We can think of a million and one reasons why any reasonable person might want to punch Harvey Weinstein in the face. Now, according to an extensive oral history of Titanic’s historic 1998 Oscar win published in The Hollywood Reporter, we can add “being a dick to Guillermo del Toro” to the list.
In the piece, James Cameron reveals that while he “didn’t know Harvey from Adam” at the time, he did know that the producer had screwed over his friend Guillermo del Toro repeatedly. So when Weinstein tried to recruit Cameron while he was on the way back to his seat after winning the Oscar for Best Film Editing, things quickly escalated to a level that was “almost potentially physically violent,” according to Cameron. And sure, violence is never the answer, yada yada yada, but wouldn’t it have been just delicious to have video footage of Weinstein being absolutely wrecked by an Oscar statuette? We know Cameron is busy for the next decade or so with his endless coffer of Avatar sequels, but this is our humble plea for the director to take a short recess and use all of that CGI technology to recreate this moment on the big screen.
You can read Cameron’s full account below:
I didn’t know Harvey from Adam. I didn’t know anything about him other than what I had learned from Guillermo del Toro. Guillermo and I had been close friends since 1991. He had told me the horrible shit that Miramax pulled on him when he made his first American commercial film, Mimic, and they fired him. The actors, led by Mira Sorvino, kind of revolted and wouldn’t work until they brought him back. Then, when the film was successful and well regarded, Harvey sort of jumped up to take praise for the movie. And so I’m on my way back to my seat with my editing Oscar, and this guy’s jumping up to introduce himself, saying, “If you want to come to work at a place that’s a friend of the artist, a friend of the filmmaker” — he’s holding his hand out, and I just blew him off. It was just an ugly little moment. But, yeah, I did defend Guillermo and I called Harvey on his bullshit, and then he got very loud and verbally abusive and almost potentially physically violent. And he was about to get clocked by an Oscar — which would’ve been highly appropriate, I think. But I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms; it was just the weapon at hand. The hysterical thing about the whole moment was people around us were saying, “Not here! Not here!” It was kind of like, “It’s OK if you boys fight out in the alley, but don’t do it here at the Academy Awards!”