Weinstein denies 'keeping explicit movie scenes for his personal collection'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Rooney Mara and Kate Blanchett in Carol (Credit: The Weinstein Company)

Update: A rep for Weinstein says he never kept any footage from the film. Carol producer Christine Vachon adds: “The Weinstein Co. and Harvey never had access to dailies or even rough cuts. We showed TWC the final cut and then delivered that cut and that cut only. There was never any access to ‘unused sex scenes.’

Original story: Sources who worked on the 2015 movie Carol have said that they fear Harvey Weinstein could have kept unused footage of nude scenes between Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes insiders who worked on the film, which found Blanchett and Mara’s characters having an illicit affair in 1950s New York, saying that the producer may have kept scenes for his ‘personal collection’.

“I don’t even think it’s possible to destroy anything in the digital age,” said the source. “The idea of anything being erased from existence is naive.”

The claim is not substantiated in the THR piece, and reps for Weinstein have denied the existence of any such footage.

But the claims are made in a larger report on the increasing necessity among actors to use ‘nudity riders’, complex legal documents which can involve securing and destroying footage that is not used from sex scenes to preventing it from being leaked, and contractual stipulations to ensure scenes are filmed properly.

Actors and actresses can sometime have up to 40 specific stipulations in such contracts, including the use of fluorescent ‘pasties’, which cover performers’ genitals during nude scenes, so that any accidental exposure becomes more obvious.

Other stipulations often include the use of closed sets, ensuring that security over who is working on the scene is heightened, though, according to some lawyers who represent stars, such contractual obligations can sometimes be ignored.

“Mostly, where you get into trouble is where a producer or director approaches an actress directly on a set and asks for something that wasn’t negotiated,” says talent manager Jon Rubinstein. “It’s, ‘Look, the whole crew wants to go home. It’s midnight. We’re all exhausted. We just have to get this one last shot.

“The way that we’ve been doing it isn’t working. Can you drop the towel?’ Or, ‘That shirt doesn’t look right, why don’t you just lose it?’ Then suddenly you’re standing there and you’ve got 20 people waiting for you, and you go, ‘Ugh, fine.’ That happens all the time.”

Elisabeth Moss in a scene from The Handmaid’s Tale (Credit: AP via AAP)

Some actors, like Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid’s Tale, retains ‘100 percent approval’ over all such footage.

Things do appear to be changing, however.

One lawyer who represents actresses like Juno Temple and Gillian Jacobs has confirmed that ‘the amount of nudity being requested is less’, following the dozens of sex scandals that have consumed Hollywood since last October.

“People certainly are being a lot more sensitive about how they’re asking for that stuff and how it’s going to be perceived, about the possible accusation of being gratuitous,” said Jamie Feldman.

A number of actresses have recently come forward to suggest that they felt pressured into filming scenes in which they were not comfortable.

Evangeline Lilly said that she was ‘mortified’ and left ‘trembling’ after she said she was ‘cornered’ into filming a partially naked scene in the TV series Lost.

J.J. Abrams and the show’s other producers later issued an apology.

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