Charlize Theron: Harvey Weinstein said that he slept with me & Renee Zellweger

Charlize Theron at arrivals for 2019 Gla...

Charlize Theron has a new interview in the New York Times to promote Bombshell. I’ve only started to realize recently (like, in the past week) that Charlize is angling for a Best Actress Oscar nomination for playing Megyn Kelly. Considering the field and the work Charlize put it into the film… it will probably happen? Charlize not only went through that physical transformation to become Megyn Kelly, she also stepped in as a producer on the project after the financing fell through at the last minute. So, yeah, Hollywood loves that kind of plucky behind-the-scenes story. Charlize spoke about that, how Megyn Kelly is deeply flawed and how Harvey Weinstein was always a massive C-U-Next-Tuesday. Some highlights:

On Annapurna Pictures pulling the financing for Bombshell two weeks before production began: “It felt like we had been going at top speed toward something risky, and then, all of a sudden, the floor was just dropping from underneath us… It’s a tough pill to swallow when you hear your financier wants to back out, especially when it’s almost half the cost of something that they’ve already done with a man.” [Annapurna had just released Vice.]

On Megyn Kelly’s controversial statements: “There are things she has said that I’ve definitely had issues with, but it doesn’t invalidate how I feel about her struggle. Avoiding all of that stuff to get an emotional arc out of her character, I just didn’t want to be a part of that. By the way, if this was a movie about me — and I hope nobody ever does one — it would be filled with flaws and mistakes, and I wouldn’t want somebody to take those things away. I really do believe that what she and those women went through was messed up, even though they work for a network that I highly have issues with.

On the scene where Margot Robbie’s character is sexually harassed by Roger Ailes: “My concern was making sure she was comfortable in the underwear she was wearing. All three of us — Nicole, Margot and I — have been nude in movies where it’s not about the nudity. I’ve also been nude in scenes where I felt incredibly empowered, which is not what you would imagine. What the scene in “Bombshell” was more about, and what made this brutal to watch on the day, was the fact that you had Roger Ailes dictating how this was going to go and she didn’t have a say. It’s the belittling factor: “I am going to get you to do something that I know you’re incredibly uncomfortable with.” I think it’s having to placate his power that makes it almost unbearable to watch, way more than if he physically raped her in that scene.

Men’s reactions to the movie: “Watching this has been eye-opening to a lot of people. Men, especially, go, “I had no idea women had to do things like that.” It’s humbling that you can create that kind of moment, because a lot of times you know people are going to say, “This is a woman’s movie, and men will not tap into this at all.” When men can emotionally engage with what we experience and be just as disturbed by it, it’s a powerful thing.

On the power plays Harvey Weinstein used to make: “Yeah, and he did that to everybody. Pitting women against each other? He was really, really good at that. There was a lot of, like, “Well, I’m talking to Gwyneth for this movie …” One of his lines was that Renée [Zellweger] and I slept with him to get jobs. There was no limit to him. Even in the sexual favors, he would still pit us against each other.

[From The New York Times]

Her description of men’s reactions to the movie reminds me a little bit of the conversations – however brief – around Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate testimony last year. I remember that so many men online were suddenly feeling very raw and in their feelings about Dr. Ford’s testimony and how the trauma of a sexual assault can have repercussions for years and decades. It was like, “oh, sh-t, that really happens?” I feel men just keep having those realizations too – with all of the outed predators and these conversations about sexual harassment, assault, power imbalance and rape culture.

Speaking of, her comment about Harvey Weinstein is… interesting. There were so many rumors that Charlize was one of the few actresses to really stand up to Weinstein as he was harassing her. But for her to name-check Renee Zellweger… well. And you know, Renee is probably going to be nominated for an Oscar this year too.

Charlize Theron at arrivals for 2019 Gla...

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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13 Responses to “Charlize Theron: Harvey Weinstein said that he slept with me & Renee Zellweger”

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  1. YasQweeen says:

    I read it as, HW lied about me and lied about Renee to fool other women.

    • Kimberly says:

      I actually think he did something with Renee. Consensual or not idk? I really like her and don’t judge her.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      Yeah. 2 years ago there was an interview or article where an actress/stunt double revealed that a director and producer made up a lie together about her doing a bunch of producers (casting couch) because she was going to expose their harassment of women. Abusive men definitely know ways to use misogyny in the culture to their advantage. People make it so easy too.

