By TATIANA PROPHET
Mira Sorvino won the Oscar-opening Best Supporting Actress award in 1995 for Woody Allen's "Mighty Aphrodite." She went on to star in such memorable films as "Lulu on the Bridge" and "Too Tired to Die." But she wasn't suffering from the legendary curse of the Best Supporting Actress; it turns out she was probably just suffering from crossing paths with Harvey Weinstein.
Sorvino and Ashley Judd were being considered by director Peter Jackson for roles in Lord of the Rings, until Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob, told Jackson both women were "a nightmare to work with," he recalled.
Jackson gave an exclusive interview to New Zealand magazine Stuff, during which he revealed that during the pitch phase of the Tolkein adaptation, the Weinsteins had discouraged him from working with either actress.
That was 1998, and both Judd and Sorvino had hit the scene as ultra talented ingenues. Before the millennium, Judd starred in "A Time to Kill" and "Double Jeopardy," but after 2000 she played supporting roles in successful movies such as "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" or lead roles in movies targeted to niche audiences, such as "A Dolphin's Tale" and "Bug."
Jackson added that he had no knowledge of sexual harassment perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, but said he had decided not to work with the brothers as they were, ironically, difficult to work with. He spoke up after Weinstein had been quoted as saying he did not blacklist actresses.
Both women are almost as well known for their political activism as they are for their acting (maybe we should be thanking Weinstein for their contributions to human rights?). Sorvino expressed relief on Twitter after finally hearing confirmation of what had happened to her.
Judd had even had a meeting with Jackson, at which he had asked which role she desired. She never heard back from him after that meeting.
Jackson found a different studio, New Line Cinema, to produce the trilogy, and Weinstein did not end up working on the films.