Angelina Jolie says she turned down a role in Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic because of Harvey Weinstein’s involvement in the project.
Angelina Jolie turned down a role in The Aviator because of Harvey Weinstein’s involvement. Martin Scorsese’s biopic of the American business tycoon, Howard Hughes, was released in 2004 starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular aviator, the second collaboration between the actor and director, the next of which will be Killers of the Flower Moon. The Aviator also features several other notable figures, such as Katharine Hepburn and Ava Garner (played by Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale). The film was produced by Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s production company, Miramax Films.
After winning an Academy Award for 1999’s Girl, Interrupted, Angelia Jolie starred as the iconic video game heroine in 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and the sequel in 2003, soon becoming one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and highest-paid actresses. Other than her career as an actor and director, Jolie has remained in the public eye due to her humanitarian efforts, divorce from Brad Pitt, and overall outspokenness. In 2017, Jolie was one of many women who spoke out against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, accusing him of making unwanted advances on her in a hotel room after working together on the film Playing by Heart in 1998.
In an interview with The Guardian promoting her new book, Know Your Rights, Angelina Jolie opened up about her experience with Harvey Weinstein. After an encounter with him in a hotel room, which she called abuse of her rights, Jolie vowed to never work with him again and advised others to do the same. Jolie stuck to her word when approached about a role in The Aviator and turned it down because of Weinstein’s involvement. She didn’t mention what specific role she was offered, but it was likely Katharine Hepburn or Ava Gardner. Read what Jolie said below:
It was beyond a pass, it was something I had to escape. I stayed away and warned people about him. I remember telling Jonny, my first husband, who was great about it, to spread the word to other guys – don’t let girls go alone with him. I was asked to do The Aviator, but I said no because he was involved. I never associated or worked with him again.
In the same interview, Jolie opened up about how it was hard when her ex-husband Brad Pitt decided to star in Inglourious Basterds and Killing Them Softly, both of which the Weinstein Company were involved in. Jolie says she felt Pitt minimized the sexual assault she suffered, which the couple frequently fought over. Since then, Weinstein has been convicted of numerous rape and sexual assault counts and is currently serving a 23-year jail sentence.
Both Jolie and The Aviator have seemed to fare just fine without one another. Scorsese’s film was a hit at the box office and won five Academy Awards to boot. On the other hand, Jolie has remained one of Hollywood’s biggest and most influential stars. This November, she will make her long-awaited MCU debut as Thena in Eternals.