  2. goofpuff says:

    That’s because for alot of those men – they perhaps realized that they can’t just sweep up the crimes they did in their youth and go on with their lives. I’m so sick of the excuse of “I was young and stupid and drunk so that’s why I raped someone, please forgive me”. No dude. No. Rape is not a youthful misadventure.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Precisely. We don’t say, “He didn’t want to kill anyone, but he was young and was grappling with the rights and wrongs of society. He’s all grown up now.” Rape is not an unwanted kiss. A hug that lingers. Or a prolonged stare. It’s not a civil faux pas. When my boys have to leave the room before I do if there’s a rape on a show or physical trauma of any kind, it somewhat soothes. I want them angered. I want them to know this shit doesn’t happen to any one specific female, but all females across all categories in every global zone and in every corner lit or unlit. It happened to their mother. It happened to their grandmother. It’s close to home for everyone, for all of us. Listen. Swallow. Digest. F*doing do something.

    • Meg says:

      I saw a meme about the different response to young girls who make ‘mistakes’ versus when young guys do,
      Well she should’ve known better and should deal with this unplanned pregnancy and child the rest of her life (suggesting a child is a punishment -lovely) but a young guy does what brett kavaugh did oh he shouldn’t be punished for the rest of his life for that!

  3. lucy2 says:

    I remember hearing that about other actresses as well – he’d lie and tell women that the famous actresses slept with him, and look what he did for them, promising to make them the next Charlize or Renee or whoever. The whole thing is just so gross.
    I can’t imagine how that must feel, learning that he was spreading those lies and that’s how people thought you got your career. Every meeting you had, every audition, someone was thinking that about you. Ugh.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      “I can’t imagine how that must feel, learning that he was spreading those lies and that’s how people thought you got your career. Every meeting you had, every audition, someone was thinking that about you.”
      It’s a pretty scary situation to imagine anyone in, considering all the messages girls are exposed to throughout life about their worth + how they witness women being treated over that issue all the time. Others famous and not will feel entitled to mistreat them regardless of gender. Add in the fact that the guy they’re accused of doing this with actually did rape women, and it’s even grosser than it would normally be.

  4. Meg says:

    I love so much of what charlize says here
    Yes we all make mistakes have flaws but that means us being harassed assaulted or worse doesnt matter? No victims shouldn’t have to be perfect, that is victim blaming to deflect from the abuser

  5. Anony83 says:

    I have had several experiences, including during the Blasey Ford situation but also in other contexts, where the subject of sexual harassment or assault (etc) gets brought up in mixed company and inevitable, every woman in the group will have tales to tell. Half the time they’d even have turned them into pithy anecdote. H*ll, sometimes we’d even be laughing about it – like, what’s the weirdest thing someone has heckled YOU in the street with. Stuff like that.

    And inevitably, the men are just plain shocked. They never imagined how wide-spread it was. They had never seen or been told by any friends/partners/family about something happening to them! They had no idea.

    To which we inevitably have to explain that yes, of course they hadn’t seen it because it wouldn’t have happened if they were there. And of course most women in their lives hadn’t shared – either because it is deeply personal and painful OR because it is so common place as to not be worth mentioning.

    That, to me, was one of the remarkable things about those heady early days of the Me Too explosion – for the first time, men were being confronted not just with abstract stories about strangers they never met. Me Too forced many men to face the facts that women in their own lives had absolutely experienced these things. And that those same women either didn’t trust them enough or thought it was pointless to even tell them. I think that really threw a lot of men for a loop. (Until, of course, rape culture raised it’s ugly head to give them a new, fun way to twist Me Too so that THEY were now the victims because, you know, someone could falsely accuse a man of something at anytime and be believed so now all men were at risk. Fun way to do a role reversal right there).

  6. Maleficent says:

    Sexual abuse victim blaming is also a reflection of just how sexist society is, of how entitled many in our society feel in that many secretly applaud how these perps have gotten away with it for so long — they wish they could, too and live vicariously through cretins like Weinstein. The advent of social media has been an appalling revelation in this regard.