“She said”: the investigation that shook Hollywood has become a film

It was one of the biggest scandals in the history of American cinema. In October 2017, the New York Times with its articles started the story that would have brought the producer Harvey Weinstein in a courtroom, and then in prison, sentenced to 23 years for sexual assault.

That Hollywood would sooner or later tell that story was obvious and it was only a matter of time. Lei she said, which will arrive in Italy on January 19 with the title Anche io, lei recounts that journalistic investigation and does so from the point of view of the two women who dealt with it. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey triggered the avalanche that would lead to the creation of the MeToo movement and Hollywood to radically change its approach to women’s issues, so much so that this film is also the result of this new Hollywood policy. «More than the fact itself I wanted to tell the women who created it says Maria Schrader, director of the film on a script by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Two normal women grappling with a huge case and at the same time with their family life made up of pregnancies and weanings. Two journalists capable of dividing their lives between personal needs and those of an investigation that from the first steps would prove capable of shaking the film industry from its foundations.

Playing Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan. «The approach wanted by the director was very important says Carey Mulligan in this way we managed to make a film different from the classics on journalism such as All the President’s Men or The Spotlight Case. Pre-MeToo testosterone-boosting movies didn’t ask questions about trivial matters like preparing lunch for the family or taking the kids to daycare, but as a parent I know these are issues that a person who has children is concerned about. must occupy, no matter what his profession. Mulligan plays Megan Twohey, who a few years before the Weinstein case, had denounced the sexual abuse of then candidate for the White House Donald Trump. «Megan is a tough and capable woman continues the actress who, when she began to support her colleague Jodi Kantor in the investigation of Weinstein, she was coming out of a postpartum depression. I too suffered from it when my daughter was born in 2015. It was one of the first topics we touched upon when we spoke, the real Megan and I. For her this professional task represented an anchor to cling to to get out of depression, I remember that it was the same for me too, working on the set helped me a lot». Filming for the film began in 2021, in the real editorial office of the prestigious New York newspaper. «This was possible because with the pandemic, all the staff of the New York Times worked from home, says colleague Zoe Kazan, entering the empty rooms of the newspaper was surreal. There were still the newspapers of March 20, 2020, the snacks nibbled on the desks. It looked like a post-apocalyptic scene, after a general and surprise escape. What happened was that the directive to work from home had come at the end of a normal day’s work in the newsroom. Reporters didn’t expect not to return the next day. I remember sending photos of the empty newsroom to the real Jodi Kantor, the woman I play. It was a way to mitigate the nostalgia she probably suffered from that sudden and forced farewell.’ The first step for the two actresses to get to know the women they would play was reading the book that the two wrote about each other. «But clearly it was a book that did not see the two authors as protagonists continues Zoe Kazan – it was only the story of the investigations that led to the scoop. Thankfully Jody and Megan have been very cooperative and always in touch with us.”

The first article published following the investigations of Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reported the statements of the first victim who decided to speak up: actress Ashley Judd. She was later joined by Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosanna Arquette and many other young aspiring actresses. The method was always the same, whether the victim was famous or not: Weinstein, with the excuse of a job interview, invited them to a hotel room where she was found in a bathrobe. Then he asked for massages and sexual services in exchange for a professional promise. Any possible criminal repercussion against those who tried to file a complaint was averted with an offer of money after signing a contract condemning them to silence. The title of that first published article focused on this aspect: “Harvey Weinstein paid those who accused him of sexual assaults for decades”. Soon a real avalanche would have overwhelmed Hollywood.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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