'Bad Santa' Director Says He Was Also Discouraged From Hiring Mira Sorvino

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Terry Zwigoff, Mira Sorvino

"I was interested in casting Mira Sorvino in BAD SANTA, but every time I mentioned her over the phone to the Weinsteins, I'd hear a CLICK," Terry Zwigoff wrote Friday on Twitter.

Bad Santa director Terry Zwigoff is echoing statements made by fellow filmmaker Peter Jackson who said he was told not to hire actress Mira Sorvino, saying that he had a similar experience.

On Friday, Zwigoff tweeted, "I was interested in casting Mira Sorvino in BAD SANTA, but every time I mentioned her over the phone to the Weinsteins, I'd hear a CLICK. What type of person just hangs up on you like that?! I guess we all know what type of person now. I'm really sorry Mira."

In a recent interview with New Zealand's Stuff, Jackson addressed the Harvey Weinstein scandal and said that he was told by Weinstein's company not to hire actresses Sorvino and Ashley Judd, the latter of whom also had rejected Weinstein's sexual advances in a Beverly Hills hotel room around the same time. "I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs. This was probably in 1998," Jackson told writer Dani McDonald. "At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing."

"I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women — and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list," Jackson said. 

After hearing what Jackson told the outlet, Sorvino tweeted Friday, "Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure. Thank you Peter Jackson for being honest. I’m just heartsick." 

Weinstein later denied all of Jackson's allegations in a lengthy statement, saying that both women were considered for other Weinstein projects. As an executive producer, Weinstein asserts that he had "no input" on casting, and that he continued to work with Judd and Sorvino's husband, Christopher Backus. "Mr. Weinstein has nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson. However, as Mr. Jackson will probably remember, because Disney would not finance the Lord of the Rings, Miramax lost the project and all casting was done by New Line," the statement read in part.

A rep for Weinstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Zwigoff's claims.