Jez Butterworth on Harvey Weinstein

Sunday 14th April 2024

Laura Donnelly, with Nicola Turner, Nancy Allsop, Lara McDonnell and Sophia Ally in The Hills of California. Photo: Mark Douet
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Quote of the day: As his new play, The Hills of California opened in the West End, playwright Jez Butterworth talked to The Guardian about working in Hollywood some 25 years ago. “I was directing my first film.” This was the erotic comedy Birthday Girl, starring Nicole Kidman and Ben Chaplin. “I was sent to Hollywood to audition actors in the Peninsula Hotel. And most of those were the actors who later came out and said what they said [about Weinstein]. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know then that he was somebody up to his neck in smashed dreams, in lives he had ruined. I was a man. No one was trying to fuck me or assault me. But that was my first experience of that world.”

In 2017, Butterworth read out a letter on BBC Newsnight. “Harvey,” it began. “My daughter is 11 years old and all her life has dreamed of being a performer. She attends a local drama group and loves to sing, dance and act. Were she one day able to realise those dreams, and had Ashley Judd and others not been brave enough to come forward, there’s every chance in a few years’ time she would have been taken to a hotel, duped by your staff, ended up alone with you, and chased round the suite by you, naked, masturbating, threatening her, terrifying her, for your own enjoyment.” (Jez Butterworth in The Guardian)

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