Helena Bonham Carter has recalled moments in her career in which she took the daunting task of standing up to the now disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
In October 2017, it was reported that dozens of women accused film producer Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse over a period of at least 30 years and triggered the #MeToo movement. Now, more than 80 women in the film industry have accused Weinstein.
While Weinstein denies “any non-consensual sex”, he has since been dismissed from The Weinstein Company, expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and faces criminal investigations into complaints in Los Angeles, New York City, and London.
Now, in a new interview with The Guardian, Bonham Carter has detailed the “chilling” way in which Weinstein dealt with people and explained how many times before she has been forced to refuse his demands: “There were times when Harvey asked me to do certain things, and I said no. I knew I was running a thin line,” she said. “Standing up to him wasn’t an easy thing to do because I knew I could potentially lose work.”
Detailing one specific time in which Weinstein demanded she follows his instructions, Bonham Carter explained that while she was working on the set of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet, Weinstein insisted that she told the director to make changes to the film. “Harvey wanted me to tell Jeunet to change it,” she explained. “There is a scene in which he hitchhikes and Harvey said as soon as that kid gets into a truck everyone will think the truck driver is a child molester and all the kids in America will be freaked out. I said: ‘I don’t think you’re right, and I’m not going to tell Jean-Pierre Jeunet I know better than him.’”
Bonham Carter already successful in her career, explained that she felt stronger than most women to stand up to Weinstein “because I already had a career. Other people were employing me. I wasn’t reliant on him,” she said.
So, refusing to follow Weinstein’s orders of speaking to Jeunet’s, he replied: “You’ve got to tell that arrogant asshole he’s being a s**t, he doesn’t know the American market like I do.’ I found it revolting.”
The conversation turned directly to the allegations of sexual abuse made against Weinstein. Bonham Carter explained that she “was aware certain actresses had had sex with him,” before adding “but I thought it was consensual.
“Nobody is wholly bad and nobody is wholly good. He [Weinstein] was very clever,” she added. “There are a lot of reasons he was very powerful. He knew how to get you Oscar nominations. Both my nominations are due to him. And he had great taste in films.”
“I found the way he treated certain people chilling – without any kind of respect. There were many times I disagreed with the way he behaved, and I don’t mean sexually.”