Titanic director James Cameron has revealed that he nearly swung his Oscar trophy at Harvey Weinstein when they got into an argument at the ceremony almost 20 years ago.
The row took place at the 1998 Academy Awards, at which Titanic won 11 Oscars including one for Best Picture. Cameron mused that given the recent sexual assault allegations made against Weinstein, there are probably many who would have liked him to follow through with it.
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“I remember almost getting in a fight with Harvey Weinstein and hitting him with my Oscar,” Cameron told Vanity Fair in an interview celebrating Titanic’s 20th anniversary. “[People] would’ve preferred I had played through on that one.”
Cameron explained that the argument never quite descended into a scuffle because fellow guests were telling the pair to stop, and the live broadcast was about to recommence.
“It was happening on the main floor at the [theatre]… And the music had started to play to get back in our seats,” he said.
“The people around us were saying, ‘Not here! Not here!’ Like it was OK to fight in the parking lot, you know, but it was not OK there when the music was playing, and they were about to go live.”
Cameron remembers that the fight was over director Guillermo del Toro, who he said was treated badly by Weinstein’s production company Miramax when making the horror movie Mimic.
“It’s kind of a long story, but it has to do with Guillermo del Toro and how badly he was dealt with by Miramax on Mimic,” Cameron recalled.
“Harvey came up glad-handing me, talking about how great they were for the artist, and I just read him chapter and verse about how great I thought he was for the artist based on my friend’s experience, and that led to an altercation.”
Del Toro said at the BFI London Film Festival last month that he “hated the experience” of working with Harvey and Bob Weinstein on Mimic.
“I have got to tell you,” he said. “Two horrible things happened in the late nineties: my father was kidnapped and I worked with the Weinsteins.”