Thursday, January 28, 2010

Celebrities I Met at Sundance: Harvey Weinstein


After attending a public screening and Q&A session for 12th & Delaware, a fantastic documentary about the war over abortion, I had to run from the Yarrow to the Holiday to make a press screening for Ryan Gosling/Michelle Williams movie, Blue Valentine. When I entered the theater, most of the seats were filled. In the front, a whole row of seats were marked off as "RESERVED." And of course, it was the row with the bars you can put your feet up on! Injustice!

Standing next to me were a group of men also looking for seats. One was an older man talking on the phone and the other appeared to be his assistant. While he was on the phone, the man kept saying exciting things like "Only call me if there's a crisis!" He then hung up the phone and told his assistant to secure three of the reserved seats for them. That's when I noticed who I was standing next to. Harvey Weinstein!

Weinstein founded Miramax Studios with his brother Bob in 1979. Since then, Miramax has produced a couple movies you might have heard of, like: Pulp Fiction, Sex, Lies and Videotape, The Crying Game, Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, Bullets Over Broadway, Clerks, The Crow, Kids, Il Postino, Mighty Aphrodite, Trainspotting, From Dusk Till Dawn, The English Patient, Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting, Jackie Brown, The Big One, Life is Beautiful, Shakespeare in Love, Velvet Goldmine, Dogma, She's All That, The Cider Houser Rules, The Talented Mr. Ripley, All the Pretty Horses, Bridget Jones' Diary, Chocolat, Amelie, The Shipping News, Frida, Gangs of New York, Tadpole, Chicago, Cold Mountain, Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2, Master & Commander, The Aviator, Ella Enchanged, Garden State, Hero, Jersey Girl, Finding Neverland, Kinky Boots, The Queen, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, City of Men, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Doubt, Adventureland, and Air Bud: Golden Receiver.

So, it's clear that Harvey is a great producer and a great businessman. But if I had remembered that so many people consider him as a tyrant (anyone remember Entourage's send-up to Harvey???), I might have made a different decision. But I didn't so I didn't. I just walked up to him and:

Me: Hi there.
Harvey: Hey.
Me: How's your festival going?
Harvey: It's good.
Me: Well, I'm just a big fan.
*I stick my hand out. He shakes it.*
Harvey: Thanks.

So, that went a lot better than it could have. He was a perfectly nice guy. And thus concludes my first 2010 Sundance Celebrity Encounter.

3 comments:

Daniel Getahun said...

Ha, nice work! You should have asked him what he thought about the Oscar nominations this year and if he was disappointed that Nine bombed..

Heather said...

I know the Weinstein brothers weren't really involved with Miramax in recent years, and Miramax wasn't quite the same after they left, but it made me sad to hear the news that Miramax is no more. I was just contemplating yesterday all the great movies Miramax put out. They took such amazing chances.

elgringo said...

Daniel, I wasn't going to ask him anything that might have resulted in him punching me in the throat. Maybe next year though.

Heather, I was sad about Miramax too. But at least it leaves Disney a little less powerful.