“She said”: The investigation that brought down Harvey Weinstein

“She Said”: The Investigation That Took Harvey Weinstein

UPDATE DAY

Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, played by Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan, are the “New York Times” reporters who led the investigation into Harvey Weinstein, their article leading to the start of legal proceedings against the American producer. 

On October 5, 2017, the “New York Times” publishes, in one, the revelations of Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan). The article, “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades,” creates an earthquake in the movie industry. Ashley Judd, in particular, testifies to the harassment of which she was the victim. The Oscar-winning producer was let go of his company three days later. And many other actresses denounce it then. Today, after being sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York State, Weinstein faces justice in California as 11 counts of rape and sexual assault have been brought against him. /p>

It was during the New York Film Festival last October that the film “She said” was presented for the first time. The festival having been well attended by the fallen producer who is said to have said, when rumors of the imminence of the publication of the article of the “New York Times” were reported by “Variety”: “The story looks so good that I want to buy the rights to it”. The producer, and it is a clear will of the production, only appears very briefly from behind, in silhouette, and the name of the actor who plays him is not revealed.

In front of a full house, Ashley Judd, who plays herself in the feature film, remembered that her father was waiting for her when she left her meeting with the producer in 1996. “When I came down from the bedroom, he knew something devastating had just happened, he could read it on my face.” The mother of the actress, who died a few months ago, had encouraged her daughter to testify, both for the article of the two journalists, and at the time of the trial. For her, “it was an important validation that someone finally wanted to listen and do something. And this movie is the next step.”

What changes?

The film chronicles the details of the investigation of the two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and is reminiscent of “All the President’s Men” or, more recently, “The Post”. The screenplay by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, adapted from the journalists' book, was put into images by Maria Schrader (“Unorthodox”) sticks as closely as possible to real events, a few details having been modified for the purposes of passage to the big screen. “I knew this story could be both 'empowering' and inspiring,” she said at the time of filming.

Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan immersed themselves in their characters, became friends with their alter egos in “real” life, were able to question them and relive, in a certain way, the situations described in “She said”, the film having also been shot in the premises of the “New York Times” , drained by the pandemic.

“The film illustrates how an individual can change a situation when it seems impossible,” said Zoe Kazan on the red carpet. For Carey Mulligan, the film is not black. “I hope the public will take some hope out of this, that courage is rewarded,” she said, alluding to the fact that journalists were intimidated and threatened during their investigation.

< p>And while Ashley Judd hailed the changes being made in the movie industry — from on-set intimacy coordinators to the fact that auditions can no longer be held in hotel rooms — there's still plenty to do.

Thus, Zoe Kazan made the parallel with the decision of the American Supreme Court to no longer guarantee the right to abortion during a panel discussion organized by the “Hollywood Reporter” that “everyone who has read the headlines since, say, May knows that we live in an oppressive patriarchal system.”

  • “She Said” takes center stage starting November 18.