Peter Jackson; Weinstein Got Me to Avoid 2 Actresses

Director now suspects it was 'smear campaign' against Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2017 2:09 PM CST
Director Peter Jackson.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – The Lord of the Rings franchise might have two different faces in it if not for Harvey Weinstein. Director Peter Jackson tells New Zealand's Stuff that he pitched the films to Weinstein's Miramax studio in the late 1990s and received some advice about casting actresses Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd. “I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs," says Jackson. “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." Jackson now thinks Miramax "fed false information about both of these talented women—and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”

As USA Today notes, both actresses are among those who have come forward publicly against Weinstein. "Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying," Sorvino tweeted. "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." As for Judd, she wrote, "I remember this well." A Weinstein spokeswoman denies that he or Miramax played any role in the LOTR casting or blacklisted the actresses. (Judd details her interaction with Weinstein in an interview.)

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