Gwyneth Paltrow is looking back on her difficult working relationship with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
In a new interview with Variety, the actress opened up about her experience working on “Shakespeare in Love”, which earned her a Best Actress Oscar, as well as Best Picture for Weinstein.
The making of the film took place only four years after the alleged incident in which Paltrow alleges Weinstein sexually harassed her in his hotel room.
“He was a bully,” she said of working with him. “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.”
Paltrow also revealed that she had to fight to make sure the part of William Shakespeare was cast correctly in the film.
“At the last minute, Harvey wanted Ben Affleck to take over and play Shakespeare,” Paltrow recalled. “I said, ‘No, you can’t do that. You have to have an English person.’”
Affleck was later cast in a different role, while Ralph Fiennes got the Shakespeare part.
“That’s news to me,” Fiennes told Variety. “I feel — wow — really indebted to Gwyneth and John.”
Apparently Weinstein has taken issue with that account, issuing a statement to Variety denying that he had wanted Affleck for the role.
“Gwyneth Paltrow is an excellent actor and a fantastic person, who does so well when on the right project,” Weinstein wrote. “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.”