Angelina Jolie Turned Down ‘The Aviator’ Because of Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Warned People About Him’

Jolie also said she fought with Brad Pitt when he took on roles in Weinstein-produced "Killing Them Softly" and "Inglourious Basterds."
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, Angelina Jolie arrives at a premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. Jolie criticized a judge deciding on custody arrangements for her and Brad Pitt's children during their divorce, saying in a court filing on Monday, May 24, 2021, that the judge refused to allow their kids to testify. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Angelina Jolie
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Angelina Jolie is in the news for her ongoing custody battle with Brad Pitt, whom she divorced in 2019, as well as for her upcoming role in Chloe Zhao’s Marvel entry “The Eternals.” But a recent, deep-dive interview with the actress, who was unusually candid in The Guardian, Jolie spoke about an encounter she had with now-convicted rapist and former movie producer Harvey Weinstein early in her career — and how the trauma of that incident led her to turn down Martin Scorsese because of Weinstein’s involvement.

When asked about the first time she felt disrespected in the industry, Jolie said, “Erm… well, no surprise, Harvey Weinstein. I worked with him when I was young.” Jolie was only 21 when she made the 1998 Miramax romantic comedy “Playing by Heart,” on which Weinstein served as an executive producer. She said that she managed to escape Weinstein, but that women often downplay their assaults if they managed to get away.

“If you get yourself out of the room, you think he attempted but didn’t, right? The truth is that the attempt and the experience of the attempt is an assault,” she said.

As for what happened in that room, Jolie said,  “I really don’t want to derail the book into stories about Harvey,” adding that it was absolutely an abuse of rights. “It was. It was beyond a pass, it was something I had to escape. I stayed away and warned people about him. I remember telling Jonny [Lee Miller], my first husband, who was great about it, to spread the word to other guys — don’t let girls go alone with him.”

Jolie said she turned down a major role in Martin Scorsese’s 2004 Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator,” which Miramax produced and on which Weinstein served as an executive producer.

“I was asked to do ‘The Aviator,’ but I said no because he was involved. I never associated or worked with him again. It was hard for me when Brad did.”

Jolie said she tussled with then-partner Pitt in 2009 when he took on a role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds,” co-produced by the Weinstein Company. She also said that in 2012, she was upset with Pitt when he approached Weinstein to serve as a producer on Andrew Dominik’s noir thriller “Killing Them Softly,” another TWC production. “We fought about it. Of course it hurt,” said Jolie, who added that she avoided attending promotional events for the film.

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