James Norton reflects on Harvey Weinstein abuse being ‘whispered about’

James Norton reflects on Harvey Weinstein abuse being ‘whispered about’

James Norton has reflected on working with the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on one of the producer’s last projects.

The actor, 37, was discussing the hit 2016 miniseries War & Peace in a new interview with The Independent, when he looked back on his encounters with Weinstein.

War & Peace, a retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s classic Russian novel, starred Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky.

Weinstein served as an executive producer on the show, with Paul Dano and Lily James also starring. It was written by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Harper.

The drama aired the year before Weinstein found himself accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape in an investigation by The New York Times that led to the #MeToo movement.

Speaking in a new interview with The Independent, Norton said of Weinstein: “He visited the set once when I was there, flew in for an hour, it was a handshake situation... but he was much more a suit in the office providing cash for the co-production. He didn’t have much creative contribution.”

He recalled how he crossed paths with Weinstein later on, at screenings of the show. “My personal experience of Harvey Weinstein was fine,” he said. “He was bombastic and rude and blustery, all the things you expect from an old-fashioned Hollywood producer.

“I never witnessed any of the abuse, but I’d heard about it. And like a lot of actors, I was privy to the rumours and the reputation and had moments of self-reflection like, ‘Why did no one do anything?’

“They did, eventually, which is why we should be celebrating She Said [the #MeToo film starring Carey Mulligan]. There were brave, brave women who did, thank God, bring about this massive punctuation mark in our history, but at the time it was all whispered about.”

Norton added: “It’s sad to reflect on the fact it took so many victims for something to happen. War & Peace was one of his last shows and I’m not going to lie, there were rumours about him. And now when you think back, how those rumours were there for decades – we weren’t the only show on which people were discussing Harvey had a reputation, an unsavoury one.”

Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 100 women since 2017, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence at Wende Correctional Facility.

Elsewhere in the interview, which can be read in full here, Norton discussed reprising his role as the monstrous villain Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley, his casting in A Little Life and the never-ending James Bond rumour mill.