Samantha Morton recalls Harvey Weinstein insult after she turned down a role

‘Minority Report’ and ‘I Am Kirsty’ actor claimed that disgraced film producer tried to ‘destroy’ her career

Nicole Vassell
Monday 31 July 2023 13:10 BST
Harvey Weinstein jailed for 23 years

Samantha Morton has detailed her “awful” experience working with Harvey Weinstein during a conversation with Louis Theroux.

The actor and director has been active in the entertainment industry for more than 25 years and is known to many for her role in the 2002 Tom Cruise-led action thriller Minority Report as a clairvoyant with visions of an impending homicide.

As well as this, Morton has also featured in several independent productions and was nominated for a Bafta in 2020 for her work in the Channel 4 drama I Am Kirsty.

Morton, 46, features on the latest edition (Tuesday 25 July) of Louis Theroux’s self-titled podcast.

After a discussion about some of Morton’s complaints about the film industry and “impropriety or bad practice on set”, Theroux asks her about working with Weinstein, 71, who founded the major film production and distribution company, Miramax.

He is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for various sex crimes and is expected to spend the rest of his life incarcerated.

Morton then recalls being told she was “unf***able” by Weinstein, before detailing how her refusing to take a job in the 2000 Miramax film About Adam had an ongoing impact on her being considered for other roles.

“I said I don’t like it,” she explained. “‘I think the film is really misogynistic and I don’t want to be part of it.’ The casting director came back with, ‘You don’t say no to Harvey.’”

While Morton recalls being “uber polite” about the rejection, and clarifying that the “no” was to the film and not to Weinstein personally, the actor went on to state how much pressure was being applied to change her decision.

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“I had a phone call saying ‘you can’t say no’... 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.’”

Samantha Morton and Harvey Weinstein (Getty)

Despite having many people telling her to take the job, to be at “the Miramax table”, Morton refused. Later, when she was approached to be a part of the 2005 film The Brothers Grimm, starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger, Morton found that she received pushback from Weinstein, and the role eventually went to Lena Headey.

“I forgot about it because it was years earlier,” she continued. “And then all these years later, I realised 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.

“He had a reason, a deep-seated reason, to just try and destroy my career... He categorically couldn't, because I kept working, doing independent cinema all over the world.”

When contacted by The Independent, a representative of Harvey Weinstein denied Morton’s account of losing out on the Brothers Grimm role to Lena Headey, claiming that the casting team chose Headey due to her being “the best for that particular role – not for anything other than that”.

Last month, Joseph Fiennes told a similar account of how a “bullying tactic” from the sex-offending film producer made him step away from a lucrative multi-film deal.

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