March 23, 1998 was the night “Titanic” won a record-tying 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for James Cameron, and it was also the night where the blockbuster filmmaker nearly got into a physical altercation with Harvey Weinstein. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Cameron celebrates the 20th anniversary of his epic romance by revealing a surprising highlight from Oscar night: “I remember almost getting in a fight with Harvey Weinstein and hitting him with my Oscar.”
“It was happening on the main floor at the [theater],” Cameron explains. “The music had started to play to get back in our seats. The people around us were saying, ‘Not here! Not here!’ Like it was O.K. to fight in the parking lot, you know, but it was not O.K. there when the music was playing, and they were about to go live.”
Cameron did not want to get into the specifics of the fight, calling it “kind of a long story,” but he did reveal it “had to do with Guillermo del Toro and how badly he was dealt with by Miramax on ‘Mimic.'”
“Harvey came up glad-handing me, talking about how great they were for the artist, and I just read him chapter and verse about how great I thought he was for the artist based on my friend’s experience, and that led to an altercation.”
Del Toro has spoken about hating his time working with Weinstein in the past. At the BFI London Film Festival in October, “The Shape of Water” director told a crowd that he “really hated the experience” of working with Weinstein.
“My first American experience was almost my last because it was with the Weinsteins and Miramax,” he said. “I have got to tell you, two horrible things happened in the late nineties, my father was kidnapped and I worked with the Weinsteins. I know which one was worse…the kidnapping made more sense, I knew what they wanted.”
Cameron is currently filming the “Avatar” sequels and is developing a new “Terminator” movie with “Deadpool” director Tim Miller. “Titanic” will return to theaters next month to celebrate the milestone anniversary. Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company following sexual harassment and abuse allegations.