‘There was some­thing re­pul­sive about Har­vey, I dis­liked him in­tensely’

Os­car-win­ner Fricker joins con­dem­na­tion of We­in­stein

Irish Independent - - News - John Meagher and Anne-Marie Walsh

OS­CAR-WIN­NING ac­tress Brenda Fricker has joined the grow­ing band of high-pro­file fig­ures in con­demn­ing the dis­graced movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein.

The Dubliner worked with the New York su­per-pro­ducer for the pro­mo­tion of ‘My Left Foot’ in 1989. But she said she had seen first-hand just how “preda­tory” he could be when it came to young ac­tresses.

“There was some­thing dan­ger­ous about him and I dis­liked him in­tensely,” she told the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent.

“He wasn’t in­ter­ested in me be­cause, let’s be hon­est, I was a mid­dle-aged, frumpy wo­man and he was af­ter young, beau­ti­ful girls. And at the time I first got to know him, you’d have lots of girls hang­ing off him.

“He gave off this sense that he could make things hap­pen for peo­ple.”

The Jim Sheri­dan-di­rected film, on the life and times of dis­abled Ir­ish writer Christy Brown, yielded We­in­stein his first Best Pic­ture nom­i­na­tion at the Os­cars. “And I gave him his first Os­car,” Fricker said. “There were times when you’d ask your­self what it was ex­actly that he did.

“He cer­tainly ex­uded an air of some­one who was very im­por­tant and there was an aw­ful lot of a***-lick­ing around him, although I cer­tainly didn’t do that, and nei­ther did Ray McAnally or some of the other mem­bers of the cast.

“But there re­ally was some­thing re­pul­sive about him and he would have been very aware of my dis­like for him.”

Fricker praised those ac­tresses who first re­vealed We­in­stein’s be­hav­iour and said she be­lieved the rev­e­la­tions would spell the end of his glit­ter­ing ca­reer in the movies.

Ir­ish ac­tress Fionnula Flana­gan also called We­in­stein a “creep”.

Mean­while, ac­tors’ union Ir­ish Eq­uity has urged vic­tims of sex at­tacks to come for­ward in the wake of the scan­dal, and claimed there were “re­peat of­fend­ers” here to whom many ac­tors would give a “wide berth”.

The union’s call came as Ir­ish film­maker Lenny Abra­ham­son said “pow­er­ful abusers” in Ire­land would be hop­ing their col­leagues re­main silent.

Ir­ish Eq­uity pres­i­dent Pádraig Mur­ray as­sured mem­bers it would sup­port them if they re­ported in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.

But Mr Mur­ray, a brother of ‘Fair City’ ac­tor Bryan Mur­ray, re­vealed that re­search has shown that the ma­jor­ity of those who ex­pe­ri­ence or wit­ness this type of be­hav­iour are too afraid to come for­ward be­cause they fear they will lose work.

Ir­ish Eq­uity or­gan­iser Karan O’Lough­lin said that she knew anec­do­tally of one or two “re­peat of­fend­ers” in the in­dus­try.

The ac­tors’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive has not come across any­thing as bad as the We­in­stein case, but said she heard anec­do­tally of one or two peo­ple that ac­tors would warn oth­ers against.

“Ac­tors are in a re­ally pre­car­i­ous po­si­tion,” she said.

“I be­lieve the num­ber of re­peat of­fend­ers is small but, in gen­eral, some in­di­vid­u­als get away with a lot of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour in­clud­ing ha­rass­ment, bul­ly­ing and other bad be­hav­iour un­der the guise of artis­tic en­deav­our.”

She added: “It’s not on.”

Photo: Danny Moloshok

Har­vey We­in­stein and fash­ion de­signer Ge­orgina Chap­man at the Os­cars Van­ity Fair Party in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia, in Fe­bru­ary.

‘My Left Foot’ stars Brenda Fricker and Daniel Day-Lewis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.