Degrees of Separation: Ashley Judd as Tauriel?

I think it definite that many Richard Armitage fans have been following the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal if for no other reason, than because Berlin Station co-star, Ashley Judd, is one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers. Circumstantial evidence supports Ashley Judd’s claims, and she was featured as one of the Silence Breakers  on the Time Person of the Year, cover for 2017.

person-of-year-2017-time-magazine-cover1.

Yesterday, the news became a little more personal for Peter Jackson fans, and by extension, many Richard Armitage fans. It started at about mid-morning yesterday – I found a link on  Servetus’s post.

In the wake of some specific statements that Ashley Judd, Mira Sorvino and other Weinstein victims suffered real career damage through adverse action, director Peter Jackson conceded he blackballed Judd and Sorvino for roles in The Lord of the Rings, because Weinstein badmouthed them. Here. The Hollywood Reporter and Vulture have been updating their posts as responses and replies fly back and forth between Jackson and Weinstein. Mira Sorvino has tweeted about it.

It’s a fact that Peter Jackson pursued both actresses (perhaps with no specific role in mind). He says that he and Fran Walsh were very enthusiastic about Ashley Judd, but Weinstein warned him off.

Weinstein denies it, claiming inter alia that he didn’t have the power because,

“no one could have blacklisted or derailed the career of Ms. Sorvino, who had recently won both an Academy and a Golden Globe award and was being courted for leading roles by all seven studios and every major broadcast network,” and further claimed that Jackson was so “powerful” following the success of Rings that “he could have cast anyone he wanted in the Hobbit. Neither Ms. Judd nor Ms. Sorvino had roles in the film.”

The first part seems like a good argument, except Mira Sorvino won her awards in 2005, probably 5 years before Peter Jackson started casting for The Lord of the Rings and her career went basically nowhere. (Correction: Sorvino won an Oscar in 1995 as well as Golden Globe in 2005)

The second part is also ridiculous. It’s facetious, even.

As we know, there were no female characters in The Hobbit until Peter Jackson put one there. That would be Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly who was 33 at the time of casting, 2012.

In 2012, Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino were 44 and 45 respectively. Thus, even if there were no blackball issue, Peter Jackson could not really have given either actress a key  part in The Hobbit because there was none.

Trust it that Harvey Weinstein, who sued Peter Jackson over profits from The Hobbit trilogy,  is well aware of the plot and characters. He would’ve followed entertainment news as part of his job and was likely aware of the controversy over the inclusion of Tauriel, a non-Tolkien character. When he issued the above statement, Weinstein knew that there were no female roles in The Hobbit for Judd or Sorvino and the suggestion 5 years later that one could have been offered, is false and facetious.

Like a lot of other crap out there, it doesn’t survive even a simple fact-check.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Weinstein replies

9 thoughts on “Degrees of Separation: Ashley Judd as Tauriel?

    • Way before. She won it in 1996 for Mighty Aphrodite (Oscar) years before casting for LOTR. She didn’t do anything significant again until 2005 when she won the Golden Globes.

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      • This is what’s confusing me: “Mira Sorvino won her awards in 2005, probably 5 years before Peter Jackson started casting for The Lord of the Rings” — LOTR must have been cast before the LOTR films began appearing in 2001. I’ve been assuming the women have been talking about events in the mid- to late-1990s.

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        • Right. I corrected what I meant to say. She won her oscar years before they were casting LOTR – so she was not necessarily “being courted” in 2001 when they cast LOTR. This counters Weinstein’s claim that he didn’t have the power in 2001 to blackball her because she was in such demand. She actually didn’t do anything great for a number of years after she got her oscar. That was his first argument I quoted. The second had to do with the Hobbit. He doesn’t reference Sorvino’s 2005 golden Globe in reference to casting for The Hobbit. Instead, he argues that Jackson had so much power at the time he was casting The Hobbit, that Weinstein could have no influence over him, but nevertheless, Jackson didn’t use that power to cast Judd or Sorvino. First, why would Jackson hire either if he still believed they were difficult, and second, there was no role for either actress in 2012 when they were casting for a female in The Hobbit. They were too old to be considered for Tauriel.

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  1. What has TH to do with it? Roles were for LOTR.
    TH issues, and probably its lack of Oscar noms and awards (at least for make up, costumes, and Sir IMK) and, I dare say, other consequences, were because of Miramax battle with WB to gain money from the third movie of TH when the original deal was about only 2 films. After one year of harsh legal battle, WB won. I doubt HW took it well.

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