Hayek says rebuffing Weinstein led to nightmare on 'Frida'
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, December 13, 2017 1:40PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:45PM EST
NEW YORK - In an op-ed, Salma Hayek said that her refusals to Harvey Weinstein's advances led to a nightmare experience making the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic “Frida.”
“For years, he was my monster,” Hayek wrote in her account, published Wednesday by The New York Times.
Hayek, who regularly starred in films released by Weinstein's Miramax in the 1990s, credited Weinstein with helping her start her career. But she said that the movie mogul would turn up at her door “at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location.”
Her refusals - of massages, showers and sex - enraged him, she wrote. “I don't think he hated anything more than the word 'no,”' wrote Hayek.
When Hayek brought “Frida,” which she was producing, to Miramax to distribute, Weinstein made outrageous demands as payback. Hayek said he insisted on rewrites, more financing and, most heinously to her, a sex scene with full frontal nudity.
In order to finish what was a labour of love for Hayek, she agreed. But she said she had a nervous breakdown while shooting the scene. “My body wouldn't stop crying and convulsing,” wrote Hayek.
“It was not because I would be naked with another woman,” she wrote. “It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein.”
Even still, Weinstein initially refused to give the movie a theatrical release. He eventually relented after pressure from director Julie Taymor and Hayek. It went on to gross $56.3 million worldwide and land six Oscar nominations, winning two.
Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, and numerous women have said he raped them. Weinstein, who is currently under investigation for sexual assault in four cities, has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex. Representatives for Weinstein didn't immediately return messages Wednesday.
“Why do so many of us, as female artists, have to go to war to tell our stories when we have so much to offer? Why do we have to fight tooth and nail to maintain our dignity?” Hayak wrote. “I think it is because we, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell.”