The actor’s latest project is a series set in the world of morning television, and is inspired by the #MeToo movement. In a new interview, she shares a story about her experience working with disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein.
Since then dozens of Hollywood stars including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o, Cara Delevingne and Rose McGowan have come forward to share their experiences of being on the receiving end of Weinstein’s abuse. In the aftermath of the movement, the producer was fired from his film company and legal proceedings were started against him. Weinstein is currently awaiting trial in New York.
Aniston recalled a dinner held to celebrate the film in which Weinstein forced the star to interact with him. “There was the premiere dinner,” she told Variety. “I remember I was sitting at the dinner table with Clive, and our producers and a friend of mine was sitting with me. And he literally came to the table and said to my friend: ‘Get up!’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh’. And so my friend got up and moved and Harvey sat down. It was just such a level of gross entitlement and piggish behaviour.”
Aniston added that “he knew better” than to try to bully her. He did, however, attempt to get her to wear a gown from his then-wife Georgina Chapman’s brand Marchesa to the film’s premiere.
“I remember, right when [his ex-wife] Georgina’s clothing line Marchesa was starting,” Aniston recalled. “That’s when he came to visit me in London while we were shooting. He’d be like, ‘OK so I’d like you to wear one of these to the premiere.’ And I went through the book, and at the time, it wasn’t what it is today. It was not for me. He was like, ‘You have to wear the dress’. That was my only bullying. And I was like, ‘No I will not wear the dress’.”
She continued: “Well, what was he going to do? Come over here and make me wear it?!”
Aniston explained that the #MeToo movement inspired the subject matter of her new television series The Morning Show. The series opens with Aniston’s character Alex reeling after her co-host of 15 years, Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell), is fired amidst a sexual misconduct scandal. Alex then has the fight of her life on her hands as she tries to prevent the job she loves so much being taken away from her.
The show is not based on any real people, but it does draw inspiration from real situations, Aniston said. “All fictional,” she explained, “but also kind of highlighting aspects of the archetype of a charming narcissist, of a generation of men that didn’t think that was bad behaviour.”
She continued: “Thankfully, with the sacrifices of these women who have come forward, this isn’t going to happen anymore. It’s wonderful that you’re accountable and you have to check yourself.”