Jennifer Aniston is opening up about her experiences with “piggish” Harvey Weinstein.
As one of the famous faces featured in Variety’s Power of Women issue, the 50-year-old A-list star spoke candidly about the premise for her upcoming Apple series, “The Morning Show.”
Aniston plays a morning show reporter alongside “The Office” star Steve Carrell, a “charming narcissist” rumoured to be based on former “Today” show host, Matt Lauer.
“All [are] fictional,” Aniston said of the characters in the highly anticipated drama. “But also kind of highlighting aspects of the archetype of a charming narcissist, of a generation of men that didn’t think that was bad behaviour. That’s just the way it works. And men are flirts and women are coy and find it flattering. And thankfully, with the sacrifices of these women who have come forward, this isn’t going to happen anymore. It’s wonderful that you’re accountable and you have to check yourself.”
Aniston shared her own memories of working with Weinstein on the 2005 thriller “Derailed” with co-star Clive Owen. Although she was coming off the wave of the “Friends” series finale, not even the biggest name in television was immune to Weinstein’s bullying.
During a premiere dinner, which Aniston says she “had to” attend, she recalled an incident that reflected the shamed producer’s notoriously abrasive demeanour.
“I remember I was sitting at the dinner table with Clive, and our producers and a friend of mine was sitting with me,” she said. “And he literally came to the table and said to my friend, ‘Get up!’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ And so my friend got up and moved and Harvey sat down. It was just such a level of gross entitlement and piggish behaviour.”
While actresses such as Kate Beckinsale and Angelina Jolie have spoken publicly about their experiences with Weinstein, Aniston said he “knew better” than to try and bully her.
“I remember, right when [his ex-wife] Georgina’s clothing line Marchesa was starting,” Aniston said. “That’s when he came to visit me in London while we were shooting. He’d be like, ‘Ok, so I’d like you to wear one of these to the premiere.’ And I went through the book, and at the time, it wasn’t what it is today. It was not for me. He was like, ‘You have to wear the dress.’ That was my only bullying. And I was like, ‘No, I will not wear the dress.’”
When asked if Weinstein relented, she added, “Well what was he going to do? Come over here and make me wear it?”
Aniston is hopeful for the future of women in Hollywood, she admits that there is still “room for improvement.”
“I think it’s an incredible moment. Look, there are unsung voices, unsung talent that has yet to be discovered,” she explained. “Our eye is now on that prize. You have to make people think it’s not a choice anymore. This is actually the new normal, as it should be. And I think it’s going to get better and better.”