Robert Rodriguez cast Rose McGowan in Grindhouse to spite Harvey Weinstein

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Rose McGowan Grindhouse Planet Terror Robert Rodriguez

A decade ago, Rose McGowan starred as Cherry Darling in PLANET TERROR, one half of Robert Rodriquez and Quentin Tarantino's GRINDHOUSE double-feature, but her casting actually served a double purpose which has gone unknown until now – to literally make Harvey Weinstein pay. In a open letter to Variety, Robert Rodriguez revealed that he knew about the abuse Rose McGowan had suffered at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, but had kept quiet about it at McGowan's request. Now, he wants to "provide an account of what I knew, when I knew it, and what I did about it."

Robert Rodriguez met Rose McGowan at a party at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, the day after SIN CITY had screened. McGowan told Rodriguez that she was a film-noir fan and wished she could have been cast in SIN CITY. When Rodriguez asked her why she didn't audition, McGowan replied that she couldn't because she had been blacklisted from working on any Weinstein movies, and when the director asked what she meant by that, Rose McGowan told him the whole story.

My first reaction was one of shock. I recall clearly what I said next, “My God, why didn’t you say anything? People would have stood up for you! And where was your fiancé during all this? I would have at least beaten the crap out of Harvey if I had heard that.” Rose said they didn’t know what to do. She confided that a female attorney had told her that because she had done nudity in movies that no jury would believe her and that it would turn into a he said/she said case.

Rose told me that all she could do at the time was to get Harvey Weinstein to donate money to an abused women’s shelter and in return she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that forbade her from talking about the horrific violation without being sued, and that she shouldn’t even be telling me. To add insult to injury, she told me that she was blacklisted from even auditioning for any Weinstein movies.

Robert Rodriguez told McGowan that she wasn't blacklisted from his movies and that Harvey Weinstein couldn't tell him who to cast. It was at this time when Rodriguez had begun working on GRINDHOUSE with Quentin Tarantino, and offered to write Rose McGowan a "bad ass" character and make her one of the leads. Rodriguez said that the best part was that "we would have Harvey’s new Weinstein Company pay for the whole damn thing." At that moment, Harvey Weinstein himself walked by.

Just as I finished telling Rose this, I saw Harvey walking around the party! I called Harvey over to our table, and as soon as he got close enough to see that I was sitting with Rose, his face dropped and went ghostly white. I said, “Hey Harvey, this is Rose McGowan. I think she’s amazing and really talented and I’m going to cast her in my next movie.” Harvey then dribbled all over himself in the most over the top performance I’d ever seen as he gushed, “Oh she’s wonderful, oh she’s amazing, oh she’s fantastic, oh she’s so talented… You two should definitely work together.” And then he skittered off. I knew right then that every word Rose told me was true, you could see it all over his face.

Rose McGowan and Robert Rodriguez both knew that they "couldn’t rub it in his face why we were REALLY doing this movie, because then he’d just bury the movie, not sell it well, and everyone would lose," so the pair kept quiet, but, "to our horror, Harvey buried our movie anyway, and because we did not want to risk getting sued, we never spoke publicly about the matter." You can read the rest of Robert Rodriguez's letter on Variety.

Source: Variety

About the Author

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.