Rose McGowan is back in the headlines this week thanks to a Vanity Fair interview that teases one of the chapters from her upcoming memoir, “BRAVE.” In the chapter, the actress writes about the alleged “mind games” Robert Rodriguez played on her during the making of “Planet Terror.” McGowan had told the director about being raped by Harvey Weinstein at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and she writes that he used that knowledge against her by filming a scene in which she is attacked by a man and selling the film to the Weinstein-owned Dimension Films.
Rodriguez has issued a statement denying ever playing mind games with McGowan and listing some of the inaccuracies in her story. The director calls out Vanity Fair reporter Evgenia Peretz for not reaching out to him for comment in the article and notes that it’s “deeply disappointing” Vanity Fair publisher HarperOne did not reach out for comment either. Rodriguez goes on to correct four key points in McGowan’s story, while also noting that he has no beef with the actress and agrees with her mission to fight for change in the industry.
“These inaccuracies may appear to put me at odds with Rose, but I have no quarrel with her,” Rodriguez writes. “It’s when publications don’t fact check these basic things, you end up with something inaccurate that then has to be disqualified. And I don’t want to have to disqualify it because I agree with what Rose is trying to do overall, which is continue to push for change both in our industry and beyond.”
Rodriguez notes that the attack scene in question was always in the script from the very beginning and that McGowan never addressed her concerns with performing it. The director also notes that he did not sell the film to Weinstein but that the movie was made under a first look deal with the company. Rodriguez’s statement reads:
I did not sell the movie to the Weinsteins, they had a first look on my next project, and I owed them two more after that. (“Grindhouse,””Spy Kids 4″ and”Sin City 2” fulfilled my obligations to them.
I met Rose in April of 2005. The Weinsteins began funding “Grindhouse” by at least the first week of November of 2005 because I was shooting the fake Machete trailer for the film on November 16, 2005. I then started scouting locations and designing the production for”Grindhouse” with key crew members, hired and paid for by the Weinsteins, before Thanksgiving 2005.
Full preproduction on”Grindhouse” with the entire crew began on January 23, 2006, and Principal Photography began on March 17, 2006. Rose began filming March 26, 2006. The point is that it was already an official Weinstein movie for at least 5 months before principal production even began on the Planet Terror segment of “Grindhouse.” There was certainly ample time for Rose to decide not to be in a film funded by the Weinsteins and reject the movie and the script before shooting ever began. And if she ever had a problem with making the movie for them I would have completely understood, changed the role, and cast someone else.
The scene described in the Vanity Fair article where the rapist taunts the character played by Rose (before she turns around and stabs him in the eye and kills him) was in every draft of the script since the first draft issued to cast and crew dated January 24, 2006. Furthermore, that very scene wasn’t even filmed until 5 months later, on June 28, 2006. Again, if there was any objection to the scene there was plenty of time to address it. It was never brought up as being an issue. In fact, the point of the scene was always to be empowering because it’s when her character turns the tables against her oppressors.