In a recent interview, famed director James Cameron claims that he almost attacked Harvey Weinstein during the 1998 Academy Awards Ceremony, saying that he nearly beat the media mogul with his newly awarded Oscar.
He made these comments in a recent Vanity Fair story celebrating the 20th anniversary of Titanic.
Before you ask, no, it was not about Weinstein’s recently publicized treatment of female employees, which has made the once celebrated producer a pariah in Hollywood; rather, Cameron took offense at Weinstein’s treatment of Guillermo del Toro, Cameron’s fellow filmmaker and friend.
“It was happening on the main floor at the [theater],” Cameron said of the incident.
“And the music had started to play to get back in our seats. The people around us were saying, ‘Not here! Not here!’ Like it was okay to fight in the parking lot, you know, but it was not okay there when the music was playing, and they were about to go live.”
Weinstein had begun, in Cameron’s words, “glad-handling” him, and Cameron began criticized Weinstein for the executive meddling that del Toro received during the making of Mimic, the Mexican director’s first American production. It almost became his last—del Toro has described the making of that film as the second worst thing to happen to him during the 1990s, a decade which also including the kidnapping of his father.
As you can imagine, tact and subtlety are not Cameron’s strong points; indeed, he is known to be very difficult to work with himself. Nevertheless, he has had great success in the art of filmmaking, directing blockbusters like Aliens, Terminator 2 and The Abyss before achieving mega-success with 1997’s Titanic. It wound up the highest grossing movie of all time, only to be dethroned years later by another of Cameron’s films, Avatar.
Cameron is currently working on sequels to the latter film.