Samantha Morton: Weinstein tried to ruin my career after I called his movie misogynistic

Harvey Weinstein is spending the rest of his life in jail, where he belongs, for decades of sexual crimes against women. Appearing on The Louis Theroux Podcast this week, British actress Samantha Morton revealed that Weinstein tried to ruin her career when she was in her early twenties, simply because she declined a role he offered her. She thought the movie was misogynistic, and when she gave this feedback, along with her pass, Weinstein and his casting directors flatly told her she would never work again:

Samantha Morton, the Oscar-nominee best known for her roles in “Synechdoche, New York” and “Minority Report,” revealed on this week’s episode of “The Louis Theroux Podcast” that disgraced studio head Harvey Weinstein tried to ruin her career for turning down a role.

Morton had already received critical acclaim for her role in “Under the Skin” (1997) opposite actor Stuart Townsend, when Weinstein, who ran Miramax Films with an iron fist at the time, urged her to star opposite Townsend a second time in “About Adam” (2000).

“I said, ‘I don’t like it. I think the film is really misogynistic, and I don’t want to be part of it,’” Morton told Theroux about declining the part. “The casting director came back with, ‘You don’t say no to Harvey.’ Well it’s not up to him. I just don’t want to do this film.”

Morton added she was even “uber polite” and clarified the film was “just not interesting” to her, only for the casting director involved to warn: “You don’t say no to Harvey.” Morton recalled reiterating she wasn’t saying no to Weinstein, but rather to the project.

“I had a phone call saying, ‘You can’t say no,’” said Morton. “The ‘no’ wasn’t being listened to. So they kept coming back with this role, and I was told unequivocally, ‘You’re not going to work again unless you do this role. I’m going to make your life hell.’”

“You will not work again,” the casting director told Morton.

While the film was made without Morton, she was seemingly blackballed from Miramax films to come. Morton told Theroux that Weinstein refused to cast her in “The Brothers Grimm” (2005) opposite Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, and said she was “unf—able.”

Morton started questioning why Weinstein “was anti-me,” only for continuous rejections from his studio—as well as the Weinstein Company, which he founded with his brother Bob in 2005—to remind her of turning down “About Adam.”

“I forgot about it because it was years earlier,” Morton said. “And then all these years later, I realized that [when] I get an offer, get a letter from a director, if Miramax or then the Weinstein Company had anything to do with it, it was just awful for me.”

Morton added that Weinstein had “a deep-seated reason” to “try and destroy” her career, but she was insulated by “independent cinema all over the world” and managed to forge ahead in smaller films—as well as Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise.

[From HuffPost]

The arc of this story is an all-too-rare triumphant one: to go from being told “you’ll never work again,” to having a rich career in independent cinema, then to being in a film about the downfall of the man who threatened you (she had a pivotal role in She Said last year). And all while he watches from prison. Bravo Samantha. If you read up on her, though, you’ll find that she had to navigate a very tough upbringing, which in a way made her just the kind of scrappy, punky type to talk bluntly to Weinstein, consequences be damned. I don’t know about you, but I needed this story after the pro-predator news out of London and Venice this week. Nevertheless, we persist.

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16 Responses to “Samantha Morton: Weinstein tried to ruin my career after I called his movie misogynistic”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    I remember the controversy around Weinstein’s horrible comments about her and the casting of The Brothers Grimm. Thankfully, that evil man can’t hurt anymore women

  2. BlueSky says:

    She is so good in “The Serpent Queen” on STARZ.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I think this about so many actresses now. You know, the ones who seemed to be on a big career upswing in the 90s to early 2000s and then just seemed to disappear for a while, or completely. Now I always assume Weinstein was involved.

  4. Hyperbolme says:

    I literally yesterday heard Elle Fanning in a THR roundtable say at 16 years old she lost out on role in a father-daughter road trip comedy because an exec thought she was “unfckable.” At 16! A father / daughter comedy!

    I bet it was this disgusting pervert.

    • Concern Fae says:

      I think “unfvckable” just became the generic “I don’t like her” in the 80s-90s. It was as much about male power dynamics in the room as it was about the attractiveness of any given woman. We talk about individual men, but groups of men are the real danger.

      • Bee says:

        My reading of “unfuckable” is that it translates to “won’t fcuk me, waaaaaah,boo hoo!” Or, “she’s out of my league, waaaaaaaaaah, boo hoo!”

        I think they tell on themselves when they say that.

      • North of Boston says:

        While the thing that triggered them saying it might be that, as an insult, it is dehumanizing. It’s a weapon that reduces a woman, whatever woman it’s lobbed at or said about, to her use as a sex toy. And then discards her as if she has no other value.

        And keep in mind this is in a work setting, where skilled, hardworking, talented women are bringing a raft of capabilities and qualities to the table.

        It’s sadly not surprising that bullies, abusers and all around sexist aHoles use that one casually.

      • Mango says:

        @concern fae

        I know this is late but I just wanted to say this happened to Elle Fanning nine years ago. She wasn’t even alive in the 80’s. It’s never ok for adults to talk about a sixteen year-old like that. This type of language was still publicly used ten years ago and is probably still used now just behind closed doors.

  5. antipodean says:

    Fortunately for Samantha Morton she is supremely talented, and elevates any part she chooses to take. She would have had a brilliant career with or without Harvey Weinstein. He was evil enough to discern who the really gifted women were, and tried to suppress them, just out of spite.
    I am watching Samantha on “Harlots” at the moment, and she is riveting. It is such a great show.

    • Jill says:

      HARLOTS!! I was wondering if anyone was going to mention that show. I loved it so much and despite her rich career, I always think of that show when I see her. It’s fantastic.

  6. Shawna says:

    She was my first Jane Eyre! I remember watching her while doing my laundry in a damp basement my freshman year in college. They had a TV with an inbuilt VCR, so it was a fun afternoon.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      She was mine, too! She & Ciaran Hinds were so good on screen together. It’s always a pleasure to see her work. I’m glad Harvey didn’t derail her career–she’s such a talent. I sort of chuckle at how furious he must have been to be told her blunt “no” more than once.

  7. K says:

    She is an absolute all around gold star and ass kicker. Ridiculously talented. Love her.

  8. Deering24 says:

    I was wondering what happened to her–always liked her performances. Should have figured this bastard was responsible.

  9. Roan Inish says:

    In America written and directed by Jim Sheridan is another one of Morton’s films in which she was superb.