Gwyneth Paltrow calls Harvey Weinstein 'a bully,' recalls Ben Affleck casting in 'Shakespeare in Love'
Gwyneth Paltrow accused Harvey Weinstein of being a "bully" and slammed him for trying to cast Ben Affleck as her romantic lead in "Shakespeare in Love" — and the disgraced producer fired back.
“He was a bully,” Paltrow told Variety in an interview released Tuesday. “I never had a problem standing up to him. I wasn’t scared of him. I also felt for a period of time, I was the consumer face of Miramax, and I felt it was my duty to push back against him. We had a lot of fights.”
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Calling Weinstein a “very difficult boss” with whom she had “a fraught relationship,” the "Avengers: Endgame" actress admitted, "We would get in knock-down, drag-out fights. I remember once, my mother [Blythe Danner] walked in a room, and I was yelling at him about something. She was like, ‘Who was that on the phone?’” Paltrow says that when she told Danner, her mother said, “'Oh, my goodness, good for you. Stand up for yourself.'”
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As for what they fought about, Paltrow, 46, alleged to Variety that Weinstein "refused" to pay her back-end from "Emma." After pushing back to receive her money, she claims, “I got him to pay me something. I remember I got this legal letter that said, ‘This is not an acknowledgment that we owe you this money, but here’s a check.’”
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Paltrow also claimed in the piece that she screen-tested with Joseph Fiennes for "Shakespeare in Love" with Fiennes as the Bard — but had to push back against Weinstein, who she alleged wanted Ben Affleck for the part after the success of "Good Will Hunting."
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“At the last minute, Harvey wanted Ben Affleck to take over and play Shakespeare,” she recalled. “I said, ‘No, you can’t do that. You have to have an English person.’”
Affleck was eventually cast in a smaller role and Fiennes as William Shakespeare.
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Weinstein denied the casting claims, telling Variety, “Gwyneth Paltrow is an excellent actor and a fantastic person, who does so well when on the right project. The only other contenders for the role of Will Shakespeare were Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke, no one else. Ben Affleck did a terrific job as Ned Alleyn, which is the role he was considered for.”
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Paltrow previously accused Weinstein of sexual harassment in a bombshell October 2017 New York Times report, alleging that he put his hands on her in a hotel room and asked for a massage. Weinstein denied any nonconsensual sexual encounters.